All Irish equestrian athletes at the Tokyo Olympic Games are wearing yellow ribbons in commemoration of the loss of talented young rider Tiggy Hancock, who died in an eventing training accident in June.
First out for Ireland was dressage combination Heike Holstein and the Irish-bred mare Sambuca, who finished sixth of 10 combinations in their group dressage test on Sunday.
On her lapel, Holstein also wore a pin that was designed by Tiggy’s mother specifically for the event.
“Tiggy is at the Olympics in Tokyo and we are very proud to wear this for her,” Holstein said of the ribbon.
Their score ultimately wasn’t enough to see them qualify for Wednesday’s Individual Final, but it was still an impressive display from Holstein, who was competing at her fourth Olympics while 12-year-old Sambuca, whom she bred herself, was making her Olympic debut.
“I am really proud of her. When she was a little foal I never thought that we would get this far, it is a long road and lots of things can happen. In 2019 I finally thought, this might happen!”
Holstein said she was happy with most of her ride, and with Sambuca.
“I was really happy with her, she went into the ring and really concentrated. I was really happy with the passage and the piaffe has improved a lot, she was really relaxed in the walk and the changes were good.”