After a fantastic opening for the host team in Sunday’s first round of the Olympic Games in Rio, World of Showjumping had a short talk with Brazil’s coach George Morris to get his opinion on the track, the drama that unfolded as well as his thoughts on the challenges coming up.
WoSJ: What did you think about the first round track here at the Olympic Games?
George Morris: “I thought Guilherme’s course was perfect for the first competition. It gave the horses a chance to get confident, yet horses that were scared backed off – and for the over-careful it really killed them. With 24 clears it proved it was not too much for the first competition, and it was so cleverly done the way he had the triple bar early, the triple combination early, the liverpool and the water away from the in-gate early and that last line was spooky. A horse that was overly-careful was in trouble, but for a horse that was correct and nicely careful it would have a clear round. So, I would give the course an A+.”
WoSJ: Did you think there were any big surprises?
George Morris: “I did not see all the horses because I was walking back and forward watching the Brazilian boys. But, I’m sure there were individual surprises, there were some bad luck surprises and then, you know, over-over surprises.”
WoSJ: You had a great first day with the Brazilian team, what are your thoughts on the coming days?
George Morris: “I am very confident. We have very good riders, some of them are young but two of them – Doda and Pedro – have been to the championships before. Two of the others are new people, which is so good for the sport. And, that is what it’s all about: The sport. I have great confidence in them as riders. I think we found the nicest horse and rider combinations that we have in Brazil; they are lovely horses – I would like to have anyone of them. So, I feel confident although they are greener as a team than some of the other teams.
Winning is great, nobody likes winning more than I do – but I also like to participate. I love the sport, and I love the ups and even the downs. So, of course I am hoping for the best and we will see – you can not over-tell with horses.”
WoSJ: Will you make any changes in the starting order for Tuesday’s first round of the team competition?
George Morris: “I will not make any changes in the starting order. Eduardo has had his horse a long time, and he is very organized, very definite and very strong. Now, of course it is a new point because compared to the opening round where he went first he now goes in way later. But, he is a great guy to go first. Stephan is the greenest, but has a great horse, so I put him second as he has less experience. Doda has far more experience but has a greener horse than Pedro, so I put him third and it worked out perfect. Then Pedro and his horse are very seasoned, he is a wonderful rider and it is a wonderful horse, so they go last. So unless some disaster strikes, there is no change in my order.”
As told to World of Showjumping by George Morris / Text © World of Showjumping / Picture © Jenny Abrahamsson
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