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2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro Recap
For Imothep, the road to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics was a long and winding one, with many challenges and changes along the way.
“We are overwhelmed with joy for the fact that we were able to compete on the grandest stage in all of the sports world,” reflected Vicky Castegren, owner of Hyperion Stud, LLC. “As I’ve said time and time again, without the incredible group of people who have contributed throughout Imothep’s career, none of this would have been possible.”
The competition schedule was spread out over 5 days, with the first day being the individual qualifier. Out of the 69 Olympic entries, there were 60 that were going to be allowed to qualify for the opportunity to vie for individual Olympic medals. The course proved to be a challenge for the best horses and riders in the world, with 3 entries eliminated and another 2 pairings disqualified. Taizo and Imothep unfortunately accumulated too many penalties through their round to qualify for the second round of individual competition.
The following day, the second round of the Individual and first round of the Team competition began. The individuals who qualified during the previous round would now begin building their scores for their chance at an Olympic medal. As Imothep and Taizo did not make the cut for the Individual, they set their focus on the Team competition. Team Japan came in with a zero score, as with all of the other teams competing, and it quickly became apparent that a combined score of 8 or less would be what it would take to continue on to the next round of team competition. Upon completion of the team qualifier, Team Japan was on the outside, looking in, as the team total ended up being a score of 14. This score put them 6 points out of position to move forward.
“Getting things ready for a right time and a right place is an extremely difficult job. Unfortunately, we did not get the result what we wanted in Rio. Looking back the adventurous road Imothep and I took to Rio was something very special. We were so focused and determined to get to Rio that nothing made us stop. We had so many people behind us supporting all the way. I have been very lucky and it has been a great honor to be in a such a great team. I want to thank my owner, Vicky Castegren, and Jonathan Yates for believing me and all the support they gave me to be in Rio,” 6-time Olympian, Taizo Sugitani reported on Facebook. “Next big goal will be the WEG in 2018 and 2020 Tokyo!!!”
Castegren added, “Although the performance results weren’t as we had expected we remain extremely proud of the fact that, after essentially 6 months of being together, Taizo and Imothep were able to place themselves in a league of the sport’s elite. Only 69 horses out of the hundreds of thousands throughout the world were able to make it to Rio, and we were one of those extraordinary few. We not only made it to the Olympics, but we put in a valiant effort and came away unharmed and healthy. As an owner and passionate horsewoman, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Focusing on the future, Hyperion Stud will continue the development of the young horses in their program at their home base in Virginia. The travel Team will continue their competition schedule in California with Dakota VDL, Imothep and Claas 16 at venues in Del Mar, San Juan Capistrano, Las Vegas and Thermal.
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