Permission to Reproduce Granted

July 11, 2016


Hyperion Stud owner, Vicky Castegren is proud to announce that her prized stallion Imothep, has been short-listed for competition at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, under Japanese rider and 5 time Olympian, Taizo Sugitani.  The two horses for Sugitani are Imothep and Avenzio 3, with a final determination of selection to come later in July.

A very joyous Vicky Castegren, said “I never thought that when I dreamed about qualifying for the Olympics it would be like this.  As a rider I dreamed of it for myself, but as an owner I did not even conceive of it.  Yet here I am almost astonished that after this wild ride we have all been on, we can legitimately say we have arrived.  I am overjoyed with having the honor of being surrounded by such an incredible team who has brought us to this point, and I hope we are given the opportunity to represent each and every one of the people who have helped us along the way.”

“I have had the honor of representing my home country in five previous Olympics, and have an extremely bright outlook for what we are bringing to the upcoming Olympics in Rio,” said Taizo.  “I feel as though we are bringing a strong effort to Brazil, and the relationship between Imothep and myself is getting stronger and more comfortable as time goes on.”

Sugitani has represented Japan in individual competition during every summer Olympics since Atlanta in 1996, with his best result to date being tied for 15th in Athens during the 2004 Games.  Additionally, Taizo has been a part of team competition in the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Games, with Japan’s best result of those years being 11th place at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.  In addition to Taizo’s Olympic experience, he has remained quite remarkable, as he has earned two Bronze medals in the 2014 Asian Games, six appearances at the World Equestrian Games and twice appearing in the World Cup Finals.  Sugitani is currently ranked #177 in the world, according to the Longines FEI Jumping Rankings.

Castegren added, “I am a true believer that everything happens as it should even though the path can be difficult.  Each and every one of the talented people who have been a part of Imothep’s education over the years have brought us to where we are today.  When I take a look back at what we have accomplished as a group, since I purchased Imothep as a 6 year old in 2009, I am completely humbled at the level of success we have attained to this point. It brings me an immense amount of pride and joy to see everyone involved, especially Imothep’s trainer Craig Yates, acknowledged in this way. This is the pinnacle we all dream of in some capacity.”

As the highest ranked Japanese showjumper, Taizo Sugitani has been named to the four person team for Japan.  Also representing Japan, his teammates are Toshiki Masui, Reiko Takeda and Daisuke Fukushimo, with Koki Saito as a reservist.

Chef d’equipe, Hirokazu Higashira is expected to release the official horse and rider combinations within the next couple of weeks, as teams make final preparations for their travels to Brazil in August.  Rio de Janeiro Olympic equestrian showjumping competition will begin on August 14, 2016.

See the complete Qualification List here: