A bitter disappointment in Rio

It was not the day for Great Britain. In fact, it was gutting. Britain crashed out of the team competition and did not make the top eight team cut to qualify for the second round on Wednesday.

The squad finished on 13 faults in 12th place.

After jumping a class round over every fence for Nick Skelton, Big Star uncharacteristically left a heel on the tape at the open water for faults.

Nick has doubts about Big Star landing on the tape, and an appeal has been lodged. Although this won't make a difference to the team result - Britain still wouldn't make the top eight - it could alter and make a big difference to his individual score.

Then Ben Maher and Tic Tac rolled a back off a midway oxer to return another four faults, and Michael Whitaker - riding with broken ribs - and Cassionato was another pair to fall victim to the water - on a tricky distance approach - and added one time fault to come home on five.

It was all down to John Whitaker, but it didn't go to plan. Ornellaia took exception to the combination and stopped, and John was amazing to get the mare going again and come through the finish - but on 23 faults.

All is not lost. Ben, Michael and Nick are still contenders for the individual after finishing in the top 45 and will jump again tomorrow. Eleven riders are equal first on zero, Ben and Nick are in equal 30th on four faults and Michael is in 42nd place.

After round two, the top 35 will contend Friday's individual medals, starting on a zero score.

In the team competition, the USA, the home country of Brazil, The Netherlands and Germany lie in equal first on a zero score. It will be a tense and exciting competition with it all to play for. After the xcitement of London four years ago, what a pity we are not part of it.

Photo © Shannon Brinkmann/courtesy British Showjumping