‘Top Three Riders are Well Deserving of Their Position’- US Equestrian Performance Director Eric Duvander Praises his Tokyo Olympics 2021 Team
The world watches the US equestrian teams take the stage at the Tokyo Olympics 2021. Their strongest asset is an incredible eventing team, led by Performance Director Eric Duvander and veteran rider Phillip Dutton. Prior to the Games, Duvander gave his opinion on his star-studded team and their horses.
Eric Duvander reacts to his Tokyo Olympics 2021 team
With a Performance Director like Eric Duvander, the US equestrian eventing team has a fair advantage. He joined the US team in 2017, bringing seventeen years of experience with him. He’s also a former Olympian, representing Sweden at the 1992 Olympics.
During a conversation with the United States Eventing Association, Duvander praised his incredible team heading to the Tokyo Olympics 2021. His three star riders are Phillip Dutton, Boyd Martin and Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp.
“Basically, the top three riders are well deserving of their position. Phillip [Dutton] is going into his 7th Olympics and we haven’t seen the best of his horse Z yet. Phillip knows how to win medals and really is the backbone of our team.”
“Boyd is our fiercest competitor at all times. He was the best American at Kentucky on his 3rd best horse, he’s a true warrior and someone I can count on. It’s no holding back with Boyd, we will just be trying to get every improvement with Luke, who is less experienced but a freakish talent.”
“Liz Halliday-Sharp came over to the US from England with a depth of talent and smashed everyone to earn Rider of the Year, and her horse is a massive talent.”
Duvander confident in reserves as well
Aside from his key riders, Duvander believes his reserves are also capable of taking the US eventing team to the gold medal. They include Doug Payne, Tamie Smith and Will Faudree. If not them, he has faith in the team’s horses.
“Doug Payne’s Vandiver is a real campaigner, he’s really reliable. And even if Doug doesn’t get to run, his technical skills are invaluable, so he’ll be a good wingman for me. You can swap out horses before or during the event, so if anything happens to another horse or rider he can sub in at the last minute.”
“Our alternates, Tamie Smith and Will Faudree, will both go to Aachen and be there with the team for the time there. Ultimately, we’ll only ship four horses to Tokyo and the others will travel home.”
Will Eric Duvander’s confidence pay off? Does the US eventing team have what it takes to go all the way?
Read more: Great Britain Announces Equestrian Teams for Tokyo Olympics 2021
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