At the last IJRC meeting in Rotterdam it was Steve Guerdat who already expressed his concern about the new Olympic Format. In his statement Guerdat pointed his finger to the FEI as responsible for the chaos Tokyo 2020 will be. Now also former Olympic Champion, Eric Lamaze expresses his concern. "They destroy our sport..."
"It's the worst thing that could have happened to our sport," the 51-year-old from Montreal declared Wednesday at Spruce Meadows.
"The Olympics are the biggest thing we have in our sport, any sport. Why screw it up for us?"
Under pressure from the International Olympic Committee to increase the number of countries participating in equestrian without adding more athletes to the Summer Games, the international governing body of equestrian instituted modifications for the 2020 Games. Show jumping teams in Tokyo will compete three riders plus an alternate, instead of four plus a spare. Alternates can now replace a teammate during the competition, whereas a substitution could only be made before the first round previously.
The throwing out of the lowest score among the four riders and the top three counting toward the final result has been eliminated. Also, the individual event will now precede the team competition in Tokyo.
Lamaze says riders weren't consulted before the changes, he feels team dynamics will be negatively impacted and he believes the glamorous individual event should be the show jumping finale of the games.
"It will be disastrous if you ask me," Lamaze said. "All this for letting in countries that are incapable of riding at the Olympics.
"Killing our sport, so there are more flags around the stadium. Why? You know the Jamaican bobsled team? That's what it's going to be. "We don't want to see somebody get hurt. We don't want to see somebody make a fool of themselves. It's not cool."