The Spanish dressage team has announced the first horse substitution—a new procedure this year—for the Tokyo Olympic Games. José Antonio Garcia Mena piloted Sorento 15 to a 69.14% in the Grand Prix, but he will ride his traveling alternate Divina Royal in the Grand Prix Special instead.
The Fédération Equestre Internationale substitution rule, Article 609, states: “Unless specified otherwise in these Regulations, in all circumstances, substitutions will only be allowed in the event of an accident or illness of an Athlete and/or Horse, i.e. for medical/veterinary reasons, and upon the presentation of the appropriate medical/veterinary certificate of the team doctor/team veterinarian whose decision shall be final.”
In dressage, a substitution may only take place between the end of the Grand Prix and up to two hours before the start of the Grand Prix Special. The substituted horse must have passed the first jog.
The Grand Prix Special begins tonight at 5 p.m. local time, 4 a.m. Eastern time, and eight teams will compete for medals.