Of course in all of that we're keeping an extra close eye on the equestrians. Eventing was exciting, as always, and we were sad to see it end. Germany took the gold for team eventing, with Great Britain obtaining silver and New Zealand receiving bronze. Team USA finished a respectable 7th against some very tough competition.
|Karen O'Connor aboard Mr. Medicott|
With eventing behind us, it's time to turn our focus to dressage. Team USA's dressage riders are Steffen Peters aboard Ravel, Jan Ebeling on Rafalca, Tina Konyot with Calecto V, and Adrienne Lyle on Wizard. The Grand Prix competition was completed today, and Steffen and Ravel lead the team with a score of 77.705% (6th place). Tina and Calecto V are next with a 70.456% (27th place) and Jan and Rafalca (30th place) are close on her heels with a 70.243%. Adrienne, who is competing as an individual and the youngest member of the USA dressage team, rode Wizard for a score of 69.468% (35th place). Currently the team is sitting in 5th place overall with a collective score of 72.801%. The dressage competition continues next week with the Grand Prix Special.
|Steffen Peters and Ravel|
For those that haven't heard, Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report has taken quite an interest in dressage, declaring it the "sport of the summer". His videos can be found here, and even show Stephen taking a lesson with Michael Barisone. Michael was a part of Team USA during the 2008 Beijing Olympics and has the honor of being the coach for our current Team USA dressage team. There's a lot of lighthearted banter about dressage, and some jokes about Rafalca, since she is partially owned by Ann Romney. All of that led to the photo shown below.
|Dressage is #1 - Team USA with Ann Romney|
We cannot forget the Show Jumping, which starts tomorrow. Our team has some strong representatives in Rich Fellers and Flexible, Beezie Madden and Coral Reef Via Volo, Reed Kessler and Cylana, and McLain Ward and Antares F.
|Rich Fellers and Flexible during the 2012 Olympic Selection Trials|
Olympics Equestrian Trivia:
- The Olympic dressage competition started in 1912, and up until 1952, only commissioned officers were allowed to compete in these events. From 1952 the rules were changed to allow civilians and women to compete.
- In Beijing 2008, equestrian rider Hiroshi Hoketsu became the oldest Japanese Olympic representative at age 67. Hoketsu also took part in the 1964 Tokyo Games where he finished 40th in the show jumping event. He is participating in the 2012 London Games with his horse Whisper at the age of 71.
- The Equestrian events (and the equestrian part of Modern Pentathlon) are the only Olympic events that involve animals.