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There are three Olympic equestrian disciplines — Eventing, Dressage, Jumping — and these are the only Olympic sports where men and women compete directly against each other for bronze, silver, and gold medals.
The 2016 equestrian venue is at the Deodoro Olympic Equestrian Center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This location hosts a cluster of sports including the Pentathlon (which also features horses) Shooting, Canoe Slalom, Mountain Biking, and BMX. Deodoro was used for the 2007 Pan American Games. The venue has been expanded and improved for the 2016 Olympics.
Eventing is a three-day event consisting of dressage, cross-country, and stadium jumping on each of the days. In Rio, the Eventing events start on August 6 with the team and individual dressage competitions. This phase will take two days. On August 8 the team and individual cross country course is tackled. And on August ninth both the team and individual jumping phases are held.
The 2016 U.S. Eventing Team is: Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) and Caroline Moran, Simon Roosevelt, and Thomas Tierney’s Fernhill Cubalawn, a 2003 Holsteiner gelding. Lauren Kieffer (Middleburg, Va.) and Team Rebecca, LLC’s Veronica, a 2002 KWPN mare. Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and Blackfoot Mystery Syndicate, LLC’s Blackfoot Mystery, a 2004 Thoroughbred gelding. Clark Montgomery (Tetbury, England) and Holly and William Becker, Kathryn Kraft, and Jessica Montgomery’s Loughan Glen, a 2003 Irish Sport Horse gelding
Dressage is considered by many as horse ballet. Performed on the flat, riders and horses exhibit the highest level of intricate movements at the walk, trot and, canter. The team grand prix competitions are from August 10 through 11 with the Grand Prix Special on August 12. On August 15 the Individual Grand Prix Freestyle will be held.
The U.S. Dressage Team is: Allison Brock (Loxahatchee, Fla.) with Claudine and Fritz Kundrun’s Rosevelt, a 2002 Hanoverian stallion. Laura Graves (Geneva, Fla.) and her own Verdades, a 2002 KWPN gelding. Kasey Perry-Glass (Orangevale, Calif.) with Diane Perry’s Dublet, a 2003 Danish Warmblood gelding. Steffen Peters (San Diego, Calif.) with Four Winds Farm’s Legolas 92, a 2002 Westphalian gelding.
Jumping is the highest level of jumping competition, held at the Grand Prix level. Horses and riders race against the clock over large obstacles, between 5-6 feet tall, wiht the least amount of faults. the action begins on Aug. 14th with the Individual Qualification rounds with Team Qualification on Aug. 16th. Team Finals are on Aug. 17th and Aug. 19th for Individual final round and final round B.
The U.S. Jumping Team is: Lucy Davis (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Old Oak Farm’s Barron, a 2004 Belgian Warmblood gelding. Kent Farrington (Wellington, Fla.) and Amalaya Investments’ Voyeur, a 2002 KWPN gelding. Beezie Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and Abigail Wexner’s Cortes ‘C’, a 2002 Belgian Warmblood gelding. McLain Ward (Brewester, N.Y.) with Double H Farm and Francois Mathy’s HH Azur, a 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare.
2016 Olympics — Did You Know?
The United States Equestrian Federation has compiled this very informative guide to the Olympics for the US Team. Did you know that:
*The official U.S. Dressage Team veterinarian is Dr Richard “Rick” Mitchell, part owner of Fairfield Equine Associates, located right here in Newtown. This will be his sixth Olympics as an official veterinarian.
*Absolutely “no wood” can be brought into Brazil. It made me think about all the wood around the barn. What about brushes with wooden backs, do they have to get new brushes made of plastic only? They warned that you cannot bring your wooden tack truck to Rio.
*Olympic athletes are always issued team apparel to wear during opening ceremonies, closing ceremonies, and during the competitions. Horses also get their own team apparel to wear anytime they are outside of the stable area. These include USA scrim sheet, stable blanket, rain sheet, saddle pad, and ear bonnet (optional).
*And while the rider athletes will stay in the Olympic Village with the rest of the Olympians, there is also a Grooms’ Village near the horses for those caring for the equine athletes. And while only the athletes may eat at the Olympic Village, the grooms are given breakfast at the equine venue and nearby hotels.
If You Go Or Watch On TV
To purchase tickets visit cosport.com which is the Rio 2016 Authorized Ticket Reseller for the United States.
According to USEF here are some Important Notes Regarding the Zika Virus:
*The equestrian venue (Deodoro) has been a closely controlled environment since April 2015. It has been, and continues to be, subjected to intense vector control measures.
*There is no indication that the Zika Virus affects horses.
And if you want to watch the equestrian events live streaming or on TV go to the NBC Olympics equestrian webpage.
Lisa Peterson — lifelong equestrian, show dog breeder and award-winning podcaster, communications professional and journalist — writes about horses, hounds and history on her website. Reach her via e-mail here.