Tag Archives: Olympic Games

US Olympic Dressage Team Gives Strong Start at Rio Olympic Games

Allison Brock and Rosevelt (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Dressage competition got underway Wednesday at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, as 29 of the total 60 competitors representing 19 countries took to the main arena under cloudy skies at the Deodoro Olympic Equestrian Center to perform in the Grand Prix, the first test in the team competition. The U.S. team, going eighth in the order of the 11 nations, finished day one in fourth place after two superb performances from Allison Brock and Kasey Perry-Glass. Leading the team standings is Germany, while The Netherlands sits in second place, and Great Britain holds third.

Brock (Loxahatchee, Fla.), competing in her first Olympic Games, had the position of riding as pathfinder for the U.S. but kept her cool aboard Rosevelt, a 14-year-old Hanoverian stallion owned by Claudine and Fritz Kundrun. The pair has had much success at the international level over the past three years, both in the U.S. and Europe, and it clearly showed. With the exception of a mistake in the canter two-tempi changes, they executed a fluid test with several high points. They received many scores of 8 for their transitions and extended work in the walk and trot from the seven judges including Peter Holler (K), Susanne Baarup (E), Gary Rockwell (H), Stephen Clarke (C), Maribel Alonso (M), Thomas Lang (B), and Eddy de Wolff van Westerrode (F). The pair earned a score of 72.686%, placing it tied for seventh in the individual standings.

“Rosevelt felt great as he cantered in and halted, and his first trot extension felt amazing!” said a delighted Brock after her test. “He was trying really hard, and I have to give him a lot of credit as it’s both of our first Olympic Games and it’s a lot to be here, but he handled everything quite well. He has a super walk, and his trot work is really strong, but mostly he’s really fluid and consistent. The mistake in the two-tempis was totally my fault. My mind drifted when I heard the music playing in the background and I lost count. He’s a very sweet horse; he always tries to be a gentleman and is really reliable. He likes it here and likes this venue. I’m really pleased with how it went today.”

Kasey Perry-Glass and Dublet (Shannon Brinkman Photo)
Kasey Perry-Glass and Dublet (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Second to go for the U.S. were Perry-Glass (Orangevale, Calif.) and Dublet, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Diane Perry. Going late in the day, the Olympic first-timers made the most of their moment in the spotlight, earning a score of 75.229% to hold fifth place individually. Despite some noise distractions, the pair performed a smooth and elegant test, which earned many high marks, including multiple 8s from the judges for their passage work and flying changes. The pair also scored several 9s for movements including the right canter pirouette, piaffe-passage transition, and the final halt and salute.

“I was really proud of Dublet today,” said Perry-Glass with a smile. “He hung in there really well for me, especially with all the unexpected noise. To be able to keep him focused and together was a challenge for both of us, but he was there and ready to go! I really thought his piaffe-passage tour was really good, as were his two-tempis. We’re just fine-tuning the little things as it’s our first year competing in the Grand Prix internationally, so we’re just thrilled to be where we are!”

Competing for the U.S. in the second half of the Grand Prix on Thursday is Steffen Peters with Legolas 92, riding at 10:54 a.m. ET. Laura Graves and Verdades will anchor the U.S. team, entering the arena at 2:06 p.m. ET.

Leading the Individual standings after day one is Germany’s Dorothee Schneider with Showtime FRH on 80.986%, while countryman Sonke Rothenberger and Cosmo hold second with a score of 77.329%. Great Britain’s Fiona Bigwood and Orthilia are in third place on 77.157%.

The dressage team competition continues tomorrow, Thursday, August 11. The top six teams from the Grand Prix will move forward to Friday’s Grand Prix Special, after which each team’s top three scores from both tests are added together in order to decide the Team medals. The top 18 competitors from the Grand Prix Special will go on to compete in the individual final, the Grand Prix Freestyle, on Monday, August 15. Only three athletes from each nation are eligible compete in the Freestyle.

Grand Prix day two morning live stream
Grand Prix day two afternoon live stream

Keep up-to-date on equestrian competition at the Rio Olympic Games on the USEFNetwork.com. Coverage includes links to live streams and TV coverage, athlete bios, behind-the-scenes photos, and more.

Classic Communications/USEF Communications Department

Emotional Roller-Coaster on Opening Day of Olympic Dressage

Japan’s Akane Kuroki. (Richard Juillart/FEI)

Rio de Janeiro (BRA), 10 August 2016 – Great tests from both Dorothee Schneider and Sonke Rothenberger have given Team Germany a firm hold at the top of both the individual and team leaderboards after the opening day of Olympic Dressage at Deodoro Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro (BRA). The Grand Prix is the first of the two competitions that will decide the team medals, and 29 of the 60 competing horse-and-rider combinations took their turn during the day.

It was an emotional roller-coaster from the outset, 38-year-old Akane Kuroki bursting into tears of relief and delight after posting a score of 66.90 with Toots to get the Japanese effort underway. There was deep disappointment for The Netherlands’ Adelinde Cornelissen who had to retire when her great campaigner, the 19-year-old gelding Parzival, was way under par, however. The pair who took team bronze and individual silver at London 2012 began their performance, but the 37-year-old rider felt her faithful gelding was unable to show his best.

“It started yesterday morning. I came to the stable and his cheek was completely swollen and it appeared he was bitten by a spider or a mosquito or whatever… he had a fever, so we managed to get that down yesterday – eight or nine hours on liquids and everything was good, his temperature was down again, and this morning also. So I discussed it with the team vet and he said go ahead, give it a try, but then he felt totally empty in the ring, and I didn’t want to push him through this – he didn’t deserve that,” Cornelissen explained.

Next to go, however, Rothenberger was on the opposite end of the adrenalin spectrum when rocketing right to the top of the scoreboard with some fabulous work with a gelding more than half Parzival’s age, the nine-year-old Cosmo. “I’m very happy; he’s the youngest horse in the field and I am one of the youngest riders!” said the 21-year-old. He’s very excited to be representing his country at the Olympic Games. “It’s amazing to be part of this team – I hoped to take the pressure away from the others with a good score,” he said. He has built up a great relationship with his Cosmo and clearly admires this horse. “I first rode dressage in pony classes then I went jumping, but Cosmo got me back into dressage. I thought jumping a 1.60m fence was the only thing that could give me goose-bumps but Cosmo proved I was wrong about that!” he explained after scoring 77.329.

Then Fiona Bigwood set British hearts racing with a great test from Orthilia that put her, temporarily, into second spot. It’s a real family outing in Rio for the 46-year-old rider who has brought her three young children and whose husband, Anders Dahl is competing for Sweden, another of the 11 nations contesting the team medals. Bigwood competes with a patch over her right eye following an injury that seriously damaged her sight two years ago. But she steered her 11-year-old mare to a great mark of 77.157.

“That’s a lovely score on the board for the English team,” she said after leaving the ring. Talking about her restricted vision, she explained, “In the warm-up, I can’t see to the right so I get nervous. It took some time to adjust, but I’m used to it now and this mare is wonderful. I wouldn’t be here riding any other horse.”

With Cornelissen unable to contribute to the team effort, a good result was required from her Dutch team-mate Edward Gal, and he didn’t disappoint when putting 75.271 on the board.  His horse, Voice, is sensitive, so he said, “In the first part of the test, I was bit careful because he wanted to run away!” But he was still thinking about Cornelissen’s disappointment – “I tried to comfort her, but it was very sad for her,” he said.

Schneider was last to go with Showtime FRH, and from the moment the pair came before the judges the scores went into overdrive, a handsome 80.986 putting them way out in front.

“I have this horse since he was three and at the beginning of this year he turned a corner and he said, ‘I am here!’ The feeling you get with him is amazing outside in the warm-up, and then when you come into the arena, he says ‘I want to do this with you’ and he goes in a light way. It’s easy; you don’t have to use pressure, although in the left pirouette there was a little misunderstanding today, but I’m very happy!” said the 47-year-old who was a member of the German silver-medal-winning team at London 2012.

The Grand Prix continues Thursday and is followed by the Grand Prix Special on Friday which will decide the team title. As Thursday’s action begins, Germany’s Schneider and Rothenberger hold the first two places followed by Bigwood in third and Gal in fourth, while Germany tops the team rankings with The Netherlands in second and Great Britain in third.

Quotes:

Mary Hanna AUS – “I’m thrilled with him; this was a personal best for him; he has only done five Grand Prix in his life! He was a bit of a child delinquent; he once bolted with me at a show and it really wasn’t nice; he was not so easy and reliable; he’s dumped a few people in his time, but he’s a very well-behaved young man now!

“I used to be an event rider. I had a dressage horse and I tried to event him, but he didn’t like to gallop and he fell in a ditch one day and cut his face, so I decided we should stick to dressage. I train with Patrik Kittel (SWE) and I’m based in Munster (GER); we have a little Aussie community there!”

Sonke Rothenberger – “We got Cosmo at four years old and my father rode him until he was six and then I took him over. He’s a very special horse.”

Full results here

Equestrian in the Olympics

Equestrian sport has been part of the Olympic Games since 1912. Team and individual medals are awarded in three disciplines – Dressage, Eventing and Jumping. Uniquely across the Olympic Movement, men and women compete against each other for all the medals in equestrian sport.

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

Rio 2016:

Anja Krabbe
Venue Media Manager
anja.krabbe@rio2016.com
+55 (21) 97556 1218

FEI:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

US Dressage Team Prepared for Competition at Rio Olympic Games

Kasey Perry-Glass and Dublet (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Dressage competition at the Rio Olympic Games got underway at the Deodoro Olympic Equestrian Center Monday with the horse inspection. A total of 59 athlete-and-horse combinations representing 18 countries are set to compete in Wednesday’s Grand Prix, the first test in team competition. The U.S. has drawn eighth in the order of 11 teams and will be represented by Allison Brock, Laura Graves, Kasey Perry-Glass, and Steffen Peters. The U.S. team is led by U.S. Dressage Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover, a six-time Olympian and winner of four Team Bronze medals.

“I have been thrilled with all of the riders,” said Dover. “Individually, Allison Brock and Rosevelt have been ramping up day-by-day to show more and more brilliance. Kasey Perry-Glass has been thrilling to watch and truly, for a young person at her first Olympic Games, the learning curve, even here during the last week, has been awesome to watch. Verdades [ridden by Laura Graves], has scope beyond scope and Laura is paying the greatest attention to the minutia, the details that tend to set apart the very, very best from everybody else with nice horses. And then of course Steffen Peters, here at his fourth Olympic Games with Legolas, has actually found new strengths, new scope, and abilities and so I’m just very, very hopeful and really proud to be a part of their team.”

U.S. team will compete in the following order.

Day one, Wednesday, August 10: Leading the way for the U.S. will be Brock (Loxahatchee, Fla.), a first-time Olympian, who will ride Claudine and Fritz Kundrun’s Rosevelt, a 2002 Hanoverian stallion. This longtime partnership has been developing at the Grand Prix level over the past three years with consistent successes in the U.S. and Europe. This spring at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, the pair capped off the season by winning the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special in the CDI3* presented by Stillpoint Farm.

Perry-Glass (Orangevale, Calif.), a first-time Olympian, will be next in the order with Diane Perry’s Dublet, a 2003 Danish Warmblood gelding. Following a solid career at the Small Tour level, the pair moved up to the Grand Prix this winter and has had remarkable success in just a few short months. The pair placed in the top three in all of its 2016 CDI outings during the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, including as members of the Gold medal-winning The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team at CDIO3* Wellington presented by Stillpoint Farm, where they also won Individual Silver. This summer in Europe, Perry-Glass and Dublet won the Grand Prix at CDIO5* Compiègne as part of the Gold-medal winning The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team.

Steffen Peters and Legolas 92 (Shannon Brinkman Photo)
Steffen Peters and Legolas 92 (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Day two, Thursday, August 11: First in the ring for the U.S. on day two of the Grand Prix will be Peters (San Diego, Calif.), a four-time Olympic veteran with a Team Bronze medal (1996). He will ride Four Winds Farm’s Legolas 92, a 2002 Westphalian gelding. Last summer, Peters and Legolas 92 represented the U.S. at the Pan American Games, winning Team and Individual Gold medals. This winter, the pair won in all of its West Coast CDI outings. Competing in Europe this summer, the pair won the Grand Prix at CDI4* Roosendaal.

Anchoring the U.S. team will be first-time Olympian, Graves (Geneva, Fla.), riding her own Verdades, a 2002 KWPN gelding. 2015 was an immensely successful year for the pair as it finished fourth in its first Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final appearance, earned Team Gold and Individual Silver medals at the Pan American Games, and was crowned The Dutta Corp./USEF Dressage Grand Prix National Champions. Competing at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival earlier this year, the duo won both the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special at the CDI5* presented by Diamante Farms, the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle at the CDI4* presented by Havensafe Farm, and were members of the Gold medal-winning The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team at the CDIO3* Wellington presented by Stillpoint Farm, where they also won Individual Gold. This summer, the pair was a part of the Gold-medal winning The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team at CDIO5* Compiègne, and the Silver-medal winning U.S. team at CDIO5* Rotterdam where they also topped the Grand Prix Special.

The first test in team competition, the Grand Prix, runs August 10-11. The second and final test of team competition, the Grand Prix Special, will follow on August 12. Dressage competition concludes on August 15, with the Grand Prix Freestyle.

Keep up-to-date on equestrian competition at the Rio Olympic Games on the USEFNetwork.com. Coverage includes links to live streams and TV coverage, athlete bios, behind-the-scenes photos, and more.

Classic Communications/USEF Communications Department

French Win Eventing Team Gold; Germany’s Jung Takes Second Successive Individual Title

(L to R) the silver medallists from Germany Michael Jung, Sandra Auffarth, Julia Krajewski and Ingrid Klimke; the French gold medallists Thibaut Vallette, Astier Nicolas, Karim Laghouag and Mathieu Lemoine; the bronze medallists from Australia, Christopher Burton, Shane Rose, Sam Griffiths and Stuart Tinney. (Arnd Bronkhorst/FEI)

Rio de Janeiro (BRA), 9 August 2016 – France claimed team gold and Germany’s Michael Jung took his second successive individual title as Olympic Eventing drew to a close at Deodoro Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro (BRA).

Team

In a cliff-hanger of a contest it came down to the last four into the arena to decide the team result, and it was the defending champions from Germany who claimed silver with Australia slipping from the overnight lead to take the bronze.

The Australians were in charge as the day began, but with only a 4.5 point advantage over their New Zealand neighbours while the French were just 6.2 further adrift and the Germans were stalking the leading pack over 11 penalty points further behind. France was the only one of the leading sides to go into the closing phase with a fully intact four-member team, however, and in the end that proved the clincher.

The 12-fence track tested the turning skills of horses that took on one of the toughest Olympic Eventing cross-country tracks of all time Monday. But most were jumping fresh and well again and the pure quality of the four French horses was key to success.

Australia’s grip on the lead was severely undermined by a cricket score for their opener, Stuart Tinney, whose horse Pluto Mio kicked out four fences and also went over the time-allowed to collect a very expensive 17 faults. This dropped them into bronze medal spot, and left New Zealand out in front despite a single mistake from opener Jonelle Price with Faerie Dianimo. The French were already looking very comfortable after fabulous rounds from both Karim Laghouag with Entebbe and Thibaut Vallette riding Qing de Briot, but they began to look vulnerable when Mathieu Lemoine’s Bart L got tired towards the end of the track and left two fences on the floor for eight faults.

Enhanced

The Kiwis’ lead, meanwhile, was further enhanced by a great clear from Clarke Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation, while the Australians held their ground when Sam Griffiths returned on a zero score with Paulank Brockagh. Their chance of gold was gone, but they would hold onto bronze if the man who has led the individual standings throughout the competition so far, Christopher Burton, could bring Santano II home without incident.

As the final moments played out, however, the Germans loomed large on the horizon when Sandra Auffarth (Opgun Louvo), Ingrid Klimke (Bob) and Michael Jung (Sam) posted three superb clears to pile the pressure on the three teams ahead of them. The French didn’t flinch, and a foot-perfect run from their four-line rider, Astier Nicolas with Piaf de B’Neville, meant they posted a finishing score of 169.0 penalties.

It was still all to play for as legendary double Olympic gold medallist Mark Todd came in as anchorman for New Zealand, but a heart-wrenching 16 faults with Leonidas ll sent Kiwi chances crashing down. Their finishing score of 178.80 left them almost three penalty points behind the Germans and now only an Australian meltdown could keep them on the podium.

And the drama lasted to the very end. Australia’s Burton and Santano picked up eight faults to round up the Aussie finishing score to 175.30 for bronze, relegating New Zealand to fourth, 3.5 points adrift.

Record

Todd was tipped for the sixth Olympic medal of his career which would have been a New Zealand record. “That will be one of the biggest lows in my career. The whole week was a roller coaster ride. After yesterday’s cross country we were still in with a chance and then – boom – you’re out. I was hoping to go out on a high. Leonidas is such a good jumper but he got wound up when going into the arena. I thought he would settle but he got more and more rattled,” said the shattered 60-year-old Kiwi legend.

The French, however, were on a high. This is the first gold and only the second medal of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games for the country that has only won two previous team titles in Eventing – a bronze in Rome in 1960 and gold at Athens in 2004.

“This is fantastic,” a clearly thrilled Astier Nicolas said afterwards. “There was a lot of pressure going into this, and really I just had to do what I could for the team. But even though there was a lot of pressure, I didn’t let it bother me. I really enjoyed my round and I am very happy. It’s just fantastic. It is an immense pleasure to be part of this team that has won gold for France. It is something we have waited for a long time, and it’s amazing!”

Individual

Jung (34) matched the record set by New Zealand’s Mark Todd at Los Angeles (USA) in 1984 and Seoul (KOR) in 1988 when making it a back-to-back double of individual Olympic Eventing golds. And, also like Todd, he rode the same horse that carried him to both team and individual glory in London (GBR) four years ago – Sam.

The defence of his London 2012 title didn’t get off to the perfect start as he had to settle for fifth place after the opening dressage phase, but a sensational cross-country run with the 16-year-old Sam Monday moved him up into second behind overnight leaders, Australia’s Christopher Burton and Santano II.

Having contributed to his country’s team silver medal winning performance with a copybook showjumping performance, Jung moved into pole position and couldn’t be toppled. And in a nail-biting finale, it was French team gold medallist Nicolas Astier who took the silver with Piaf de B’Neville, while America’s Philip Dutton and Mighty Nice moved up from fourth to take the bronze.

Man to beat

Jung came to Rio as the man to beat, with not just team and individual gold from London 2012 on his career record but also the individual world title from Kentucky (USA) in 2010 and team gold at Normandy (FRA) in 2014 along with three consecutive double-European titles. He’s long been a phenomenon, and the result further confirms his supremacy as one of the most successful athletes in the history of this super-tough sport.

Burton had already dropped to third as the individual final action began with the top 25 jumping in reverse order of merit, and two fences down cost him a podium placing, allowing Dutton to move up the order in the closing stages. The 52-year-old American made just one mistake with the aptly-named Mighty Nice to post a final score of 51.80.

Frenchman Astier Nicolas was lying in silver medal spot having helped secure team gold for his country with another fabulous another fabulous ride on his 13-year-old gelding Piaf de B’Neville. In 11th after dressage, his cross-country clear Monday sent him rocketing up to third individually, and another fault-free effort Tuesday moved him up another place in the race for the ultimate prize. An uncharacteristically wild jump at the third fence added four jumping penalties and two time faults, but even though that moved their scoreline up to 48.00 they still held the lead as Jung returned to the arena.

Cooler

But they don’t come any cooler than the man from the Black Forest and he made it look like a walk in the park as he crossed the finish line having added no penalties to his first-day total of 40.90, leaving him 7.1 penalties clear of Nicolas, the biggest winning margin in Eventing since the Barcelona 1992 Olympics when Australia’s Matt Ryan and Kibah Tic Toc won by a margin of 11.2.

“It’s the second time to win with Sam and that makes it even more special. I couldn’t be more proud of him,” Jung said. “He is so strong; on the cross-country he can run every hill, jump every fence, but in showjumping he’s very nervous and it’s hard for him to concentrate. He jumped better in the second round than in the first. Yesterday it was difficult for me in the warm-up because of the people and the noise, but today the preparation was much nicer because it was quiet and he could settle.” And he added without hesitation when asked where he goes from here: “Well, Tokyo 2020 of course, and the Europeans and maybe the world title along the way!”

The final leaderboard showed Australia’s Sam Griffiths and Christopher Burton in fourth and fifth places followed by New Zealand’s Clarke Johnstone (Balmoral Sensation) and Mark Todd (Leonidas ll) in sixth and seventh while China’s Alex Hua Tian sent a ripple of excitement across China when slotting into eighth place. “I can’t believe it. I came here hoping to be in the top 20 – I never imagined this!” said the 26-year-old rider.

Quotes:

Phillip Dutton (USA) – individual bronze: “I wasn’t actually expecting medal today. I was pretty happy with fourth. But now I’m pretty ecstatic about third!”

Christopher Burton (AUS) – team bronze: “Santano is a young green horse and today he showed his greenness a little bit. But he’s been far and above our expectations of what we thought when we bought him. So we’re still very happy.”

Ingrid Klimke (GER) – team silver: “My own personal aim was to finish like I sat in dressage, because I was very pleased with the dressage and now with the jumping. Yesterday… I would lie if I said we celebrated with a few beers last night (after cross-country). But on the other hand I must say I think my horse is a hero because he did so many wonderful things. There was just this one moment that there was a mistake.”

Talking about being with other event riders: “It’s always a big hug – yesterday from the people who were disappointed. There were many of them, so we were a good group. We were saying, ‘It was bad luck today or whatever, but this was not our day.’ And others we congratulated because we saw that they did wonderful rounds. It’s just great to be together and have these special moments.”

Sam Griffiths (AUS) – team bronze: “To go clear in an Olympic stadium is always a great thrill. The team competition was so tight; I knew I needed to go clear. But, to be honest, I’m sitting on what I think is one of the best horses in the world (mare Paulank Brockagh). I just sort of have to tell her where to go and she did the rest for me! Winning medals is great because it means we can bring our sport to the wider public. Obviously winning Badminton is also fantastic, but to take a sport to a wider community is always great.”

Alex Hua Tian (CHN): “The Don (Don Geniro) was very special this week. He is only nine years old and very inexperienced. This was a great week for me, for equestrian sport and for China. The hard work starts now with raising funds for the next four years. It does not stop. I will go home and have young horses to qualify for their (young horse eventing) world championships (at Le Lion d’Angers, France). Other riders will think about Badminton or Burghley but for me it will be Tokyo.”

Astier Nicolas (FRA) – team gold and individual silver: “It’s been a long wait to bring team gold back to France and victory tastes good today. I was lucky my horse felt very good even if he was tired after the cross-country. In the first round today I knew I had to jump clear for us to win, and that’s why I was not so good in the second round – it was just bad riding! My horse (Piaf De B’Neville) has been bought by a good owner of mine who then built a syndicate for him, with family and friends, so it’s amazing to have an owner as a team-mate! We have only nice people around him and he is the horse of my life, a good friend for me and a very very nice person!”

Full results here:

https://www.rio2016.com/en/equestrian-eventing-team-jumping-final
https://www.rio2016.com/en/equestrian-standings-eq-eventing-individual

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

Rio 2016:

Anja Krabbe
Venue Media Manager
anja.krabbe@rio2016.com
+55 (21) 97556 1218

FEI:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

Phillip Dutton Wins Eventing Individual Bronze Medal at Rio Olympic Games

Phillip Dutton and Mighty Nice (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – U.S. Olympic Eventing Team member Phillip Dutton capped off three days of brilliant riding by winning the Individual Bronze medal at the Rio Olympic Games. Dutton finished on a score of 51.80. Michael Jung of Germany won the Individual Gold medal for the second consecutive time and Nicolas Astier of France took home the Silver medal.

The energy and excitement for the final day of the eventing competition washed over the Olympic Equestrian Center at Deodoro on Tuesday. There were 45 athlete-and-horse combinations that contested Guilherme Jorge’s show jumping course that determined the team medals and the 25 individuals who would advance to the individual finals. Dutton and Boyd Martin, who sat in fifth and sixth, respectively, following cross-country, rode well in the first round, both qualifying for the finals. Dutton was in strong medal position, moving up to fourth entering the final.

Jorge’s first show jumping course was open and inviting, although a combination fence at the beginning and a triple toward the end of the course caused many unnerving moments as rails danced out of the jump cups. Costly rails and time faults shifted the team standings and final positions on the podium. When all was done, France took home the Team Gold medal with a final score of 169.00, Germany secured the Silver with a score of 172.80, and Australia won the Bronze with a score of 175.30. With only two riders completing the cross-country phase, the U.S. team finished in 12th place overall.

In the first round, Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) and HND Group’s Mighty Nice took advantage of the turns and gave a professional performance, adding only one time fault and no jumping penalties. This secured his advancement into the finals and put him in medal contention in fourth place with a score of 47.80.

“He jumped great,” said Dutton after that first round. “He bumped his stifle and was not quite as loose as he usually is. My curb chain let go as I was coming to the first fence, not an ideal way to start, but he jumped beautifully.”

With the team medals decided, the final individual round began with a course consisting of nine fences. Dutton’s final round with Mighty Nice was strong but not clean as a rail down came down at fence 4c giving them a final score of 51.8. They would need faults from those ahead of them to make it to the medal podium. When Australia’s Christopher Burton on Santano II, the leader following cross-country, dropped rails at the final two fences, Dutton was boosted onto the podium for the Bronze medal to go along with the two team Gold medals he won for his native Australia in 1996 and 2000.

“It’s been a great weekend for the horse. It’s a great achievement for him. The guy who owned him, Bruce Duchossois, would be proud of him,” said Dutton. “I was happy with fourth but ecstatic with third! It was a grand achievement, although a disappointing day for the team yesterday. So we just had to get up and do our best today. I’m so pleased with the horse; I don’t think I’ve had a horse with a bigger heart. He genuinely loves the sport.”

Boyd Martin and Blackfoot Mystery (Shannon Brinkman Photo)
Boyd Martin and Blackfoot Mystery (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and Blackfoot Mystery Syndicate LLC’s Blackfoot Mystery also rode well in the individual qualifying round and were able to secure a spot in the individual finals. Dropping rails at fences 6 and 7, they finished with a three-phase score of 58.90 and entered the individual finals in seventh place overall.

The final round proved troublesome for Martin and Blackfoot Mystery as they had rails down at fences 4b, 5, and the wall at the final fence, number 9. The three rails down dropped Martin to 16th place with a final score of 70.90.

“Obviously I wanted to jump a bit better,” Martin said. “He was a little bit tired yesterday and, to be quite honest, I think I overrode the first rail (in round one) and tried too hard to make him jump it clear and shut his jump down a little bit. The last pole he had he just felt a little bit tired and weary. He really gave 110% yesterday, so he’s not quite as fresh as he usually is, but he still did gut it out in there today.

“It’s disappointing but I have to say this horse tried so hard all weekend. He just had nothing left in the last round. He’ll get stronger and I think it’s still an impressive result. I am very pleased for Phillip. That was huge effort. What a legend!”

In winning his second consecutive Individual Gold medal, Michael Jung of Germany, riding Sam FBW, ended on his dressage score of 40.90, the only rider to do so. Astier Nicolas of France, riding Piaf De B’Neville, took Silver with a score of 48.0.

NBCOlympics.com Livestream

Keep up-to-date on equestrian competition at the Rio Olympic Games on the USEFNetwork.com. Coverage includes links to live streams and TV coverage, athlete bios, behind-the-scenes photos, and more.

Classic Communications/USEF Communications Department

FEI Reaches Out to New Olympic Equestrian Sports Fans at Rio 2016

Fans enjoy a ride on Biscuit, the one-tonne mechanical horse at the FEI Equestrian Playground in the Deodoro Fan Park at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (FEI/ Martin Angerbauer)

Rio de Janeiro (BRA), 8 August 2016 – With the long-awaited Rio 2016 Olympic Games already well underway and the Eventing athletes heading across country in their campaign for Olympic glory, the FEI is reaching out to fans across the globe – current and new – to showcase the beauty and magic of the sport.

An innovative Equestrian Playground in the Deodoro Olympic Fan Park in Rio, a brand new website dedicated to fans, and a host of exciting #TwoHearts content for everyone to share, are all taking the sport out to the masses, including a funky video Hoofloose – cut loose, showing the Olympic disciplines in a whole new light.

Over the next few weeks in Rio tens of thousands of people will have the opportunity to experience the magic of equestrian first hand at the FEI Equestrian Playground in the Deodoro Fan Zone. The main attraction is a life sized mechanical horse – called Biscuit – which stole the show.

The one-tonne simulator, normally used by professional and amateur riders to perfect their skills and balance using sensors linked to video screens, was shipped from UK-based specialists Racewood to Rio, and is a first at an Olympic Games.

Fans around the world have now have a wealth of content at their fingertips at fei.org, where a new entry point caters to the wider equestrian community and new fans by offering a 360˚ view of equestrian sport. From lifestyle and fashion to the many personalities that make our sport unique or even the rich heritage that underpins equestrian history – we have a lot to celebrate and share. And all the technical content is still there at Inside FEI.

The “Hoofloose” music video unmasks the three Olympic equestrian disciplines of Jumping, Dressage and Eventing in a unique and contemporary way, reaching out to younger audiences. Produced by Lausanne-based communication agency But First, and featuring the Swiss under-18 high jump record holder Alessandro Consenti, the 2009 Swiss trampoline champion Sarah Chilo and Cirque du Soleil performer Stéphane Détraz, the Hoofloose video taps into urban sports including BMX and Parkour to custom-made music by Swiss band ANTIPODS, with a wardrobe inspired by the classic 80s movie Footloose.

All this activity sits under the banner of #TwoHearts, the FEI’s Olympic campaign engaging people around the world through the most unique feature of the sport, the relationship between horse and human.

“It’s a departure from tradition; some might say it’s pretty radical, to be reaching out to new audiences in this way and we’re excited to help unravel some of the mysteries of our sport and enable everyone to get involved,” FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez says. “We have a sport for all ages where men and women compete side by side, and there’s nothing quite like the magical partnership between horse and rider.

“Equestrian sport has been part of the Olympic movement for 104 years and is growing in popularity across the globe, so it is the perfect opportunity to harness the excitement and inspire a whole new world of fans to engage in the sport.”

Of the star attraction, Biscuit, she says: “We’re very excited to be welcoming all the fans to the Equestrian Playground and introduce them to Biscuit. There’s nothing like trying out riding for yourself to understand the thrill and skill involved and Biscuit is the perfect partner to give it a try. It’s the next best thing to having a real horse in the Olympic Deodoro Fan Zone!”

The FEI Equestrian Playground is created by UK-based communications agency Twelfth Man and a team of technical experts from London, Berlin, Brazil, Mexico and is based in the 250m2 pavilion in the Deodoro Fan Zone, where visitors can learn all about horses and the thrills of equestrian sport.

Support Olympic Equestrian using social tags #Equestrian #Eventing #Jumping #Dressage #ParaDressage #Rio2016 #Olympics #TwoHearts

Equestrian in the Olympics

Equestrian sport has been part of the Olympic Games since 1912. Team and individual medals are awarded in three disciplines – Dressage, Eventing and Jumping.

The equestrian events in Rio will be staged in the Deodoro Olympic Park, the second largest Olympic cluster, alongside basketball, BMX, canoe slalom, fencing, hockey, modern pentathlon, mountain biking, rugby sevens and shooting.

The countries represented in Equestrian in Rio are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Palestine, Poland, Peru, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Republic of South Africa, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, USA, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

They will compete in:

Jumping: 27 countries, 15 teams, 75 horse/rider combinations
Eventing: 24 countries, 13 teams, 65 horse/rider combinations
Dressage: 25 countries, 11 teams, 60 horse/rider combinations

FEI Media Contacts:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

Fabulous French Grab Olympic Eventing Team Gold

Astier Nicolas and Piaf de B’Neville. (Arnd Bronkhorst/FEI)

Rio de Janeiro (BRA), 9 August 2016 – France clinched team gold in Olympic Eventing at the Olympic Equestrian Venue at Deodoro Park, with defending champions Germany in silver and Australia slipping from the overnight lead to bronze. In a cliff-hanger of a contest it came down to the last four into the arena to decide the result.

The Australians led as the day began, but with only a 4.5 point advantage over their New Zealand neighbours while the French were just 6.2 further adrift and the Germans were stalking the leading pack over 11 penalty points further behind. France was the only one of the leading sides to go into the closing phase with a fully intact four-member team, however, and in the end that proved the clincher.

The 12-fence track tested the turning skills of horses that took on one of the toughest Olympic Eventing cross-country tracks of all time Monday. But most were jumping fresh and well again and the pure quality of the four French horses was key to success.

Australia’s grip on the lead was severely undermined by a cricket score for their opener, Stuart Tinney, whose horse Pluto Mio kicked out four fences and also went over the time-allowed to collect a very expensive 17 faults. This dropped Australia into bronze medal spot, and left New Zealand out in front despite a single mistake from opener Jonelle Price with Faerie Dianimo. With the luxury of the full four-rider side the French were already looking very comfortable after fabulous rounds from both Karim Laghouag with Entebbe and Thibaut Vallette riding Qing de Briot, but they began to look vulnerable when Mathieu Lemoine’s Bart L got tired towards the end of the track and left two fences on the floor for eight faults.

The Kiwis’ lead, meanwhile, was further enhanced by a great clear from Clarke Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation, while the Australians held their ground when Sam Griffiths returned on a zero score with Paulank Brockagh. Their chance of gold was gone, but they would hold onto bronze if the man who has led the individual standings throughout the competition, Christopher Burton, could bring Santano II home without incident.

As the final moments played out, however, the Germans loomed large on the horizon when Sandra Auffarth (Opgun Louvo), Ingrid Klimke (Bob) and Michael Jung (Sam) posted three superb clears to pile the pressure on the three teams ahead of them. The French didn’t flinch, and a foot-perfect run from Astier Nicolas and Piaf de B’Neville meant France posted a finishing score of 169.0 penalties.

It was still all to play for, and legendary double Olympic gold medallist Mark Todd came in as anchorman for New Zealand, but a heart-wrenching 16 faults with Leonidas ll sent Kiwi chances crashing down. Their finishing score of 178.80 left them almost three penalty points behind the Germans and now only an Australian meltdown could keep them on the podium.

And the drama lasted to the very end. Australia’s Burton and Santano picked up eight faults to round up the Aussie finishing score to 175.30 for bronze, relegating New Zealand to fourth, 3.5 points adrift

Todd was tipped for the sixth Olympic medal of his career which would have been a New Zealand record. “That will be one of the biggest lows in my career. The whole week was a roller coaster ride. After yesterday’s cross country we were still in with a chance and then – boom – you’re out. I was hoping to go out on a high. Leonidas is such a good jumper but he got wound up when going into the arena. I thought he would settle but he got more and more rattled,” said the shattered 60-year-old Kiwi legend.

The French, however, were on a high. This is the first gold and only the second medal of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games for the country that has only won two previous team medals in Eventing – a bronze in Rome in 1960 and gold at Athens in 2004.

“This is fantastic,” a clearly thrilled Astier Nicolas said afterwards. “There was a lot of pressure going into this, and really I just had to do what I could for the team. But even though there was a lot of pressure, I didn’t let it bother me. I really enjoyed my round and I am very happy. It’s just fantastic. It is an immense pleasure to be part of this team that has won gold for France. It is something we have waited for a long time, and it’s amazing.”

And Nicolas could add to that medal tally as he goes into Tuesday afternoon’s top-25 individual final in the silver medal spot.

FEI OLYMPIC HUB: For further information visit the FEI Olympic Hub which is dedicated to all things Olympic and Paralympic, both old and new: here.

Support Olympic Equestrian using social tags #Equestrian #Eventing #Jumping #Dressage #ParaDressage #Rio2016 #Olympics #TwoHearts

Equestrian in the Olympics

Equestrian sport has been part of the Olympic Games since 1912. Team and individual medals are awarded in three disciplines – Dressage, Eventing and Jumping.

The equestrian events in Rio will be staged in the Deodoro Olympic Park, the second largest Olympic cluster, alongside basketball, BMX, canoe slalom, fencing, hockey, modern pentathlon, mountain biking, rugby sevens and shooting.

The countries represented in Equestrian in Rio are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Palestine, Poland, Peru, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Republic of South Africa, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, USA, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

They will compete in:

Jumping: 27 countries, 15 teams, 75 horse/rider combinations
Eventing: 24 countries, 13 teams, 65 horse/rider combinations
Dressage: 25 countries, 11 teams, 60 horse/rider combinations

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

Rio 2016:

Anja Krabbe
Venue Media Manager
anja.krabbe@rio2016.com
+55 (21) 97556 1218

FEI:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

Aussies in Front after Spectacular Olympic Eventing Cross-Country Challenge

Christopher Burton and Santano ll. (FEI/Dirk Caremans)

Rio de Janeiro (BRA), 8 August 2016 – Australia, Eventing team gold medallists in Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000, heads both the team and individual standings in Olympic Eventing after a day of cross-country thrills, spills and surprises at the Rio 2016 Olympic Equestrian Venue in Deodoro, topping the teams on 150.3 and with Christopher Burton in pole position in the individual rankings with Santano II. But their neighbours from New Zealand are stalking them closely going into Tuesday’s final showjumping phase, just 4.5 penalties adrift, with the French in hot pursuit in overnight bronze a further 6.2 off the pace.

Germany, London 2012 team gold medalists and leaders after dressage, dropped to fourth on 172.8, while Britain’s William Fox-Pitt plummeted from pole position on the individual leaderboard to 22nd after a runout at the final element of the Ski Jump at fence 20 on a course that all the riders agreed was an enormous test. The statistics tell the tale of a tough day at the office, with eight of the 13 teams reduced to just three team-members, and USA and Russia no longer in contention after retirements and eliminations.

Only Brazil, France and Great Britain will have full four-member sides as Tuesday’s action begins, provided all goes well in the early-morning horse inspection.

Influential

It was clear from the outset that the 33-fence track would prove hugely influential, and with three of the first eight riders biting the dirt it more than lived up to expectations.

Sam Griffiths got the Australians off to the perfect start, however, when cruising home with the lovely Irish mare, Paulank Brockagh, with only 6.8 time penalties to add to his dressage score, and when Burton and his super-talented nine-year-old, Santano ll, produced one of just three zero scores on the day then things were looking even better. That was reinforced by another great run from Stuart Tinney and Pluto Mio who put just 2.8 time penalties on the board, so even though Shane Rose was eliminated late on the track with CP Qualified they still went out in front at the end of the day.

With New Zealand pathfinder Tim Price out of the picture after a slip-up on the flat, the remaining Kiwis had no choice but to keep it together and they succeeded brilliantly, the legendary Sir Mark Todd (Leonidas ll), Clarke Johnstone (Balmoral Sensation) and Tim Price’s wife, Jonelle Price (Faerie Dianimo) each collecting just time faults to leave them on a scoreline of 154.80.

Meanwhile, Astier Nicolas (Piaf de B’Neville) set up the French with a fault-free run so they could drop the 50.40 collected by Karim Laghouag (Entebbe) who ran into trouble at the first of the two angled brush fences at 12.  Team-mate Thibaut Valette (Qing du Briot) also faulted at this one but came home with a relatively modest 24.4 penalties to add, while Mathieu Lemoine (Bart L), individually third after dressage, took a careful tour of the track, and the final team tally of 161.00 was good enough for overnight third.

Successive

The German dream of a third successive team title took a hammering despite a brilliant clear from defending team and individual Olympic champion Michael Jung (Sam) when Julia Krajewski (Samourai du Thot) was eliminated, so mistakes from Sandra Auffarth (Opgun Louvo) and Ingrid Klimke (Bob) had to be taken into account to drop the team from first to fourth.

But Jung (40.9 penalties) is stalking individual leader, Burton (37.6), very closely and with less than a single fence advantage the 34-year-old Australian will be under extreme pressure Tuesday. Frenchman Nicolas is just 1.1 penalty points further behind in third, while Kiwi Todd (46.0) just shades America’s Philip Dutton (Mighty Nice) on 46.8 and Boyd Martin (Blackfoot Mystery), 50.9 in fifth and sixth. Burton said his horse is “very inexperienced” so he took some longer options on the course, “but the horse is so fast. I couldn’t believe it… he is a rocket!”

Sensationally, Brazil’s Carlos Parro has rocketed up all the way from 33rd place after dressage to hold equal-seventh spot with New Zealand’s Clarke Johnston (Balmoral Sensation). Riding Summon up the Blood, and on a day when so many of the major stars of the sport failed to find the key to the course set by Frenchman Pierre Michelet, the 37-year-old Brazilian, 236th in the world rankings, will be taking on the very best in the battle for Olympic glory. And his team is lying fifth ahead of The Netherlands in sixth as the new day begins.

Unfolded

As the competition unfolded, riders quickly learned from those who went before them, but tackling the many complex questions on the course still proved a difficult task. The reality was that only a speedy run on the direct routes would be fully rewarded, but that meant risking a glance-off or stop if the skinny combination obstacles in particular didn’t come up right. In all there were 15 eliminations and two retirements while 38 of the 65 starters collected fence penalties.

Of the top 18 riders going into Tuesday’s showjumping phase, the first three all completed without adding anything to their dressage score and the remainder picked up only time penalties. In all, 27 horse-and-rider combinations had clear jumping rounds and this group included some very special horses like the 10-year-old gelding, The Duke of Cavan, who carried Japan’s Oiwa Yoshiaki through the extremely challenging double of brush corners at fence six on the direct route to slot into 17th spot, and the super-honest 13-year-old Ranco who wasn’t going to be rushed but who did himself and his Chilean rider, Carlos Lobos Munoz, justice as he carefully negotiated the entire track to finish 30th.

All four of the British contingent collected both fence and time penalties to slot into eighth place and Fox-Pitt was clearly disappointed at his own result. “I had a very good round; it was just annoying that I went off at that third element (of the Ski Jump). It was my fault entirely. I went too quickly I think… and there was no way I could turn him. He didn’t do anything wrong. Watching those first few horses, you could see the course was asking questions all the way, and a lot of them weren’t coming up with the answers,” he added.

Clear

French pathfinder Astier Nicolas was just third to go with Piaf de B’Neville and returned clear within the time. “It was such a good feeling. I realised the pressure – I had to do well for my team-mates, and that’s a huge feeling. I didn’t expect to have such stress and joy for the team competition. It’s a very demanding course and there’s never a place to drop your reins and let him breathe,” he said after moving up from 11th to third place.

Michael Jung’s clear promoted him to silver medal spot, but he said he didn’t have an easy time before he set off on his cross-country run. “The warm-up was difficult on Sam’s nerves. The loudspeakers, horses galloping by, the cheering spectators. He was already sweaty in the stables. He was overly motivated in the beginning but nevertheless wonderful. He gave me a good feeling and was still fresh at the finish line and staying inside the time was easier than I expected,” he explained.

Mark Todd said, “I had instructions from the team to stay safe and clear. Fence six had me worried but it was mostly a perfect round. The horse (Leonidas ll) was brilliant all the way through. I was told to take one long route and briefly thought, ‘do I disregard the order?’ But then I thought I should better behave myself!”

Exceeded

Individual leader, Christopher Burton, said that finding himself in gold medal spot going into the final day “has far exceeded my expectations!” He’s not getting too carried away, however. “My horse is good at dressage and I was told to take one long route and it worked out, so I’m just going to enjoy today and for tomorrow? Whatever….”

Course designer, Pierre Michelet, felt he had provided plenty of different options for the riders to get themselves around the track. “You could change your mind and take a different route if you needed it,” he said, “but I was surprised there were a lot of run-outs and dramatic things happening!”

Sir Mark Todd summed it all up. “I want to thank Pierre for building this course because if he hadn’t then we (New Zealand) wouldn’t be in silver medal position tonight! The course offered alternatives to everyone; it was perfectly jumpable but if you wanted to made a medal position then you had to go direct and fast.”

The next hurdle to cross is the final horse inspection at 08.00 Tuesday morning before the medal-deciding showjumping phase of Eventing which will begin at 10.00.

Quotes:

Mark Todd (NZL), talking about negotiating the “frog” fence at the end of the Fisherman’s Lake complex: “It was a relief to get over that one. The fences are coming quick and fast… two hedges and then the frog – that is hard at 570 metres a minute. There is no room for error.”

Sam Griffiths (AUS): “It was a tough course and I was lucky to be on such a good horse. I am over the moon. What a star. To go straight overall you must be a gold medal rider.”

Tim Price (NZL), talking about his fall on the flat on the way to fence 24 with Ringwood Sky Boy: “You walk the course so many times, you make so many plans and then you go out and fall over! But that is the nature of the game. I had planned the long route (at 23/24) from the beginning and on the first turn it happened. I am so gutted. My horse is absolutely fine.”

Boyd Martin (USA): “I’m so grateful I was on an old racehorse from Kentucky (Blackfoot Mystery)!  He kept fighting the whole way home. It’s one of those courses where you can’t ease up for one second. You’ve got to jump, get through one fence then think about the next.

“I’m relieved. My biggest fear was letting everyone down, especially the group that bought him, my team-mates, and my country. The biggest thing that motivates me is to not fail. I have to say, I thought I was fit but I’m not (laughs). I ride events week after week after week and I’ve never been gassed (short of breath) after cross country, which goes to show how hard I had to work to get him around!”

Astier Nicolas (FRA): “I feel very proud this evening being in third place amongst riders like these! If I ride until Mark’s age I still have 33 years to go! We have three relatively young talents on our team, and it’s great for us all to be here.”

Results here

FEI OLYMPIC HUB: For further information visit the FEI Olympic Hub which is dedicated to all things Olympic and Paralympic, both old and new: here.

Support Olympic Equestrian using social tags #Equestrian #Eventing #Jumping #Dressage #ParaDressage #Rio2016 #Olympics #TwoHearts

Equestrian in the Olympics

Equestrian sport has been part of the Olympic Games since 1912. Team and individual medals are awarded in three disciplines – Dressage, Eventing and Jumping.

The equestrian events in Rio will be staged in the Deodoro Olympic Park, the second largest Olympic cluster, alongside basketball, BMX, canoe slalom, fencing, hockey, modern pentathlon, mountain biking, rugby sevens and shooting.

The countries represented in Equestrian in Rio are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Palestine, Poland, Peru, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Republic of South Africa, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, USA, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

They will compete in:

Jumping: 27 countries, 15 teams, 75 horse/rider combinations
Eventing: 24 countries, 13 teams, 65 horse/rider combinations
Dressage: 25 countries, 11 teams, 60 horse/rider combinations

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

Rio 2016:

Anja Krabbe
Venue Media Manager
anja.krabbe@rio2016.com
+55 (21) 97556 1218

FEI:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

Phillip Dutton and Boyd Martin Stand Fifth and Six after Cross-Country at Rio Olympic Games

Phillip Dutton and Mighty Nice (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Cross-country, the heart of eventing competition, proved to be demanding for the 64 athlete-and-horse combinations who contested Pierre Michelet’s technical course at the Olympic Equestrian Center at Deodoro on Monday. Only three entries finished double-clear, and only 26 crossed the finish without jumping penalties. U.S. veterans Phillip Dutton and Boyd Martin rode brilliantly and stand fifth and sixth, respectively, entering Tuesday’s concluding show jumping phase. Dutton and Martin were the only members of the U.S. team to complete the course, dropping the U.S. from contention in the team competition.

Technical and bold, Michelet’s course was packed with angles, skinnies, and corners, and it radically changed the individual and team standings. Australia now leads the team competition with a score of 150.30, followed by New Zealand in second with 154.80, and France in third with 161.

Riding penultimate in the order, Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) and HND Group’s Mighty Nice set out on course focused on taking the most direct route. They survived a suspenseful bobble at fence 6b, a corner brush, and were able to keep on target and finish with only 3.20 time penalties. Dutton moves forward into tomorrow’s show jumping phase with a score of 46.80.

Boyd Martin and Blackfoot Mystery (Shannon Brinkman Photo)
Boyd Martin and Blackfoot Mystery (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

“That (fence 6b) actually surprised me a bit,” said Dutton. “He must not have quite understood it, and then I held him in and just got it done, and then I was just trying to catch up for time. He jumped beautifully after that. He’s not the fastest horse; he’s not a Thoroughbred, but he fought really hard right to the very end and came home nicely.”

Leading the charge as first out for the U.S. on cross-country was Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) on the Blackfoot Mystery Syndicate LLC’s Blackfoot Mystery. Cruising out of the start box, Martin produced a fast, clean round, and even after taking the alternate route at two obstacles, picked up just 3.20 time penalties. Adding to his dressage score of 47.70, he finished the day with a score of 50.90.

“This was one of the most physical and demanding courses. It was intense,” Martin said. “He [Blackfoot Mystery] is a racehorse from Kentucky, and he kept fighting the whole way home; he tried his heart out for every jump. He has speed and endurance; I’m so pleased with him.” Regarding tomorrow’s show jumping competition, Martin added, “He’s fit and sound. I think I’ll have plenty of horse for tomorrow.”

Second on course for the U.S was Clark Montgomery (Bryan, Texas), piloting Holly and William Becker, Kathryn Kraft, and Jessica Montgomery’s Loughan Glen. Showing signs of a strong ride out of the start box, Montgomery and Loughan Glen experienced a refusal at fence 4, the first water complex, drifting to the left, something which continued to be problematic throughout the course. Montgomery ultimately retired on course at fence 17b, an open corner that caused trouble for many.

First-time Olympian Lauren Kieffer (Middleburg, Va.) with Team Rebecca LLC’s Veronica set out on course looking fit and keen. Their strong ride came to an abrupt end, however, when a hung leg at fence 24, a gate, produced a fall that eliminated them from competition. “It’s certainly not the outcome I wanted,” said Kieffer. “She (Veronica) was being really good and going the direct route. She hit the gate with her right front, and for a second I thought she would save it. My job first and foremost was to get a clean round, and it’s pretty disappointing that I let the team down. She’s fine; she started jigging on the way to the vet box and acting like her normal self.”

Leading the individual standings after the cross-country phase is Australia’s Christopher Burton riding Santano II on his dressage score of 37.60. In second is Michael Jung of Germany with Sam FBW with 40.9 penalties, and Astier Nicolas riding Piaf De B’Neville, representing France, is third on a score of 42.0.

The eventing competition concludes on Tuesday at the Olympic Equestrian Center at Deodoro with show jumping.

NBCOlympics.com Livestream

Keep up-to-date on equestrian competition at the Rio Olympic Games on the USEFNetwork.com. Coverage includes links to live streams and TV coverage, athlete bios, behind-the-scenes photos, and more.

Classic Communications/USEF Communications Department

Rio 2016 Equine Athletes Have World-Class Veterinary Care on Tap in Deodoro

(Right) Brazil’s Dr Thomas Wolff, President of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Veterinary Commission, leads a 130-strong world-class team of veterinary experts, including leading surgeon Carlos Eduardo Veiga (left), anaesthetists, imaging specialists and veterinary professionals from Brazil and around the world at the hi-tech veterinary clinic in the Olympic Equestrian Centre in Deodoro. (Arnd Bronkhorst/FEI).

Rio de Janeiro (BRA), 7 August 2016 – The world’s best equine athletes at the Olympic Equestrian Centre in Deodoro are now poised to help their human companions win medals for eventing, dressage and showjumping, and as they focus on the prize they have access to a hi-tech veterinary facility like no other.

Located at the Deodoro stables, the 1,000 sq metre horse clinic features everything needed to keep over 200 horses from 43 countries fit and well throughout the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, with specialists ready to care for every need around the clock. The clinic will also be fully operational for the Paralympic horses that will come to Deodoro next month.

Manned by a 130-strong team of veterinary surgeons, anaesthetists, imaging specialists and medical professionals from Brazil and around the world, the clinic includes the latest pathology, endoscopy, radiography and ultrasonography technology, as well as a dispensary, emergency surgery facility with padded recovery boxes, and specialist treatment stables.

The clinic offers routine supportive veterinary care and, should any emergency first-aid be required, the specialists are on-site to treat the horses. Nine specially equipped horse ambulances will also be on the venue if any horses need to be transported to the clinic. In addition to the clinic, a network of physiotherapists is on hand to keep the horses in top form, while the horses’ temperatures, food and water intake, and weight are permanently monitored by their grooms and veterinary specialists.

Chilled out

While the Games are taking place in Brazil’s winter season, there can be weather fluctuations, so keeping horses cool in Rio is a major focus.

Horses cope with heat very differently to human athletes because of their size but, just like humans, getting their core temperature down after exercise is key.

Every day, over 46,000 litres of water and 400kg of ice to chill the water is being used across the Olympic Equestrian Centre just for washing down horses after training and competition.

Tents housing banks of cooling fans, used for both the equine and human athletes, are available at the finish of Sunday’s eventing cross country phase, and next to the training and warm-up arenas for jumping and dressage, keeping Rio 2016’s most-muscled athletes chilled.

“The health and wellbeing of our horses is the top priority during these Games,” said Brazil’s Dr Thomas Wolff, President of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Veterinary Commission. “Many of our horses on site have their own team veterinarians, and it’s great to see how impressed they are with our facilities.”

Wolff (65), who will be working directly with Olympic Veterinary Services Manager, Brazil’s Juliana de Freitas (40), has been the Brazilian Equestrian Federation’s head veterinarian for the last 15 years. He was Brazilian team vet at the Seoul and Beijing Olympic Games, and runs his own practice in Sao Paolo specialising in horses competing in the three Olympic disciplines – Jumping, Eventing and Dressage – and racing.

“Our horses always deserve the very best, and at these first Games in South America, they’re getting just that. We know everything about every horse on site every second of the day thanks to our monitoring system, and with the world’s best veterinary care on offer for our horses we’re now very much looking forward to seeing medals won and new Olympic records set in Rio.”

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Equestrian in the Olympics

Equestrian sport has been part of the Olympic Games since 1912. Team and individual medals are awarded in three disciplines – Dressage, Eventing and Jumping.

The equestrian events in Rio will be staged in the Deodoro Olympic Park, the second largest Olympic cluster, alongside basketball, BMX, canoe slalom, fencing, hockey, modern pentathlon, mountain biking, rugby sevens and shooting.

The countries represented in Equestrian in Rio are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Palestine, Poland, Peru, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Republic of South Africa, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, USA, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

They will compete in:

Jumping: 27 countries, 15 teams, 75 horse/rider combinations
Eventing: 24 countries, 13 teams, 65 horse/rider combinations
Dressage: 25 countries, 11 teams, 60 horse/rider combinations

Media Contacts:

Rio 2016:

Anja Krabbe
Venue Media Manager
anja.krabbe@rio2016.com
+55 (21) 97556 1218

FEI:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38