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Aussies in front after spectacular Olympic Eventing cross-country challenge

Rio 2016

FEI News

RIO 2016 OLYMPIC GAMES – DRESSAGE, FREESTYLE

Rio de Janeiro (BRA), 15 August 2016

 

Photo Caption:  Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro secured their second successive individual Olympic Dressage title when winning the Freestyle today. (Dirk Caremans/FEI)

 

Free images for editorial use at http://goo.gl/nRrshc Password fei2016

 

 

Dujardin and her horse with a heart of gold do it again: Individual Dressage Final

by Louise Parkes

 

Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin (31) and the fabulous 14-year-old gelding, Valegro, were in a class of their own when posting an Olympic Dressage record score of 93.857 in the Grand Prix Freestyle to claim their second successive individual title today. The double-gold medallist at London 2012 is the first British woman to retain an individual Olympic title, and she now matches the British record of three gold medals for a female athlete set by cyclist Laura Trott yesterday.

 

On an afternoon of high emotion in Deodoro Olympic Park it was two members of Friday’s gold-medal-winning German team who took silver and bronze, the multi-medalled Isabell Werth (47) and Weihegold scoring 89.071 to finish ahead of world no. 1 Kristina Broring-Sprehe (29) and Desperados on a mark of 87.142.

 

Emotions

 

Dujardin could hardly contain her emotions after securing the victory. “He couldn’t have done anymore” she said of the much-loved horse who is known at home as Blueberry, “I was thinking this could be the last time” she added before bursting into tears. The British partnership hold all the world records in their sport, and today’s result was just short of the Freestyle record of 94.30 per cent they set at Olympia Horse Show in London (GBR) in 2014.

 

The scores really began to soar as the final six combinations took their turn, and IOC President, Thomas Bach, arrived just in time to see Broring-Sprehe set the new standard before Dujardin and Valegro blew that away when rocketing into the lead by a margin of more than six points. America’s Laura Graves produced the performance of her career with Verdades to finish just off the podium on 85.196, her third personal-best result posted at these Games.

 

Record books

 

Werth already entered the record books when her team gold on Friday gave her the edge over the previously most-medalled German Olympic equestrian, Dr Reiner Klimke. Today’s silver brings her tally to a massive 10 Olympic medals during an extraordinary career but, last to go today, she was realistic in her expectations. “I knew Charlotte had 93 or 94 per cent, and Germany already won team gold, so with silver today I couldn’t ask for more. I really enjoy competing against the best, that’s what makes us all better, and Charlotte and Valegro really deserve this” she said.

 

Dujardin talked about her own expectations. “We set the world record at 94 so I knew it was possible, but to come and do it again here at the Olympics is quite special. Today was magic, in London there was no pressure to take gold but today I was nervous because I felt the expectation to deliver. But trotting around the arena before the start, Blueberry felt so good it just put a smile on my face and I just knew it was going to be ok. I felt he knew what I was thinking in there and he looked after me, he did his very best. I have a partnership, a connection with this horse that nothing is going to break, he has a heart of gold”, she said.

 

Lit up

 

The pair have lit up the sport since coming together in 2011. “To think what he has achieved in the last four or five years, it seems almost impossible”, the British rider said, admitting that retirement is “on the cards” for Valegro now. “We’ll discuss it when we get home, and he definitely won’t be doing another Olympic Games or a big championship. I owe it to him to finish at the top”, she pointed out.

 

As for her own plans, marriage is at last on the horizon. Her partner, Dean Wyatt Golding, proposed to her during the London 2012 Games “and I said yes” she explained today, “bless him, he’s been waiting a long time, we’ve been together nine years but it’s definitely going to happen now!” Somehow it seems very likely that a horse with three Olympic gold medals around his neck could be a prominent member of the wedding party.

 

Result here https://www.rio2016.com/en/equestrian-dressage-individual-grand-prix-freestyle

 

Quotes:

 

Patrick Kittel SWE: “I only heard a couple of days ago that I couldn’t use my Stevie Wonder music. We asked a long time ago about using it for the Olympic Games and we only heard back at the very last minute so this music is an old one and Deja isn’t used to it and I think she felt lost in it, and I did too! I’m happy overall, this is an amazing horse, she needs more experience competing over three days but she’s going to be great!”

 

Carl Hester GBR: “I felt the mark matched my test, sometimes you go in there and think you should have gotten more, but not today. We got five more marks than Friday and he was so much more relaxed. He was so quiet I could just let him walk for the last five minutes before we came in.”

 

Charlotte Dujardin GBR: “I’ve only ridden that floorplan once, at Hartpury and we’ve changed it a few times since. There were things I hadn’t even tried before today and that’s why he is so magical!”

 

Laura Graves USA: “I’m thrilled with this score, I didn’t feel like I had quite as much horse as I had in the last couple of days, it’s obviously very hot, we’ve been here now for a day over two weeks, so it’s been a long time to keep our horses going like this.

 

It was another personal best for me, by three percent or something like that, so that’s three personal bests at the Olympic Games!”

 

 

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Aussies in front after spectacular Olympic Eventing cross-country challenge

Rio 2016

FEI NewsRIO 2016 OLYMPIC GAMES – EVENTING CROSS COUNTRY

Rio de Janeiro (BRA), 8 August 2016

 

 

 

 


Aussies in front after spectacular Olympic Eventing cross-country challenge

By Louise Parkes

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 today, 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 tomorrow’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 tomorrow’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 tomorrow. 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 today, 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 tomorrow’s showjumping phase, the first three all completed today 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 today 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 this evening 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 this evening. “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 tomorrow 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 

 

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Klimke secures narrow German lead in Olympic Eventing ahead of intriguing cross-country challenge

RIO 2016 OLYMPIC GAMES – EVENTING DRESSAGE DAY 2FEI News

Rio de Janeiro (BRA), 7 August 2016Rio 2016

 

Klimke secures narrow German lead in Olympic Eventing ahead of intriguing cross-country challenge

by Louise Parkes

 A brilliant ride by Ingrid Klimke maintained Team Germany’s lead as Eventing dressage drew to a close today at Deodoro Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro (BRA). But her score of 39.50 with Bob gives the defending Olympic champions only a fractional advantage of 0.2 penalties over the feisty French side going into tomorrow’s much-anticipated cross-country phase.

In a typical Olympic contest during which some competitors exceeded expectations while others couldn’t find the performances they were looking for today, it was the mark of 39.20 earned by Mathieu Lemoine and the elegant Bart L that put the French right into the frame. So, fourth-last to go, Klimke could feel the pressure, but the 48-year-old daughter of dressage legend Reiner Klimke, who scooped eight Olympic medals during his spectacular career, kept a cool head.  It wasn’t all plain sailing however. “Bob was quite excited outside in the warm-up and he was bucking, but when he came into the arena he just went “OK, here I am, I’m ready – if you want let’s go for it!” she said afterwards.

Little

There’s very little between the leading group of countries going into tomorrow’s cross-country phase, with the Australians lying third, just over four penalty points behind the French, and the British just one more point further adrift in fourth. The Irish moved up a place to fifth thanks to a great performance from Jonty Evans and Cooley’s Rorkes Drift, while New Zealand and USA share sixth.

First-day leader, Great Britain’s William Fox-Pitt, remains at the head of the individual standings with Australia’s Christopher Burton hot on his heels, and Lemoine has slotted into third and Klimke into fourth, while defending double-Olympic champion, Michael Jung, is next in line in fifth place. With less than five points separating the top 10 riders however, and few, if any, expected to avoid time penalties while negotiating the tough track set by French course designer, Pierre Michelet, the stage is set for a tremendous day of cross-country action tomorrow.

“I haven’t seen such a challenging course since Sydney (2000 Olympic Games). My Bobby is fast and he is a mature horse so he should cope well and I’m looking forward to it. But we know that when we go out there we have to do a very precise job tomorrow,” Klimke said this evening.

Surprises

There were surprises of various kinds as the day-two session played out, with some dreams beginning to unravel while others were just starting to take shape. The latter was the case for Jonty Evans who produced a personal-best score at championship level when posting 41.80 with Cooley’s Rorkes Drift. This has left him lying ninth individually and has anchored his country’s chances going into their more-favoured cross-country phase. The judges clearly appreciated the quality of the canterwork of his 10-year-old gelding, one of 11 Irish-bred horses in the field of 65 starters. Evans said, “I’m thrilled to bits with him, he couldn’t have done any more today – he couldn’t have tried any harder.”

China’s Alex Hua Tian enjoyed some moments of brilliance in his test, but had to settle for 42.40 and 12th place at the end of the day with Don Geniro. “I made two big mistakes, the judges really wanted to give me good mark – but I nailed all the changes I think” he said. “The first entry was great, he has a massive extended trot but he took an unbalanced step and broke into canter. It’s very frustrating because it’s the extended that gives him his big scores!” he pointed out.

Belgium’s Karen Donckers slotted herself into seventh individually when posting 41.10 with Fletcha van’t Verahof, but it was two competitive results from Lemoine and Thibaut Valette (Qing du Briot) who put 41.00 on the board, that kept the French team right in the frame. Meanwhile Australia’s Shane Rose really did the business with CP Qualified whose 42.50 ensured the 56.80 posted by Stuart Tinney and Pluto Mio could be discounted.

Tense

Many of the horses were tense coming into the arena today, but Rose reassured his 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding with a big pat on the neck before going to work into the arena, and was rewarded with a very pleasant performance. Last-line British rider, Kitty King, found herself struggling from the start however with the Dutch-bred Ceylor LAN. And another for whom things didn’t go quite the right way was New Zealand’s Jonelle Price whose nine-year-old, Faerie Dianimo, broke into a canter during their early trot-work, eventually posting 49.50. “I was very disappointed” she said, “he was really hot in the warm-up but I was hoping for better in the arena. It was too bad it happened at the Olympic Games, but I’m hoping for a much better day tomorrow.”

Klimke’s vital anchor ride for Germany might also have been blighted by over-enthusiasm, but she managed to get all the fizz under control at just the right moment and pulled off that all-important score that has kept Germany out in front in the race for the team medals. “I was so pleased in the end, he did a fabulous test” she said of the 12-year-old Bob.

Influencing

Every one of the riders agree however that dressage will not be the all-influencing factor in Eventing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Pierre Michelet has thought long and hard about how to challenge the most experienced riders in the sport along with those who have relatively less mileage on the clock.

“I want the best to win without asking too big questions of the less experienced riders. The reputation of the sport is important. I want to challenge the riders and I ask them to find clever solutions for the many options on offer. To get on the podium they will need to be brave, accurate and bold” he said. There has indeed been a lot of course-walking going on over the last few days as riders make their plans and then alter them and settle on new ones that will get them home on the quickest and safest route.

“This course is not about one signature fence, it’s about about clearing all of them! I ask the difficult questions from the start, that is my signature. The first water will be fence no. 4 already. The riders need to be ready from step one.”

Track

Talking about creating the lovely track that wends it way up and downhill through the land that surround the Deodoro military complex he explained, “we started three years ago, first with an architectural firm to map out the track and the walkways and then the track builders started to work with improving the ground. Then we decided the spots for the fences. I came to Brazil in December for a month and the final details took two weeks. The layout was the same for the test event in 2015, but all the fences are new because of the different level of difficulty” he pointed out.

Cross-country day looks set to be a thriller, and it seems it’s going to be a wide-open race for the medals right down to the final day. There is almost nothing between the Germans and French at the head of affairs, and with the British so close to the Australians who are currently in bronze medal spot and Ireland, New Zealand and USA a real threat to any of those ahead of them who might lose their grip there’s no room for error over a course that, the night before they take it on, may well be giving many of the world’s top event riders a restless night’s sleep.

Quotes:

Pippa Funnell (GBR): “I was really, really pleased with his [Billy The Biz] performance, I was thrilled with him. There were a few little bits here and there, but if I’m honest I think I’m being greedy, if I think of where he came from three years ago I’m thrilled.”

Kitty King (GBR): “It was slightly disappointing because he’s capable of a lot better; he did some good work but he just made a couple of uncharacteristic mistakes. One of his highlights is usually his medium trot, but it’s a massive atmosphere for the horse and he’s only nine. Today wasn’t quite what we’d hoped for but hopefully we’ll pull some back tomorrow.”

Pierre Michelet course designer (FRA): When asked about the Ground Jury’s opinion of his cross-country track – “they said it is fantastic, but they are always polite!”

Nick Turner, Irish Chef d’Equipe, talking about the competitive position of his team after dressage: “We are doing great and now we just need to keep a lid on it. They (the Irish team) just need to keep doing what they’re doing. This result is why these four riders were selected.”

Results after Eventing Dressage, Day 2 here

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Britain’s William Fox-Pitt leads after day one in Olympic Eventing in Rio

Rio 2016FEI NewsFEI PRESS RELEASE
Rio de Janeiro (BRA), 6 August 2016
Britain’s William Fox-Pitt leads after day one in Olympic Eventing in Rio
It’s not everyone’s idea of the perfect rehab for a serious head injury, but Britain’s William Fox-Pitt defied all the odds to take the early lead as Olympic Eventing got underway at the Deodoro Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro (BRA) today.
Riding the 16-year-old stallion, Chilli Morning, the man who spent two weeks in a coma after a fall while competing in France last October produced a great score of 37.00 in the opening dressage phase of this sport that is seen as an equestrian triathlon.
“All along Rio has been my target, totally. It was unrealistic, but it was mine”, the 47-year-old said. “I was in a coma for a couple of weeks and my sight was quite dodgy, I went from blind to seeing double so when I started jumping there were two jumps. It’s been a journey, but I’ve had so much support! Mentally I was very tired, I probably still am. I feel like I’m waking up, but slowly.”
He was chasing the target of 37.60 set by Australia’s Christopher Burton (34) and his young nine-year-old gelding, Santano II, whose performance was greeted by a roar of approval from the crowd. But when Fox-Pitt overtook his Aussie rival by a mere .6, the gentlemanly Brit was rewarded with another huge response from the spectators.
His result, added to the 47.20 achieved by team mate Gemma Tattersall (31) with Quicklook V, leaves Team GB in third before the remaining 31 horse-and-rider combinations take their turn in the dressage phase tomorrow. But it’s very tight at the top of the teams, with London 2012 gold medalists Germany in first on 82.5, just 1.5 ahead of Australia in second. Great Britain, on 84.2, is third of the 13 teams.
Just behind Burton in the individual rankings is defending Olympic champion Michael Jung (34) on Sam, the horse he rode to spearhead the Germany team win four years ago. On a mark of 40.90 Jung is just ahead of his compatriot and reigning world champion Sandra Auffarth, who lies fourth with Opgun Louvo on 41.60.
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Olympic Eventing: This Jung man could be very hard to beat

Rio 2016Olympic Eventing: This Jung man could be very hard to beat
By Louise Parkes

Michael Jung – the legend.

MICHEAL JUNGSome say that if you sent him cross-country wearing a blindfold and facing backwards on his horse that Germany’s Michael Jung could still bring home Olympic gold. The most phenomenal rider of the modern sport is the man they will all have to beat when the Eventing discipline of the XXXl Olympiad gets underway at the Olympic Equestrian Venue in Deodoro in Rio de Janeiro (BRA) on 6 August.

Jung arrived at the London Games four years ago hoping to become the first-ever rider to hold the World, European and Olympic titles at the same time, and celebrated his 30th birthday by winning not one, but two gold medals. He has since added team gold at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Normandy (FRA) in 2014, double-gold at last summer’s FEI European Championships in Scotland, and the CCI4* titles at Burghley (GBR) last September and both Lexington (USA) and Badminton (GBR) in May of this year. Just a few short weeks ago he finished first and sixth individually in the latest leg of the FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing 2016 series on the hallowed ground of Aachen (GER). It’s no wonder that fans of this sport are in awe of the formidable athlete and his consistent supremacy.

micheal jungJung won’t compete in Brazil with his intended ride, Takinou who picked up an infection recently, but the fact that he has had to switch to his 2012 Olympic ride, 16-year-old Sam, won’t diminish his chances, as it was this horse that cruised into the winner’s enclosure at both Burghley and Badminton.

Strong

As defending Olympic champions Team Germany look strong, with Jung joined by the 2012 golden girls Ingrid Klimke and Sandra Auffarth, along with Andreas Ostholt. However they didn’t have things all their own way in Aachen where many Olympic contenders were giving their horses a run and the resurgent Australians sprang a major surprise by overwhelming their hosts.

Australia, Germany and the USA have all won the Olympic Eventing team title four times, and Christopher Burton, Sam Griffiths, Shane Rose and Stuart Tinney look set to fly that Australian flag high once again.

The closest their neighbours from New Zealand have come to the top of the podium is the bronze they claimed in London four years ago, and they certainly shouldn’t be under-estimated this time around either as three of that side are in action again, including the charismatic Sir Mark Todd who took back-to-back individual gold with the great Charisma in Los Angeles (USA) in 1984 and Seoul (KOR) in 1988. Only one other rider in Olympic history has ever achieved that distinction, Dutchman Charles Pahud de Mortanges with Macroix in Amsterdam (NED) in 1928 and Los Angeles (USA) IN 1932. However Michael Jung could possibly join that elite if he and Sam reign supreme once more.

Busy man

Todd will be a busy man in Rio, because not only will he be chasing down medals for himself, but the 60-year-old athlete will also be taking a significant interest in the performance of the Brazilian team he has been training for the last few years.

Canada, France, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Sweden and USA will also be in the race for the team title along with a Russian side fielding just three riders, and of course the British whose squad includes London 2012 team silver medallist William Fox-Pitt, as well as Pippa Funnell who took individual bronze in Athens (GRE) in 2004.

All three of the individual medallists from London will be in Rio, Germany’s Jung and Auffarth who claimed gold and bronze and Sweden’s Sara Algotsson Ostholt who separated them when taking silver.

In all, 29 of the 75 Eventing athletes are female and if one of them succeeds in winning individual gold she will be the first-ever female athlete to do so.

Jung, however, is unlikely to make it easy for anyone to spoil his seemingly unstoppable run.

What is Eventing?

Once known as “The Military” because it was a test for cavalrymen and their horses, Eventing is the most comprehensive test of horse and rider, combining the separate disciplines of Dressage, Cross-Country and Jumping, with results from each phase totaled for a final score. And it’s the lowest score that wins, both for the team and individual medals.

An Olympic competition since 1912.

How it will play out…..

The horse inspection follows the all-important draw, which will decide the running order for the first two phases of the competition. This takes place in the presence of the Ground Jury. As the draw is made, blocks of individual athletes will be interspersed between team members, with the fourth athlete from each team going in the final group.

Eventing Dressage takes place on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 August, followed by Cross-Country on Monday 8 August. The Dressage Test is OG CCI 4-Star Test B, Short Version. If you want to be really clued up before the Games, you can check it out here.

After the second horse inspection the following morning, Tuesday August 9, the team medals will be decided in the first round of Jumping. The top-25 will then qualify for the Individual final in the afternoon, again competing in reverse order of merit and with only three riders from each nation permitted to make the cut.

FACTS AND FIGURES – EVENTING:

24 nations
13 teams
65 horse and rider combinations
New Zealand’s Sir Mark Todd will match the record held by Australia’s Andrew Hoy and USA’s Mike Plumb for most Olympic appearances in Eventing. Rio 2016 will be his seventh Games, and he was also team trainer at Athens 2004. Todd competed in two disciplines, Eventing and Jumping, at the Games in Seoul (KOR) in 1988, Barcelona (ESP) in 1992.
Sir Mark Todd and Mike Plumb share the record for the largest number of Olympic medals won in Eventing, with 6 each.
Teams consist of a minimum of 3 and maximum of 4 horse/rider combinations with 3 best results to count for team classification.
The Team and Individual competitions run concurrently.
Individual final Jumping test will take place after team Jumping on the same day, 9 August. The individual final is open to the top 25, including ties for 25th place, with a restriction of 3 horse/rider combinations per country.
The Cross-Country course is approximately 5,700 metres in length. The time-allowed is 10 minutes and the maximum number of jumping efforts will be between 42 and 45.
In the final Jumping phase, the fences for the first round which decides the team medals, will be up to 1.25m in height, with between 11 and 13 fences on the course.
The fences will be raised to 1.30m for the individual Jumping final.
One country, Russia, will be represented by a team of just three riders.
Germany won both the team and individual titles at the London 2012 Olympic Games and three members of that winning team are competing again in Rio de Janeiro – Ingrid Klimke, Michael Jung and Sandra Auffarth.
Jung and Mark Todd are the only former Olympic individual champions in the field. Jung is defending team and individual gold medallist, and Todd won individual gold at Los Angeles (USA) in 1984 and Seoul (KOR) in 1988.

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Badminton Horse Trials 2016

Slow motion footage capturing the amazing power, stamina and athletic ability of both horse and rider. Captured at 300 frames per second.

CentaurBiomechanics’s channel

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What should I eat on competition days?

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Rider Nutrition

In general, riders and horse owners have a pretty comprehensive understanding of nutrition…. when it comes to their horse. I’m not suggesting all riders have a bad diet but a good nutritious diet is lacking in a large proportion of riders. When I have been to various riders yard kitchens, the cereal boxes and bars are flowing, the chocolate bars and the hot chocolate/ coffee / donuts are on tap! Yum, yes! Energy? Short term yes, healthy er no. Mostly those that are based on the yard or barn daily, early hours late nights horses to ride. And those of you that are at work in an office etc all day, it’s tiring packing up the lunches in advance getting to your horse before/after work, working out and riding. None of us have it easy, and the first thing to slide is nutrition. Right?

The physiological demands of horse-riding as a whole do not require any particularly extreme dietary considerations. However, the prolonged and varied activity patterns evoke a significant physical demand and riders particularly competitive or those working in yards should plan nutrition to match long days and extended physical activity. Dehydration (too much coffee and tea too little water sound familiar?!) are important factors in riders also.

There is a great chapter ‘Nutrition for Equestrian Athletes’ in the book Equestrian Training Performance which is written by my colleagues Dr C and Dr N Potter (this is the same book you can find my chapters on rider performance). I will summarize the key points they make below.

Energy availability should be the primary concern for riders. A complete days rest maximizes glycogen availability, but equestrian events usually require significant preparation the day before. In this instance riders should prepare and include a carbohydrate rich diet 2-3 days prior to competition.

Approximately 200g of carbohydrates should be consumed throughout the day and ideally 25-30g carbohydrate should be eaten the morning of competition. If one large carbohydrate based meal is not an option due to early rises etc then smaller meals with the same macronutrient intake should be planned. Myfitnesspal is a great app you can track your macronutrients (carbohydrate, proteins, fats).

An ongoing feeding strategy the day of competition should be considered to avoid glycogen stores being depleted. Regular small carbohydrate meals does increase decision making and technical skill execution in other intermittent sports and should be of primary importance in such a risk based sport.

Oh, yes carbohydrates. What I mean here do not include simple carbohydrates! Insufficient sleep and simple carbohydrates causes soporific effects and will leave you tired and making poor decisions-not good!

Dehydration decreases cognitive skill and does affect performance reduces endurance and effects decision making. A fluid replacement strategy should be included as thirst is a poor indication of dehydration. Sports drinks may be used at competition (I would avoid otherwise especially regularly). Fruit juice with electrolyte powders are a more cost effective way of supplementing your drinks.

  • Clean healthy eating avoiding as much processed food as possible with the odd treat is the way forwards
  • It can be difficult when busy to make a list, recipies and meal plan, consider joining an online clean eating challenge. I do them sporadically so keep you eye out. Planning is the key to success!
  • Consider protein shakes to supplement your diet. Many riders have mentioned to me they feel much better taking a shake before/during the morning yard shift. I’ve tried lots of brands and you can get one to tailor to your lifestyle. A high protein low carb for muscle building, a moderate protein and moderate carb for energy/snack. It’s more nutritious than not eating at all then grabbing 7 digestives and a cup of tea 😉

You are as important and your horse, take care of you too. Hope this is food for thought![/vc_column_text][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_text_separator title=”About Jenni” color=”custom” accent_color=”#dd3333″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][ig_lightbox_image image=”10203″ thumb_widht=”150″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Jenni is a Visiting Associate Principal Lecturer: Higher Education Equine Sciences, at the Centre for Performance in Equestrian Sport, Hartpury College, UK. Jenni is a certified personal trainer and has taught and published in both human and equine sports science fields. To learn more about Jenni visit her profile page. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][ig_blank_divider height_value=”40″][vc_separator color=”custom” el_width=”90″ accent_color=”#dd3333″][vc_single_image image=”10351″ img_size=”526″ alignment=”center” onclick=”custom_link” css_animation=”top-to-bottom” link=”http://www.thedigitalhorse.com/membersonly/membership-account/membership-levels/”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row section_mode=”normal” bgmode=”default” bgposition=”top_left” bgrepeat=”no-repeat” bgattachment=”scroll” section_overlay=”no_overlay” sectionoverlayopacity=”0.70″ video_opacity_overlay=”0.70″ padding_top_value=”70″ padding_bottom_value=”70″ shadow=”shadow-off” css=”.vc_custom_1462649010961{margin-right: 0px !important;margin-left: 0px !important;background-color: #ffffff !important;}”][vc_column][vc_row_inner css=”.vc_custom_1462647462021{margin-right: 0px !important;margin-left: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″ positionalign=”center”][ig_box_icon icons_select=”icon_only” position=”top” title=”What we do.” animation_loading_effects=”fade_in” animation_loading=”yes” icon=”icon-horse-riding”]We train your  mind. When you know your dressage test, you can focus on your horse and your ride. You are prepared, sharp and ready to ride your best. When you become a member you have access to all the content on the site for the life of the tests.  The USEF tests renew every four years.

[/ig_box_icon][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″ positionalign=”center”][ig_box_icon icons_select=”icon_only” position=”top” title=”Visit a Classroom” animation_loading_effects=”fade_in” animation_loading=”yes” icon=”icon-newspaper2″ animation_delay=”300″]Visit a Dressage Test classroom and experience our visual and auditory aids that help you master the tests and the spatial relationships of movements in the arena. Become a member and have access to the animated classrooms, exercises and the downloadable PDF library.

[/ig_box_icon][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″ positionalign=”center”][ig_box_icon icons_select=”icon_only” position=”top” title=”PDF Documents” animation_loading_effects=”fade_in” animation_loading=”yes” icon=”icon-print2″ animation_delay=”200″]When you ride your test it is critical, to have a good reference tool. Our tests are viewable on your desktop computer, as color hard copy prints and on your mobile devices. Use the link below to purchase single levels or the entire set. Immediate Download.

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Follow your Dreams Mary King Badminton 2016 interview

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Mary King Badminton 2016 interview on dressage day at Badminton 2016. Kelly Jewel caught up with the lovely Mary King at Badminton to chat about talented her daughter, Emily’s, Badminton debut. What a Mother’s Day Treat!


 

Kelly Jewell, is a 36 year old mum fKelly Jewelrom the UK. She specializes in retraining racehorses for new careers and also owns a company that specializes in veterinary and medical digital thermal imaging. To learn more about Kelly Click Here.

 

 

 


Learn Your Dressage Test Online

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row section_mode=”normal” bgmode=”default” bgposition=”top_left” bgrepeat=”no-repeat” bgattachment=”scroll” section_overlay=”no_overlay” sectionoverlayopacity=”0.70″ video_opacity_overlay=”0.70″ padding_top_value=”70″ padding_bottom_value=”70″ shadow=”shadow-off” css=”.vc_custom_1462649010961{margin-right: 0px !important;margin-left: 0px !important;background-color: #ffffff !important;}”][vc_column][vc_separator color=”custom” el_width=”90″ accent_color=”#dd3333″][ig_blank_divider height_value=”40″][vc_row_inner css=”.vc_custom_1462647462021{margin-right: 0px !important;margin-left: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″ positionalign=”center”][ig_box_icon icons_select=”icon_only” position=”top” title=”What we do.” animation_loading_effects=”fade_in” animation_loading=”yes” icon=”icon-horse-riding”]We train your  mind. When you know your dressage test, you can focus on your horse and your ride. You are prepared, sharp and ready to ride your best. When you become a member you have access to all the content on the site for the life of the tests.  The USEF tests renew every four years.

[/ig_box_icon][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″ positionalign=”center”][ig_box_icon icons_select=”icon_only” position=”top” title=”Visit a Classroom” animation_loading_effects=”fade_in” animation_loading=”yes” icon=”icon-newspaper2″ animation_delay=”300″]Visit a Dressage Test classroom and experience our visual and auditory aids that help you master the tests and the spatial relationships of movements in the arena. Become a member and have access to the animated classrooms, exercises and the downloadable PDF library.

[/ig_box_icon][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″ positionalign=”center”][ig_box_icon icons_select=”icon_only” position=”top” title=”PDF Documents” animation_loading_effects=”fade_in” animation_loading=”yes” icon=”icon-print2″ animation_delay=”200″]When you ride your test it is critical, to have a good reference tool. Our tests are viewable on your desktop computer, as color hard copy prints and on your mobile devices. Use the link below to purchase single levels or the entire set. Immediate Download.

[/ig_box_icon][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″ positionalign=”center”][ig_box_icon icons_select=”icon_only” position=”top” title=”Membership” animation_loading_effects=”fade_in” animation_loading=”yes” icon=”icon-users2″ animation_delay=”400″]We offer flexible membership choices. Be a Dressage Member or a Eventing Member or BOTH depending on your riding style. You can purchase a membership one time and use the site for the life of the tests or  try our monthly option.

[/ig_box_icon][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner css=”.vc_custom_1462647609760{margin-left: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″ positionalign=”center”][vc_btn title=”About Digital Horse?” style=”3d” color=”danger” align=”center” css_animation=”bottom-to-top” link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thedigitalhorse.com%2Fabout-dressage-tests%2F||”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″ positionalign=”center”][vc_btn title=”View A Test” style=”3d” color=”danger” align=”center” link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thedigitalhorse.com%2Fdressagetestclassroomexample%2F||”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″ positionalign=”center”][vc_btn title=”Download Diagrams” style=”3d” color=”danger” align=”center” css_animation=”bottom-to-top” link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fsites.fastspring.com%2Fthedigitalhorse%2Fproduct%2FPDFDressageTests||”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″ positionalign=”center”][vc_btn title=”Become a Member” style=”3d” color=”danger” align=”center” css_animation=”bottom-to-top” link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thedigitalhorse.com%2Fmembersonly%2Fmembership-account%2Fmembership-levels%2F||”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1462649098398{margin-right: 0px !important;margin-left: 0px !important;background-color: #ffffff !important;}”][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_cta h2=”Become a member today and have access to all the USEF Dressage tests ” h4=”Your one time purchase lasts the life of the tests” txt_align=”center”]
  • Learn your test online
  • Don’t worry  if you lose your test!
  • Immediate Access to all our learning material
  • Download a color coded diagrams with memory markers.
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Eventing: Ten teams start the season at Fontainebleau

FEIEVENTINGFEI PRESS RELEASE
Lausanne (SUI), 22 March 2016

FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing: Ten teams start the season at Fontainebleau

The 2016 international Eventing season promises to get off to an exciting start at Fontainebleau (FRA) this weekend with up to 10 nations fielding teams in a highly competitive first leg of this year’s FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing.

 

Top names in the field at Fontainebleau include Olympic and European champion Michael Jung (GER), World champion Sandra Auffarth (GER), the host nation’s former European champions Nicolas Touzaint (FRA) and Jean-Lou Bigot (FRA), alongside Christopher Burton, a key member of the prominent Australian squad last year, and World team bronze medalist Tim Lips (NED).

Great Britain, firm supporters of the FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing since its inception in 2012, and the leading nation last year, brings another strong group including Boekelo winner Nicola Wilson, plus fellow European squad members Izzy Taylor, Laura Collett and Gemma Tattersall. Ireland has also entered a strong squad, which includes all four members of the team that produced a stunning performance to win the final event at Boekelo (NED) last year, and Belgium, Italy, Spain and Sweden will field teams.

First for USA

There are eight legs at CIC3* level in this year’s FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing, including a brand new addition in the USA at The Plains, Virginia on 8-10 July.

This event will also serve as one of the final trials for the US Olympic Eventing team and other nations with just a month to go to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the first Games to be held in South America.

Team experience

The FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing was designed to help national coaches give valuable team experience to up-and-coming riders. Last year, 15 nations contested the series which culminated in a thrilling finale at Boekelo.

This year, the series will be of particular value in view of the forthcoming Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and the athletes will be able to get a flavour of the Olympic Cross Country Course Designer’s style as Pierre Michelet (FRA) is also officiating at Fontainebleau this weekend.

“The FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing continues to go from strength to strength as national coaches realise how useful it is for evaluating and preparing riders for championships,” said Catrin Norinder, FEI Director, Olympic & Eventing. “As it is an Olympic year, I would expect the series to be even better supported and more competitive. We are in for a really exciting season.”

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