Equestrian Games: A Favorite at the Summer 2012 OlympicsPublished August 13, 2012
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One of the two sports (sailing being the other) in the Summer Olympic Games in which men and women equally compete is the Equestrian Competition. Olympic equestrian games were introduced to the Summer Olympics in 1900.
An interesting side-note: Until 1952, only commissioned officers were permitted to compete in these games. But in 1952 the rules were changed, allowing civilians and women to participate. The first woman to win a medal was the talented Swedish rider, Liz Hartel, who was awarded silver for her performance in the Dressage competition in 1952.
In addition to what most viewers consider traditional Olympic equestrian events, there is also an equestrian component of the Modern Pentathlon. These two equine sports are the only two events held at the Games in which animals are involved and in which both horse and rider are regarded as athletes.
Since I am a passionate horse lover, it’s no secret that of all the 32 different competitive sports featured in the Summer Olympic Games, the one that captivates me the most are the equestrian games. I never grow tired of watching the breath-taking action even though my heart often skip a beat just looking at the scary size of some of the jumping obstacles.
For the past 12 days, I have fastidiously been keeping track of the daily Olympic schedule with an eagle eye, to be certain I wouldn’t miss a single moment of the three equestrian disciplines which are represented during the Summer Olympic Games; Three Day Eventing, Team and Individual Dressage, and Team and Individual Stadium Jumping.
While I was disappointed that the United States team‘s final score precluded them from capturing medals this year, I was totally blown away by the British team’s breathtaking performance. Their stellar achievements throughout the competition lead the team to win coveted gold for the first time since 1952. During the conclusion of the Equestrian competition, England’s Charlotte Dujardin’s brilliant Free-Style Dressage program brought spectators to their feet, cheering wildly, when she was awarded the individual gold medal for her stellar performance. Follow the complete Equestrian Medal Standings from NBC here.
But all too soon, the Olympic flame has been extinguished during the conclusion of the XXX 2012 Summer Olympic Games. But the fire is not out. The torch will once again be passed on, this time to the next group of hopeful equestrian competitors, in the summer of 2016. I am looking forward to hearing our national anthem and watching the flag raised on high once again in deference to the victorious United States Team.
What were your favorite moments during the 2012 Summer Olympic Games? Tell us in a comment.