Equestrian Olympic GamesPublished August 8, 2008
The 2008 Summer Olympics are being held in Beijing from August 6-24. All the equestrian events, however, will be take place in Hong Kong to facilitate quarantine issues and to take advantage of the excellent equine facilities there. Dates of the equestrian events are scheduled August 9-21. There will be about 220 horse/rider combinations competing in all three disciplines. Included in the 42 nations competing in the Equine Games, are the U.S., Finland, Mexico, Belgium, Italy, France, Canada, Germany, Russia and South Korea and Sweden. Over 50 Airplanes were used to transport the horses to the Games in Hong Kong and upon arrival were transported via the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s air-conditioned vans to their spacious air-conditioned stalls.
Being a huge equine enthusiast the Summer Games will have me glued to my television in hopes of catching a segment of the United States Olympic Equestrian team competition. Many years ago, I was lucky enough with a cable provider that offered a "season ticket" for the various individual sports. Back then, I had no VCR so was unable to tape the equestrian competition, so was often found racing home from work to watch a particular event, or staying up all night, huge cups of coffee in hand, bleary eyed, and thrilled with our team's performance.
This year, however, I am not going to miss a thing. Armed with a DVR and a TV schedule of Equestrian events (See below), I am all set. I cannot wait to watch my favorite equine athletes, both horses and riders, compete.
44 year-old Phillip Dutton will be competing for the U.S. In both the 1996 and 2000 Summer Games, he won the gold for Australia in the three-day event team competition. Mr. Dutton became a United States Citizen, which permits him to ride for the U.S.
I always enjoy the graceful and strong rider, Anky Van Grunsven who represents the Netherlands. She is a joy to watch. This will be her sixth competition in the Summer Olympics, in dressage. Capturing three gold medals, Ms. Van Grunsven has won six medals altogether.
McLain Ward will be competing aboard Sapphire; El Camperon's Carlsson Vom Dach will be ridden by Will Simpson, with Laura Kraut aboard Cedric. An alternate for the 1992 Games, she made her Olympic debut in 2000.
One of my favorite members of the U.S. team is Beezie Madden. Her 13 year-old wonder horse, Authentic, owned by Abigale Wexner, is legend in the world of International equine events. In 2004, Ms Madden became the first woman rider and the first American competitor to reach the top three in Show Jumping ranking. She also was the first woman rider to exceed $1 million in show jumping earnings. An incredible sportswoman, her talent and finesse is breathtaking to see. In fact, it gives me goose bumps when I watch her compete.
To read more about Ms. Madden and her stellar career, visit: http://www.savvyequestrian.com/masterequestrian/beeziemadden/
Take a few minutes out of your busy day and watch the exciting video featuring Beezie Madden, Authentic and Judgment, representing the U.S. at the Dublin Horseshow in 2007. Also, enjoy listening to the fascinating interview with the Grand Prix star.
Are you planning to watch the equestrian competition during the Summer Games? If so, what are your favorite events? Leave a comment and tell us.
The schedule is as follows:
Date: Program—Time (EST) on Channel
Aug. 9: 3-Day Eventing: Dressage—2:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. USA
August 10 :Dressage- 2 a.m.-2 p.m. USA.
Aug. 11: 3-Day: Cross- Country— 6:00pm-8:00pm OXYGEN
Aug. 12: 3-Day: Stadium Team Gold Medal Final—6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. on OXYGEN
Aug. 13: Dressage—6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. on OXYGEN
Aug. 14: Dressage Team Gold Medal Final—6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. on OXYGEN
Aug. 15: Show Jumping—6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. on OXYGEN
Aug. 16: Dressage Individual – 5:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. MSNBC
Aug. 17: Show Jumping Team Gold Medal Final 1st Round—10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m on NBC
Aug. 18: Show Jumping Team Gold Medal Final Round— 6:00pm-8:00 p.m. OXYGEN
Aug. 19: Dressage Individual Gold Medal Final - 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. on OXYGEN
Aug. 21: Show Jumping Individual Gold Medal Final- 10:00am- 1:00 pm NBC
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