USA Captures Gold Equine Team JumpingPublished August 19, 2008
It was indeed a thrill to watch the final round of the Olympic Equestrian jumping competition last night. My heart was racing as I watched each successive rider negotiate the beautiful and highly technical course. With huge "airy" fences held in shallow cups, the skill of both rider and horse was put to the test. As the United States and Canada tied the score with 20 points, after the first round, a jump-off was held to decide which team would capture Gold or Silver. As I watched the Jump-off, I held my breath in anticipation as Ward McLain laid down a perfect trip with no faults at all. His horse, a thirteen-year-old Belgian Warmblood, Sapphire, sparkled brilliantly as she cleared the imposing water jump with nary a splash. Laura Kraut, on her "inexperienced" 15.2 hand, 10 year-Old Dutch gelding, Cedric, brilliantly followed in the hoof-steps of Ward, with a spectacular clean round. With the pressure on Will Simpson, riding Carlsson Vom Dach, a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding, he magnificently rose to the occasion laying down a perfect trip, which resulted in the anchor rider for the U.S. Team, Beezie Madden, who rides Authentic, the 13-year-old Koninklijk Warmbloed Paard Nederland.gelding, not required to ride in the jump off. L-R) Will Simpson, Laura Kraut, Beezie Madden and Mclain Ward of the US celebrate winning gold on the podium of the Olympic equestrian show-jumping - Team on August 18, 2008 in Hong Kong. Canada took silver and Norway claimed bronze [Agencies] Canada galloped away winning the Silver medal. 61-year-old Ian Miller, aboard his mount, In Style, captured his first Olympic medal, and became the oldest medal winner in the Beijing Games. Norway, with their brilliant team, finished third, winning the Bronze medal. I am looking forward to watching the Dressage freestyles, which are scheduled tonight. Freestyle Dressage, set to the rider's pre-recorded music, is poetry in motion, or an equine ballet. It is breathtaking. It is a “must see” for horse lovers. US Will Simpson rides with "Carlsson vom Dach" in the final round Jumping Individual of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on August 18, 2008 in Beijing. 51 Riders compete in the event.[Agencies] On Thursday, August 21, Individual medals in Dressage are scheduled, as will Individual medals for Show Jumping. The top 35 riders (three from each country) will compete with McLain Ward, Laura Kraut and Beezie Madden representing the United States. Have you been following the Equestrian events during the Olympics? Leave a comment and share your reactions about them.
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