Special Event: Rio 2016 Olympics - Equestrian
August 7, 2016 1:23 PM - Subscribe

Hay is for "HEY HERE'S THE HORSE STUFF"!
posted by cortex (207 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Yay! Ponies! Thanks, mods!
posted by TwoStride at 1:28 PM on August 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I haven't seen any footage of the XC course yet, but word is it'll certainly shake up the order. I'm rooting for Michael Jung, because holy crap is he amazing, but I'll also have my fingers crossed for Veronica Kieffer. I really want some new blood to come through for American eventing!
posted by TwoStride at 1:29 PM on August 7, 2016




Wow, I'm betting fence 31 will cause some angst for both horses and riders. Thanks for the link, TwoStride.
posted by sardonyx at 1:39 PM on August 7, 2016


I'd keep an eye on 9 and 20b--those skinnies are just so easy for uncertain or tired horses to just... sort of duck their shoulder and run out to the side of.
posted by TwoStride at 1:41 PM on August 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


YAY PONIES!!! This makes me very happy. Thank you, mods!

(I'll come in and legit participate as soon as I finish watching the live stream of USA women's gymnastics qualifying rounds.)
posted by litera scripta manet at 1:50 PM on August 7, 2016


So when does the cross-country event go off? CBC's website is distinctly unhelpful when it comes to providing details like that.
posted by sardonyx at 2:04 PM on August 7, 2016


10am Eastern tomorrow, I think (9am Brazilian. Or do I have that backwards)?
posted by TwoStride at 2:08 PM on August 7, 2016


And for those of you less familiar with Eventing, check out Eventing Nation's guide to all of the riders/teams including who the favorites are, who might be spoilers, etc.
posted by TwoStride at 2:11 PM on August 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure it's 9 am Eastern time, which would be 10 am Rio time, but I could be wrong.

(I'm basing this off of Comcast TV scheduling which shows live coverage starting at 9 am EST. Also, I know for gymnastics, the current event started at 5:30 PM Rio time, which is 4:30 pm EST, so based off of that, I'm going with cross country starting 10 am Rio time, and 9 am EST.)
posted by litera scripta manet at 2:21 PM on August 7, 2016


Oh, it's tomorrow. There's a time, but no date on that stupid CBC website.
posted by sardonyx at 2:22 PM on August 7, 2016


Yeah, sorry, that's for tomorrow. It's a little weird since the 3 day event actually is split over four days, since they divided up dressage into Saturday and Sunday, so it will be cross country at 9 am EST tomorrow (Monday), and Show Jumping on Tuesday (I believe also at 9 am, but I'll have to double check that).
posted by litera scripta manet at 2:26 PM on August 7, 2016


Ah, I had it backwards then. Thanks!
posted by TwoStride at 2:28 PM on August 7, 2016


I'm a bit worried about weather. It looks like it's going to be raining in Rio tonight, up until about 10 am tomorrow (Rio time). And maybe some more rain later in the afternoon? So, it should be mostly clear when they're riding, but I worry about course conditions a bit since that won't give any time for the course to dry out for early riders.

At least it looks to be much cooler tomorrow. I believe it was hitting about 90 F (30 C?) this afternoon, but it looks like it will be closer to low 70s F (so around 21 C?*). Today's temps would have been brutal for cross country.

*I might be wrong on this. I'm not so great at the Fahrenheit to Celsius mental conversions.
posted by litera scripta manet at 2:38 PM on August 7, 2016


Yay, horses!

I got to see the NBC coverage of yesterday's eventing dressage, and missed today's because I was out. I'm really curious how the cross country is going to shake things up - from the commentary yesterday (and looking at the scores after today's), it looks like a lot of people expected to do better in dressage had things go slightly off for them. (Yes, on fence 31 being likely to be weird, but wow, fences 20b and 9 are narrow, too.)
posted by modernhypatia at 2:58 PM on August 7, 2016


Rider meet horse, Horse meet rider.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 3:07 PM on August 7, 2016


There was a really good comment on the COTH (Chronicle of the Horse) forums that the course might be rough for people who brought 3* horses--the Olympics often runs like a 3*, but this course looks more like a legit 4*. I would want this course to be the biggest thing my horse has yet faced...
posted by TwoStride at 3:11 PM on August 7, 2016


Here's a link to the individual and team standings in eventing. Obviously right now it's just the dressage standings, but it seems like that's where they'll be adding the cross country and show jumping scores.
posted by litera scripta manet at 4:40 PM on August 7, 2016


Slightly off topic but does anyone have a good link on how to watch the horsies when my only option is through my cell phone? Or any links to internet coverage which I guess will work on my phone.
(I'd rather muck a stall than figure this out on my own...)
posted by mightshould at 4:54 PM on August 7, 2016


In the US, I believe the NBC livestream only works for 30 minutes unless you sign in with a qualifying account. This is the link where you should be able to access the cross country livestream tomorrow via NBC.

(Unfortunately I don't know what would be the best way to access this outside the US or how to get around NBC's 30 minute cap.)
posted by litera scripta manet at 4:59 PM on August 7, 2016


Correction, from above: I would NOT want this to be the most challenging thing I've taken my horse to...
posted by TwoStride at 9:40 PM on August 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


If you're in the UK, or are willing to use a VPN to pretend to be in the UK, the BBC website has been working great on my phone.
posted by clorox at 9:42 PM on August 7, 2016


Yay for Boyd! Great run. This course is brutal; I'm shocked at Sandra Auffarth's score!
posted by TwoStride at 7:07 AM on August 8, 2016


It is being such a brutal course. But such brave horses, doing their thing. (Chile's Carlos Lobos Muñoz and Ranco were lovely to watch: they had errors on course, but Ranco was so very forthright about it.)
posted by modernhypatia at 7:29 AM on August 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Canada's Kathryn Robinson and Let It Bee eliminated on XC; that is not going to help all of the controversies about the Canadian team selection process...
posted by TwoStride at 7:30 AM on August 8, 2016


This is the first time I've watched equestrian events! Anyone have a good link to a quick-and-dirty high-level overview of the sport for newbies? Wikipedia is just so dry....
posted by Dorinda at 7:41 AM on August 8, 2016


Like, this is fascinating to watch.....but holy cats its opaque to me!
posted by Dorinda at 7:48 AM on August 8, 2016


Dorinda, for the cross-country, the Chronicle of the Horse has a nice article on the jumps.

Basically, you get faults if you don't go over a fence (20 points each, third refusal on course eliminates you, crossing your own line while approaching a fence counts as a refusal), a fall eliminates you, there are time penalties (and this course is tightly timed).

Some jumps have multiple components, and some of them have multiple routes or options, which can be easier but take more time, etc. It's pretty clear at this point that clear rounds are going to be pretty rare.
posted by modernhypatia at 7:48 AM on August 8, 2016


Oh no, William Fox-Pitt! Bummer. Great, great ride by Chris Burton, though.
posted by TwoStride at 7:48 AM on August 8, 2016


Dorinda, I can't find good links on my phone, but I can answer questions for you! Basically this phase is a test of bravery but also strategy. Riders have to know their horse's pace so they can rate them and finish in the time alloted. (There is no bonus for going *under* the time; you want to be spot on so your horse still has energy for the stadium jumping phase tomorrow). Often the jumps will offer a quick, high risk high reward option, or a slower, easier option.
posted by TwoStride at 7:53 AM on August 8, 2016


And eventing arose from cavalry training; you'll still occasionally see riders compete in their military uniforms. Day one is dressage (the "ballet") part; your horse has the most energy, so it's a real test of obedience to harness all that spirit to complete the movements with accuracy and grace. Then eventing, which was supposed to simulate galloping across the countryside (so the obstacles are supposed to be seem like natural elements, hence all the ponds and logs and hedges). Then the third day, when your horse is exhausted, you're tested on their fitness and accuracy with a stadium jumping course. You'll often see a lot of tired horses knocking down poles on day 3).
posted by TwoStride at 8:00 AM on August 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Super interesting! Are these events (the one today, dressage (?) yesterday, and the one tomorrow) also competed as individual events? Or is this combo event the only time they'll do these?
posted by Dorinda at 8:01 AM on August 8, 2016


The riders for combined training ride for their teams and for individual scores at the same time (so you can have someone who's in the top three individually, but whose team doesn't medal, and vice versa.)
posted by modernhypatia at 8:03 AM on August 8, 2016


Michael Jung: amazing!
posted by TwoStride at 8:18 AM on August 8, 2016


Damn, this has to be on today, when I have work to do. That said, I really enjoyed watching Brazil's Parro. Controlled and forward. Very nice. What happened to Robinson? Eliminated for refusals or something else? That was a nasty fall by McCarthy, but it looks like it turned out okay.

Dorinda, riders and horses who compete in eventing train specifically to do all of these events. There are specialists (who you'll see during the Olympics) that only ride dressage events or compete in show jumping. You'll notice those horses will likely look different (especially the dressage horses) than the eventing horses. The competitors in those won't be the people who compete in eventing. For a newcomer to the equestrian stuff, showjumping is probably the easiest event to follow.
posted by sardonyx at 8:26 AM on August 8, 2016


Clark Montgomery: sigh.

But big props to the woman representing Puerto Rico! She's finished where many world ranked riders have failed.
posted by TwoStride at 8:49 AM on August 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Well that's frustrating. They showed Canada's Loach at the start and through the first water hazard, and then nothing else. During the next rider they were showing, the stadium announcer mentioned Loach had a second refusal, so that's all I know. I realize Canadians aren't going to be on the podium for this event, but it would have be nice to get a conclusion to the ride.
posted by sardonyx at 8:50 AM on August 8, 2016


Typed too soon apparently. They showed her crossing the finish line. Well at least we know she wasn't kidnapped by aliens in the middle of the course.
posted by sardonyx at 8:52 AM on August 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sardonyx, Robinson had refusals. The horse looked very sticky and tentative the whole way through.
posted by TwoStride at 8:55 AM on August 8, 2016


Thanks. Just glad to hear it wasn't a fall. And you're right about that Puerto Rican rider.
posted by sardonyx at 8:56 AM on August 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ugh, I shouldn't have trusted NBC. They spent the first hour of the "live" broadcast on table tennis. Oh well. I couldn't tune in until now, so the live stream wouldn't have worked for me today anyway.

I'm behind, so I'm just now watching Boyd Martin and Blackfoot Mystery now. I'm very partial to Blackfoot Mystery. All these off the track thoroughbreds have a special place in my heart.

Oh good, Boyd Martin did very well. Clear, with only a few time faults. Yay, Blackfoot Mystery!

*My horse is descended from a long line of thoroughbred race horses, but she never did make it to the track. Probably because she is the most high strung horse I've ever met, even by the usual high strung race horse standard.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:58 AM on August 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is fun to watch! I like the cool and interesting names of the horses, but honestly I just refer to all of them as Horsington.
posted by Bunny Boneyology at 9:06 AM on August 8, 2016


This does seem to be a particularly demanding course. Lots of tight turns and some very narrow fences. Especially when they have to make a tight turn around to a very narrow fence, it's just so easy for a horse to run out. And then of course the time is so tight. At 3.6 miles, it seems like it's kind of on the long side.

Carlos Lobos Munoz's horse Ranco (from Chile, I believe) is such a pretty, splashy chestnut. It looks like they're maneuvering the course quite well.

Ugh, I hate all this jumping around from horse to horse. I know there are multiple horses on the course at any one time.

Oh great, now we're going to commercial before Munoz* and Ranco finish the course.

*This should have tilde on the n, but I don't know how to do that with my keyboard.
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:10 AM on August 8, 2016


The water option with the "fish" where the slow option is to basically circle twice in the water is so exhausting to watch.
posted by TwoStride at 9:12 AM on August 8, 2016


Also OMG I want the grey 18 year old Australian horse!
posted by TwoStride at 9:14 AM on August 8, 2016


It definitely seems like the cross country phase could be the deciding event.

Oh no, Euro Prince and Claire Abbott (Ireland) just had two refusals. Another gorgeous horse! Almost seems like he might be a little too fired up. (Yeah, I'm also just generally very partial to chestnuts.) Ireland has already had one elimination so I hope they make it through without any more refusals.

Okay, these inflatable vests are awesome, but I really could have done without seeing a replay of that fall from earlier. At least it seems like horse and rider were okay.

It's crazy that they've only had one horse and rider combo be clear of any faults/penalties, including time faults. (At least at the point where I am in the broadcast.)

Ugh, so tired of the cuts to commercial every two minutes.
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:24 AM on August 8, 2016


William Foxpitt and Chili Morning (sp?) just started. Chris Burton is almost there...Oh, that's amazing! Christ Burton made it with zero penalties. I think that makes them only the second one to do that.

Chilli Morning is absolutely beautiful too! Ah, they just had a run out. That twisty turny ski jump combo at the base of the hill is tough. Well, I guess this puts Burton in the lead. I feel bad for Foxpitt, though. They'll have some time penalties too. So 30.40 penalty points. That refusal may have cost him an individual medal, which is a real disappointment for them.

Oh, Bayro is a gorgeous grey. (From the Netherlands, I think?)

According to commentators, Mark Todd said this is the toughest cross country course he's seen since LA Olympics in 1980s. That's saying quite a lot.

Michael Jung is just starting now.
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:36 AM on August 8, 2016


Gutted for Lauren Kieffer!
posted by TwoStride at 9:39 AM on August 8, 2016


With William Foxpitt's 30.40 penalties, Jung has a lot riding on the cross country phase (no pun intended).

No, don't skip to fencing while Jung and Todd are both on the course! Oh, good, Jung made it clear. Wait, what happened with Todd? So annoyed about all this skipping to different riders and then commercials and then to other events.

Okay, well Todd's in fourth, so I'm guessing he must have done pretty well.
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:41 AM on August 8, 2016


Does the horse from China have some sort of white substance on the front of all of his legs, or is that just a really unique pattern?

Tom Bombadil II is an awesome name for a horse.
posted by tryniti at 9:46 AM on August 8, 2016


Oh, Clark Montgomery got eliminated with three refusals! What a bummer.

Does the horse from China have some sort of white substance on the front of all of his legs, or is that just a really unique pattern?

Some of the riders put grease on the front of their horses legs. It's used to help them slide over the tops of jumps in case they have a rub on one of these fences.
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:49 AM on August 8, 2016


Tryniti, a lot of the horses wear that white stuff on their legs--it's grease so that their legs will (hopefully) slide over the jump if they make contact.
posted by TwoStride at 9:50 AM on August 8, 2016


Ah that makes sense. That was the first time I had seen it so I wasn't sure.

I had to chuckle when the Belgian rider fell off (and seemed ok), then they panned to the horse that just kept on running.
posted by tryniti at 9:52 AM on August 8, 2016


Oh, this light bay horse from France is gorgeous too. I can't spell the horse's name, but the rider is Valette (sp??); he's the one who is in the military, I think.

The NBC commentators for equestrian events are much less annoying than a lot of the other commentators, but I am kind of tired of hearing about these inflatable vests.

Colleen Loach of Canada's horse is a big, beautiful grey. Her horse seems to be a heavier built horse compared to a lot of the other eventing horses. A lot of them seem to have some thoroughbred in them, or are just from lighter boned sport horse lines.

It seems like there are a lot more refusals and eliminations from refusals than we would usually see, but I guess that comes with the territory with such a challenging course. At least so far it seems like there have been only a couple falls and no serious injuries. I really hope we make it through the rest of today's event with everyone safe and sound.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:10 AM on August 8, 2016


Have only been able to watch about an hour, using the free 30 minutes streaming on two different browsers. I don't follow equestrian events much outside the Olympics, and haven't ridden frequently since I was 17 so a lot of the technical stuff escapes me, but I love watching when I can. This course is really tricky, I love seeing how riders line their jumps up to get their horse aimed properly.
posted by PussKillian at 10:19 AM on August 8, 2016


Oh no- the frog strikes again!
posted by Mouse Army at 10:22 AM on August 8, 2016


Yeah for Howard! First decent Canadian finish.
posted by sardonyx at 10:24 AM on August 8, 2016


I'm tired of being behind, so I'm just going to jump ahead to live broadcast.

Another absolutely beautiful grey. Shane Rose and CP Qualified from Australia. CP Qualified is one of those horses who just really seems to be enjoying himself on the course. A big, very game horse.

Oh no, poor pony, the frog jump tripped them up. Ah, they got eliminated! That's such a bummer for them. That's a shame for CP Qualified and Shane Rose.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:25 AM on August 8, 2016


using the free 30 minutes streaming on two different browsers.

I wonder if clearing history and cookies in a browser would be a work around on this. Theoretically, of course. I think in another thread someone said that trying to use an incognito window prevented the stream from loading at all.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:26 AM on August 8, 2016


I don't know if it's region-blocked outside of Canada, but this live stream has no time limits (and neither do the after-event replays.)
posted by sardonyx at 10:27 AM on August 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I was just about to post that I wanted CP qualified (I used to have a grey and have a huge soft spot for them) and then they got eliminated. Sigh.
posted by TwoStride at 10:28 AM on August 8, 2016


I have to say, this course is brutal but I'm pleased with how it's gone--lots of refusals or run outs, but not many crazy falls or jumps that trick the horse's eye. The attrition rate has been high, but everyone will be back to ride another day.
posted by TwoStride at 10:30 AM on August 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


I feel like some of the jumps/obstacles in the Rolex are more terrifying looking than what we're seeing today. I'm sure the difficulty level is the same, but my heart is not pounding quite so hard.
posted by Mouse Army at 10:41 AM on August 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I usually go for chestnuts, but I also have a soft spot for greys, since I helped train up a grey horse who I loved, even though he wasn't actually mine.

CP Qualified seems like such a fun horse to ride. He also seems to have a very good level head. He really tried to make it over that little frog, but at least he extricated himself without taking a tumble, which can be tough, especially in water.

The other problem we could see, with all of these eliminations today, is if any horses don't pass the inspection before show jumping. There may be some more team eliminations if that happens.

I wonder if the trickiness of this course is contributing in a certain way to the lack of serious falls. I think some riders are willing to accept the time faults and go the safer route. I also think the fact that there are so many tight turns and narrow jumps is leading to more refusals, but there are fewer of those serious rotational falls that can happen when horses hit the big, solid fences at full speed.

Of course, a lot of this is also a testament to the horses and riders on the course, but even the best horses and riders can have serious falls on any given day.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:41 AM on August 8, 2016


There was some commentary somewhere I read (maybe on the Chronicle of the Horse forums? I can't find it now) that the way the course is designed is likely reducing injuries - lots of tight corners, but if a horse misses them, you get a refusal, or maybe the horse slipping, but not the kind of really bad rotational fall some courses have more often.

Watching, I've been really thinking that's true.
posted by modernhypatia at 10:45 AM on August 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Jesus god, Phillip Dutton crawled over that fence in the air to the side of Mighty Nice!
posted by TwoStride at 10:48 AM on August 8, 2016


Speaking of falls, Lauren Kieffer's horse Veronica was the horse that Karen O'Connor was riding when she suffered her catastrophic, career ending injury a few years ago. (Veronica was uninjured.)

Of course, Karen O'Connor is married to David O'Connor, who is retired from eventing as well, but I think he's still working with the US Olympic team. I wonder if Karen is in Rio as well.

I actually fell in love with David O'Connor's horse, Giltedge, and I was thrilled to meet them when they competed at a 3 day event in my home town. (David O'Connor was very gracious.) Giltedge is another one of those horses who was so game and willing. He might not have been the greatest, but he certainly was one of the greats.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:49 AM on August 8, 2016


Jesus god, Phillip Dutton crawled over that fence in the air to the side of Mighty Nice!

Yeah, I'm sitting here watching this by myself, but I keep audibly gasping with these close calls.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:51 AM on August 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wow- Mighty Nice did great with the frog!
posted by Mouse Army at 10:54 AM on August 8, 2016


Yeah, I'm not a fan of Veronica the horse so much. (And I'd like US eventing to try someone besides the O'Connors for coaching...)
posted by TwoStride at 10:54 AM on August 8, 2016


I have no idea what's going on - it took me a while to figure out that Fruit Wagon and Amazonian Log were not the names of horses, and the first time I saw one run into a lake I thought it was an error - but this is really exciting! I can't wait for the show jumping!
posted by everybody had matching towels at 10:58 AM on August 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Another thing I really love about equestrian events (aside from the ponies...I love anything that has to do with ponies), is the fact that you have such a wide age range, both horses and people. I think there is at least one rider who is on his sixth(?!) Olympics. I've always thought it would be a bummer to be in one of those sports where your career is basically over at 20.

Are the equestrian events the only Olympic events where men and women compete against each other or are there any other examples of this? Of course, we also have a mix of mares, geldings, and stallions.

Do you know who else would be the pick for coaching aside from the O'Connors? I think the flip side of everyone competing until a late age is that it might somewhat limit the coaching pool.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:58 AM on August 8, 2016


Oh, that was so close to a fall! I can't tell if they made it over or not, and neither can the commentators.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:59 AM on August 8, 2016


Ah, no it sounds like the judges did decide that they didn't clear the fence. That's a bummer for them and for Brazil.

So that's the end of cross country. Only three rides without any penalties or faults. But just making it through without any serious injuries or falls is very good.

Okay, so for individual at the end of cross country, I think the rankings are:

1. Chris Burton
2. Michael Jung
3. Astier Nicholas (sp?)
4. Mark Todd
5. Phillip Dutton
6. Boyd Martin (Yay Blackfoot Mystery!)

Michael Foxpitt has dropped down to 22.

It sounds like Australia is in the lead for the teams.
posted by litera scripta manet at 11:06 AM on August 8, 2016


litera script manet - I gather there's one sailing event that has men and women on the same crew, but the equestrian events are the only ones where gender is not a factor at all.

Mark Todd is over 60 - he actually retired for a bit, in there, from competition and came back. I love a sport where you can do that. (And he's currently near the top.)

It looks like the stadium is going to be close for the individual placings - not a lot of points between the top ten or so, considering. (The team competition is a lot more spread out.)

I've also been impressed by the commentators noting people's other jobs when they have them, which include a number of high-education demanding jobs. (There's someone on the US show jumping team - Lucy Davis - who graduated from Stanford last year with a degree in architecture, too.) Something more balanced about that than a lot of sports, you know, where it often seems to be a choice between education (or any other interest) and the sport.
posted by modernhypatia at 11:07 AM on August 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


litera,
You may have heard about Canadian showjumper Ian Millar. This is the first time in over 40 years he hasn't competed in the Olympics. His daughter is on the team this time. (And I'm still disappointed by the Moscow boycott. That should have been the year for Ian and Ben.)
posted by sardonyx at 11:14 AM on August 8, 2016


Yeah, I've enjoyed hearing about the other jobs as well. I think one or two people have or were working on grad degrees in STEM fields.

In other news, apparently they think that bullet that landed in the equestrian media tent was supposed to take out a police blimp. (According to Chronicle of the Horse.)
posted by litera scripta manet at 11:14 AM on August 8, 2016


Sardonyx, I thought it was someone who is competing currently, but I may have misheard/be misremembering. Ian Millar and Big Ben, though, talk about legends. Sadly I wasn't even alive during most of Big Ben's career.

This is definitely a family affair for some of these riders. I think there are a couple siblings competing together in Rio. (One pair might have been riding for Sweden? With all the skipping around from horse to horse and the not always great audio it's hard to keep track of some of this.)
posted by litera scripta manet at 11:29 AM on August 8, 2016


It could very well have been somebody else. I've heard so little coverage of anything this year. And the coverage I've seen has been very spotty to say the least. I've never felt this ill-informed for any Olympics.

I just want to say a big thank you to cortex (if you're reading). I wasn't sure if there was going to be enough interest in the equestrian stuff for a thread of its own, but I'm glad to see it has been a success so far.
posted by sardonyx at 11:35 AM on August 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yes, thank you cortex! It's been so much fun to chat about this on fanfare.

I'm really happy we've had enough interest to warrant a "just ponies" thread. And we've still got the last day of eventing, and then the (non eventing) dressage and show jumping to go.
posted by litera scripta manet at 11:51 AM on August 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


There are a pair of sisters competing in eventing for Sweden, and a husband-wife team (Tim and Jonelle Price) competing for Australia. I think they said there was a set of brothers, too, but I missed that part.

And yes, one of the things I love about the sport is the longevity of the sport (and the equality of men and women competing against each other). There was a 71 year old Japanese man who almost qualified for dressage. And in jumping, there have been some amazing jump-offs (the finals) which have pitted, say, a 20 year-old against a 50 year-old, and you really see how experience can sometimes pay off (somewhere on YouTube there's a great video of 50ish Beezie Madden out-turning a 20 year-old Irish rider for the win in a competition last year!)
posted by TwoStride at 11:54 AM on August 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think they just said that Mark Todd is on his seventh Olympics. Oh, and Karen Donckers of Belgium is apparently on her sixth Olympics, so maybe that was who I was thinking of.

(This was during the hour that aired from 12-1 pm EST. I missed that part the first time around so I'm just catching up now.)
posted by litera scripta manet at 11:55 AM on August 8, 2016


So looking at the NBC Olympics site, it seems like the upcoming schedule is:

Tuesday, 8/9: Eventing finals starting at 9 am ET
Wed/Thurs/Fri, 8/10-8/12: Dressage Grand Prix (Starting at 9 am and then again at 12:30 pm ET on all three days)
[Nothing on Saturday, 8/13]
Sunday, 8/14: Jumping Individual Qualifications, 9 am ET
Monday, 8/15: Dressage Freestyle, 9 am ET
Tuesday, 8/16: Jumping team qualifications, 9 am ET
Wednesday, 8/17: Jumping team finals, 9 am ET
[Nothing on Thursday, 8/18]
Friday, 8/19: Individual Jumping finals, 9 am ET

(I'm so tired of constantly checking the nbc site because it's a nightmare to navigate, so I just wanted to have the equestrian schedule all in one place.)
posted by litera scripta manet at 12:36 PM on August 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm, pony-loving people! I'm super fascinated by this very unique event (series of events?), and it's so GREAT to be able to watch along with people who know what they're seeing/looking for!

(I'll be sure to return the favour once something I know anything about makes it into the Olympics.....but I'm not sure Modern Dance or Early Modern Devotional Poetry have much chance of making it into Tokyo 2020 ;) )
posted by Dorinda at 12:58 PM on August 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Dorinda, it's fun to share this! The jumping phase for eventing (Tuesday, 8/9), and the show jumping (next week) are both pretty straightforward to watch: there is a set course in an arena with poles and elements that can be knocked down. You lose points for refusing a jump or knocking poles down, or going slower than the allowed time, but it's usually pretty obvious what's going on even if you don't know much beyond that. (Also, get to see horses going over big fences, usually very gorgeously.)

The other one that's more subtle but also fun is that the top dressage riders do a round called freestyle, which is done to music, and sort of like figure skating (there are required elements, but they can be combined in various orders). The nuances of scoring are a lot more complicated, but it's the thing that's most like ballet on horseback. (The earlier dressage rounds tend to be pretty opaque to people who don't know dressage, never mind people who don't do a lot with horses, though.)
posted by modernhypatia at 1:05 PM on August 8, 2016


That was really good. Tough but safe-tough. Philip Dutton is the luckiest man on earth and a tough day for Canada and Ireland. It's hard to get horses fit for that kind of weather from a cold place I think.

Michael Jung is amazing. For the initiated he starts all his own horses and does all the riding on them from day one while a lot of people buy horses who've already competed and shown talent. He's been dominating the sport for a couple years.
posted by fshgrl at 6:13 PM on August 8, 2016


I have to say as a former eventer that is twice now that Veronica has hit a solid object and taken out herself and her rider. I'm not sure I'd be super stoked about riding that horse around outside, as phenomenal as she can be. Some horses are too brave for me!
posted by fshgrl at 6:17 PM on August 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Do you know who else would be the pick for coaching aside from the O'Connors? I think the flip side of everyone competing until a late age is that it might somewhat limit the coaching pool.

Pretty sure Mark Todd is actually coaching the Brazilian team and competing! Eventing is a pretty friendly sport most places so that works. Although the Canadian selection and coaching process this year was surprisingly controversial.

I'm not sure who else in the US fills that old-enough-to-coach and not too old and also interested in doing it and not competing or married to a contendor niche right now. They could import someone I guess.
posted by fshgrl at 6:46 PM on August 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


COTH people think that the Canadians regret passing up on Mark Todd and might make a bid for him. Given how well the Brazilians did, relative to their world rankings, it's not a problem that he coaches and competes!

Didn't Leslie Law want the US coaching job at one point?
posted by TwoStride at 8:38 PM on August 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


In fairness to O'Connors wete an absolute powerhouse operation for years and years and they brought up the US dressage and showjumping scores quite a bit imho. They have a proven system and are very professional. I don't think DOC will be replaced because theres no need. Clark has had horrible rides but he did extremely well all year on that horse so that was unpredictable that he'd so so badly.
posted by fshgrl at 8:49 PM on August 8, 2016


Watching start of jumping. I've seen two horses so far. Commentators said the course seems quite "kind" (maybe making up for yesterday?). Apparently time is an issue. First two horses that I've seen went over time.
posted by litera scripta manet at 6:07 AM on August 9, 2016


For any of you or used to ride, do you ever find yourself unconsciously counting down the strides as they're coming up to each fence? I always find myself going, "3, 2, 1, Jump."
posted by litera scripta manet at 6:08 AM on August 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Oh here's Ranco! Such a pretty pony.
posted by litera scripta manet at 6:10 AM on August 9, 2016


Oh, for anyone who wants to try the livestream from nbc, this is the direct link.

Also apparently there's an nbc app that you can use on your phone? I haven't tried it so don't know if/how it works.
posted by litera scripta manet at 6:14 AM on August 9, 2016


At work today, so can't watch, but yes, litera scripta manet, I still have that little voice in my head (though usually I'm stride counting, so '1, 2, 3, 4 jump, turn right, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5...' rather than counting down.) Really looking forward to seeing how things go today.

I was never anywhere near these levels, mind you - just Pony Club up to C2 (though I qualified for championships in Dressage one year, and I'm still not quite sure how that happened, since my horse was one of those 'dressage is the thing you have to do before they let you jump' types) and combined training at the novice level.
posted by modernhypatia at 6:16 AM on August 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh! They're doing a live blog on the Chronicle of the Horse site, for people who can't watch, yay.
posted by modernhypatia at 6:17 AM on August 9, 2016


Oh yeah, I never made it close to this level either. And I did hunter/jumpers, not eventing. I mostly did local shows, because it was ridiculously expensive to go to the "A" level shows. (I mean, everything with horses is expensive but those shows were particularly expensive.)
posted by litera scripta manet at 6:19 AM on August 9, 2016


OMG yes, I still totally count all of the strides!
Bummed for Roy Fonseca who just lawn-darted off his horse. He looks fine but how shattering to do that in front of the home crowd.

The French riders have been really impressive. Their first rider just had a really strong ride to the liverpool that his horse wanted no part of.
posted by TwoStride at 6:30 AM on August 9, 2016


Also, I am loving the quartermarks on the horses--Alex Hua Tian's horse had a great one that looked like the stars on the Chinese flag.
posted by TwoStride at 6:37 AM on August 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yes, and I think one of the Canadians had a maple leaf quartermark yesterday!
posted by litera scripta manet at 6:55 AM on August 9, 2016


Here's the pretty 18 year old grey for Australia. These day glow stirrups are interesting.

Oh, 4 rails down and time penalties. This might not bode well for Australia's chance at keeping their first place lead.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:00 AM on August 9, 2016


Oh, here's my fave, Blackfoot Mystery! I'm nervous for them...
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:00 AM on August 9, 2016


They're hustling to make the time.

Hard rub on that orange jump. Oh there's one rail. Ah, and there's another one. Total of 8 penalties. They did just make it without any penalty points. But still, they might have been in medal contention, but this is going to hurt Boyd Martin's chances, I think.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:03 AM on August 9, 2016


Awww, darn. I was hoping for better for Boyd.
posted by TwoStride at 7:04 AM on August 9, 2016


Yeah, I think that France is gonna get the team gold; Australia and NZ have had faults so far.
posted by TwoStride at 7:04 AM on August 9, 2016


(I'm watching on two different feeds, because I missed about 15 minutes so I just caught Roy Fonseca's fall. That's gotta hurt, metaphorically and probably physically.)

I think France might have been one of the few teams that still had four team members left after cross country. Am I remembering that correctly? That certainly would help their chances.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:07 AM on August 9, 2016


Yes, I think that's right. Great Britain had all four, but all four had big penalities on XC.
posted by TwoStride at 7:09 AM on August 9, 2016


Meanwhile, I'm pleased that most horses recovered well for inspection this morning.
posted by TwoStride at 7:11 AM on August 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm stuck with NBC's coverage and it's driving me nuts that Randy Moss keeps getting Tom Bombadill II's name wrong!
posted by TwoStride at 7:22 AM on August 9, 2016


I've got the live stream on my computer (which is what I'm using to watch the horses I missed from 9:30 to 10 am ET), and I've also got the NBC broadcast coverage on mute on my TV right now.

I prefer the commentators for the live stream. Randy Moss and...Ugh, I'm blanking on the name of the other commentator, but I definitely know her. Anyway, they're not the worst (by NBC standards), but I still like livestream guys better.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:32 AM on August 9, 2016


Yeah, the livestream guys are experienced and great. Melanie Smith-Taylor is the other NBC commentator, and she's annoying.
posted by TwoStride at 7:36 AM on August 9, 2016


This thing with Jessica Phoenix and the Canadian team is interesting. She was selected as an alternate, appealed, and they agreed to let her on the team on the appeal, bumping someone else. (And then both of them ended up making it because someone withdrew). Is that unusual? I wonder how often that happens.

(They told this exact same story yesterday too, incidentally.)
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:38 AM on August 9, 2016


Ugh, Randy Moss, stop focusing on big horses versus small horses.

That's a clear round for Pippa Funnell from Great Britain! A beautiful, light grey.

Oh, and Marcio Carvalho Jorge is an anesthesiologist. That's very cool. I can't imagine the kind of stamina it would take to be a doctor and be an Olympic caliber rider.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:44 AM on August 9, 2016


Litera, it's very unusual, and caused tons of debate in riding forums (and no small amount of bad blood within Canadian eventing, I'd wager). Not the least because the final reports were released to the media and it aired some dirty laundry about various horses' conditions...
posted by TwoStride at 7:47 AM on August 9, 2016


Randy Moss is TERRIBLE and needs to stop snarking/mocking the riders. He can really STFU.
posted by TwoStride at 7:47 AM on August 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah, since it sounds like they both made it on to the team after all, I imagine that would be kind of awkward for the team.

Ah, here we go Ingrid Klimke is another rider whose father is a former Olympian equestrian (along with Amy Millar). And a very impressive clear round. She rode that so well. (It's super annoying that NBC went to commercial during their round. I had to switch over to "live" on the livestream to catch that.)
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:54 AM on August 9, 2016


That's too bad for France...8 faults.

Oh, Clarke Johnstone rode a beautiful clear round for New Zealand! They must be very happy about that.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:58 AM on August 9, 2016


Sam Griffiths of Australia goes clear too! Beautiful bay horse. Very well ridden. His horse was so careful. Great job of managing the time but still collecting for those short stride combinations.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:01 AM on August 9, 2016


I love Clarke's horse!

And Phillip Dutton getting it done with what looks like a broken curb chain!
posted by TwoStride at 8:02 AM on August 9, 2016


Shout out for Red Hills, which takes place in my hometown, from the livestream commentators. (That's the competition where I met David O'Connor and Giltedge a number of years ago.)

Dutton and Mighty Nice made it with no jumping penalties, just one time fault. Very nice! And that puts him in the lead so far.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:04 AM on August 9, 2016


And back to the conversation yesterday: there are a pair of brothers on the Italian team!
posted by TwoStride at 8:08 AM on August 9, 2016


Swedish rider was a little too aggressive coming into the triple combo, and got two poles down for 8 faults. They were just too tight coming into that line.

It definitely seems like it's tough to manage the time but also collect for some of these tight turns and tight combinations.

Incidentally, that's the kind of thing that having a small horse can help with, just fyi to Randy Moss. (My horse is 15.2 so I take that a bit personally. Not that I expect much else from Randy Moss.)

Very nice round for Rebecca Howard from Canada! All clear.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:09 AM on August 9, 2016


Jonty Evans' helmet is certainly... patriotic.
posted by TwoStride at 8:12 AM on August 9, 2016


Two Strides, yes, that is quite the helmet. Then of course there's the Netherlands and their day glow orange coats. I've seen a couple riders with day glow orange stirrups, too.

Interesting tidbit about how apparently the Italians imported a lot of Irish Sport Horses a number of years ago, which is why their riders also often favor the breed (as do the Irish, naturally). Unfortunately, they got a number of faults on that round. Still, a very nice looking grey horse.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:14 AM on August 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


When I win powerball I want to get myself an Irish Sporthorse! :D

If I were going to go with the newfangled stirrups, I'd go for the neon blue instead of the day-glo orange.
posted by TwoStride at 8:16 AM on August 9, 2016


Chilli Morning is such a beautiful horse. Yay clear round for them! It's really a shame that they got all those penalties in the cross country phase. Yesterday's faults could very well have cost them the individual gold. Great Britain is having a good day today, though.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:17 AM on August 9, 2016


TwoStride, I also like to plan out the horses I would get if I won the lottery! My absolute fantasy, of course, is to win enough money to have my own stable. I always longed to be able to be able to roll out of bed and see my horses. Of course, it's ridiculously expensive and time consuming to manage your own stable. It's a nice fantasy, though.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:20 AM on August 9, 2016


I'm happy for WFP and Chili Morning. Great comeback--and good on all of the Great Britain riders for finishing well with pride today.
posted by TwoStride at 8:21 AM on August 9, 2016


Holy cow, Michael Jung has ice in his veins and is so completely amazing. He makes every phase look EASY.
posted by TwoStride at 8:25 AM on August 9, 2016


Yes, Michael Jung is so great! Clear on cross country and jumping today. Absolutely spectacular.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:26 AM on August 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Astier Nicolas, clear round today and yesterday! Clinched a medal for France. Now we just have to see what Mark Todd and Chris Burton can do for New Zealand and Australia respectively.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:30 AM on August 9, 2016


GUTTED for Mark Todd!! Four rails down?!? :(
posted by TwoStride at 8:30 AM on August 9, 2016


Oh now, rail down for Mark Todd!
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:31 AM on August 9, 2016


And two more rails down! Ah, that's too bad. Another one down for 16 faults total. That's a huge disappointment for New Zealand, I imagine. I think his horse just didn't have it in him today. I guess that takes New Zealand out of medal contention.

Now it's down to Chris Burton for Australia. There's basically no margin of error for Australia to stay in first.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:33 AM on August 9, 2016


Oh, and that's two rails down for Chris Burton. That's a shame for them.

France gets the gold!
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:35 AM on August 9, 2016


Yay for Germany somehow ekeing out a silver!!

Gutted for New Zealand, though.
posted by TwoStride at 8:35 AM on August 9, 2016


I feel really sad for New Zealand. So close to getting a medal.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:37 AM on August 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Germany came back so strong today. I think they had three clear rounds, if I'm remembering correctly. At least Australia was still able to hang on to a bronze medal.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:40 AM on August 9, 2016


So at 1 pm ET (which is 2 pm Rio time) we have the individual jumping final.

Unfortunately for Mark Todd, he's also probably no long in the contention for an individual medal, unless a number of other riders have really bad rounds in the final.

If Michael Jung goes clear, that's going to be back to back gold medals for him. There's only 1.1 points separating him from Astier Nicolas in second, though, so no margin of error for Jung if Nicolas goes clear.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:52 AM on August 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Man, the "what ifs" for the US Team are agonizing. If Lauren Kieffer had taken a more conservative approach to the gate where she fell, even with time faults on her the US would have been in medal contention for sure.
posted by TwoStride at 9:34 AM on August 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


And we have the first rider in the individual round (from Belgium, I think). They got a rail down on the very last fence. That always hurts. I think the other riders are going to have to watch for that, especially with the horses presumably being quite tired by the end of this second round.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:06 AM on August 9, 2016


This second course seems a little more spread out. Time seems to be less tight too.

Tim Lips's horse Bayro is so beautiful. It seems like a pretty high proportion of greys in this competition. I'm guessing the Irish Sport Horse trend is influencing that.

And they're clear!
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:09 AM on August 9, 2016


I don't care if he had some rails in both rounds, I would still take Pluto di Mio!

And yes, I've noticed how many greys there are--I love it!
posted by TwoStride at 10:11 AM on August 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ah, there's another round where they knocked the last rail down. That's Marcio Carvalho Jorge with a couple rails down.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:12 AM on August 9, 2016


I'm still bummed that CP Qualified got eliminated in the cross country. I would have loved to see them in the jumping rounds. I would still take CP Qualified!

I also really want Euro Prince, too.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:14 AM on August 9, 2016


Merel Blom is a lovely rider.
posted by TwoStride at 10:14 AM on August 9, 2016


The live commentators just made a comment about "a dog leg." I had never heard that term before. I think they defined it as a turn before a jump, which I would call a rollback term. I wonder if that's eventing specific or maybe it's a regional thing?
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:16 AM on August 9, 2016


I've heard the term before in other sports... maybe they thought "rollback" was too jargon-y?
posted by TwoStride at 10:18 AM on August 9, 2016


I don't watch that many other sports, so that's probably why I've never heard of it.

Chilli Morning and William Fox-Pitt had two clear rounds today. Very happy for them!
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:23 AM on August 9, 2016


Okay, I also love Qing du Briot. A beautiful light bay with nice splashy markings. Selle Francais, apparently. (This pdf has the order of go listing has the breeds, ages, sex of the horses.)
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:28 AM on August 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oooh, thanks for that! I've wanted to check the breeding on a few.
posted by TwoStride at 10:30 AM on August 9, 2016


Glad that Mark Todd put in a clear round to finish his day.
posted by TwoStride at 10:33 AM on August 9, 2016


Yay! Mark Todd just went clear. Although that almost just makes the previous round all the more painful. It seems like his horse was not "on" for that first round.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:35 AM on August 9, 2016


I've really been impressed with Alex Hua Tian and his horse. What a good pair!
posted by TwoStride at 10:40 AM on August 9, 2016


Agreed about Tian!

Oh, and here's Blackfoot Mystery and Boyd Martin. Crossing my fingers for them.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:42 AM on August 9, 2016


Oh, 3 rails down for them. That's too bad. Still overall a good showing for them.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:44 AM on August 9, 2016


Sam Griffiths is riding another Irish Sport Horse. Oh, nice job! They're clear! Beautiful mare. Very nice ride, too.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:45 AM on August 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Boyd rode great, probably to the best of Blackfoot Mystery's ability.

I would take Balmoral Sensation in a heartbeat.
posted by TwoStride at 10:46 AM on August 9, 2016


Good ride for Phillip Dutton but still, one rail down for them. He stays in fourth, but that means the top three riders could get a rail down and still stay in the medals. It's good for the top 3, not so much for Dutton.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:50 AM on August 9, 2016


Ok, that's a huge pity for Chris Burton, but yay for Phillip Dutton getting at least a bronze!!
posted by TwoStride at 10:51 AM on August 9, 2016


Ah, yes, that has to hurt for Chris Burton, but very happy for Phillip Dutton, especially after US being knocked out of the running for the teams.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:52 AM on August 9, 2016


Oh no, a rail down for Nicolas! And two time faults. It looks like their distance was off coming into the fence, and the horse put his hind legs down too early.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:55 AM on August 9, 2016


MICHAEL JUNG!!
posted by TwoStride at 10:56 AM on August 9, 2016


YES BEAUTIFUL! Jung does it!
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:56 AM on August 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Such a well deserved gold medal. An amazing ride, and what a champion of a horse. They are such a winning team!
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:57 AM on August 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Goddamn you, NBC! Jesus, just show the medal ceremony.
posted by TwoStride at 10:58 AM on August 9, 2016


A great day for Germany. Team silver, individual gold. Oh, he looks so happy! And a great day for France, of course. Gold team, silver for individual. It actually makes me feel better for Nicolas Astier that the rails he knocked down didn't really matter since Jung went clear.

Very happy for Philip Dutton and his bronze too.
posted by litera scripta manet at 11:04 AM on August 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


That was such a sweet kiss Jung dropped on Sam's head. I'm melting even more.
posted by TwoStride at 11:05 AM on August 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


LOL. Someone has edited Michael Jung's wiki page to read: "Michael Jung (born 31 July 1982) is a German-engineered lean mean eventing machine equestrian who competes in eventing and dabbles in general badassery.[1]"
posted by TwoStride at 12:16 PM on August 9, 2016 [3 favorites]




Aw, that's such a sweet photo!
posted by litera scripta manet at 1:47 PM on August 9, 2016


That whole Twitter feed is rather nicely done, and has many lovely photos (USEF's @USEquestrian)
posted by modernhypatia at 2:51 PM on August 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Chris Burton is such a lovely quiet rider. Some interesting contrasts in riding styles...nice quiet and soft riders, manic flappers...yay ponies!

That XC course gave me the screaming jibblies more than once, holy moly that water with the frog jump at the end, and that corner jump....I just fucking wish they would have followed ONE horse around the WHOLE course, instead of showing bits and pieces so you never really got a solid feel for the course.

And I definitely agree about Veronica. I love mares but she seems like her guts might override her brain sometimes. I have always loved riding mares, since they often have no qualms about pushing back if they think you're wrong about something (and they are often right), and I love a bold horse, but sometimes there's a fine line between bold and crazy...I do love that she is a bit of an asshole, and that her rider knew she was OK after that fall when she started trying to bite her on the way back...
posted by biscotti at 5:07 PM on August 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


The horses should get medals too since they are a huge part of the team .....give them, at leas, a super fancy ribbon. Most horse shows announce the winning horse, who happens tho be ridden by some person. Is it always done like this in eventing?
posted by mightshould at 7:01 PM on August 9, 2016


Most horse shows announce the winning horse, who happens tho be ridden by some person. Is it always done like this in eventing?

I think this can really depend. When I competed in hunters, we had the equitation classes which judged on the rider, so they would tend to name the person primarily. Then for the other classes that focused on the horse, they would emphasize the horse name.

The other difference is that in non-olympic events, you can sometimes have a rider riding multiple horses in the event. (I don't know if this is done as much with eventing, but this definitely happens in other events.) In that case, naming the rider doesn't actually tell you much, since what matters is the horse that the rider was riding. (That was kind of a convoluted explanation. Hopefully it more or less makes some sense.)

Also, in horse racing, the horse gets a big wreath of flowers to go around their neck, at least for big races, hence the Kentucky Derby being called "The Run for the Roses." Most shows (at least hunter shows) gave out ribbons for each class, and then we would pin those on the horses bridle/martingale/whatever.

So I do think it would be neat if they did something like that. I would love to see a medal put around the horse's neck.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:40 PM on August 9, 2016


Given how often the victory gallops turn into victory-out-of-control (some famous rider can't even ride his winning horse in the victory gallop because it goes wild; he has a "back up horse" for that, and I've seen famous riders get bucked off in the gallop), I don't think a lot of horses would want a medal. Many of them don't even like the ribbons they get (you can often see the ribbon pinned to the saddle, hopefully a bit more out of sight behind the rider's leg, rather than the customary position on the side of their bridles).
posted by TwoStride at 8:02 PM on August 9, 2016


USEF's facebook has a photo of Mighty Nice with his ribbon. His barn name is apparently Happy.
posted by sepviva at 8:27 PM on August 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


They used to get sash things at big competitions. Not sure what happened to that tradition? They still do often give out colored blankets go the winners that cover them up from the chest back and have stuff written on them. Problem being they go over the saddle too and sometimes are slippery as heck. I've seen more than one rider slide off.

In general though horses are undignified and will chew on or pretend to be dramatically afraid of things if they are bored or excited (oh a leaf!! We should run now!). Very few can look dignified in victory.
posted by fshgrl at 8:52 PM on August 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


USEF's facebook has a photo of Mighty Nice with his ribbon. His barn name is apparently Happy.
posted by sepviva at 11:27 PM on August 9


Apparently, they do get ribbons - very pretty ones! The horses just need to be part of the televised official ceremony so we can see them up close. Yay, ponies!
posted by mightshould at 3:35 AM on August 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


You know what the horses want? Not medals or ribbons, they don't care about those, those are for people. They want exactly what they get: lots of treats (my Arabian mare loved peppermint Tic Tacs, and would delicately crunch them up between her front teeth one at a time), good solid rubdowns, massages and plenty of affection.

I am catching up on the dressage today, some glorious tests being ridden.
posted by biscotti at 3:21 PM on August 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah I know they want treats and attention but there's no way to come up with anything universally approved. Hopefully their people look after those treats. I still think they should be honoured.
posted by mightshould at 4:43 PM on August 10, 2016


They usually are more so than at this competition. Who knows why they did it this way this time.
posted by fshgrl at 12:52 AM on August 11, 2016


Anybody in particular worth watching, biscotti? I know I won't be able to watch the whole thing. I just took a quick break and caught the Canadian pair of Belinda on Anton. He seemed a bit lazy with the far hind foot, but overall relatively solid. She looked happy after the ride, which what I guess really matters.
posted by sardonyx at 12:36 PM on August 11, 2016


Valegro was just amazing. Worth watching just for how much fun DuJardin was having. Legolas II was very good. Carl Hester had a surprisingly bad test, horse took exception to everything in the stadium basically, they are checking his sight I think. The Dutch team was.... Dutch. I'm not a huge fan of their style honestly (except Gal who pulls off that high tension way of going much better, imho) but they do win a lot. The US had a surprisingly great go, worth watching.
posted by fshgrl at 8:49 AM on August 12, 2016


Oh, Laura Graves was absolutely lovely!

And there's a pretty cool and only moderately annoying (for a non-horseperson's attempt to describe horsey things) profile of DuJardin in the New Yorker, FYI.
posted by TwoStride at 2:19 PM on August 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah for Amy! I really wasn't expecting that type of result, although it was hard to watch. Held my breath for a large portion of the round. Nice ride from Yann too (caught it in the replay). Didn't see Tiffany's ride, but four faults, so that's good.

Does the German horse First Class have a really strange jumping style? Was it just the way it was holding its head and neck, or does it have to do with the length of the neck and the way it's tied into the body?
posted by sardonyx at 8:25 AM on August 14, 2016


I'm so not a fan, but I can acknowledge that Eric did his job as anchor rider. So the Canadian team is in a good position going forward.
posted by sardonyx at 9:41 AM on August 14, 2016


You guys, not only is Beezie Madden one of my heroes, but I'm totally in love with Cortes C and the bizarre way that he crosses his front legs when he jumps. What a talented horse who doesn't somehow faceplant! Here's an example I nabbed from r/horses: so pretty and weird!
posted by TwoStride at 11:50 AM on August 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


I would never make it as a dressage judge. I haven't watched the whole event, but tuned in to see the Brit Hester, then a Spanish woman on a chestnut with a really red tail, and then a male Dutch rider on a bay. I could see that Hester rode a more technically difficult test, but his horse looked so heavy and sluggish. The movements didn't seem sharp or precise to me. Initially, I was shocked by how high is score was, but then I reevaluated based on the difficulty level. I could see the Spanish rider wasn't performing as complicated a routine, but I loved the lightness of her horse. It seemed happy to be there, and moved with more implosion. I felt the Dutch horse had better extension, even if he got his feet tangled up at one point. Again, I can see the routine could have used more difficulty, but overall, I prefer horses who look more alert than those who seem half asleep. Oh well, break's over, so back to work.
posted by sardonyx at 8:19 AM on August 15, 2016


Awww: following the trend, Charlotte DuJardin's boyfriend proposed to her during her gold medal ceremony today, apparently. (Though I wonder how stoked DuJardin really was, because in this report, she's basically all, "um, he's a ham and we were already engaged. But ok, I guess." Dude, don't interrupt her special final moment with Valegro!
posted by TwoStride at 12:52 PM on August 15, 2016


How disappointing for them: Beezie withdraws an injured Cortes C.
posted by TwoStride at 7:38 AM on August 17, 2016


Damn it. Canada can never take the easy route. Of course Germany was going to win the jump off.
posted by sardonyx at 8:57 AM on August 17, 2016


Didn't realize Whitaker had to pull Cassionato out as well. Seems like they're dropping like flies.
posted by sardonyx at 8:59 AM on August 17, 2016


I should say well done to France today. The team was dominant and deserved the win.
posted by sardonyx at 9:01 AM on August 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


What a great resurgence for France's equestrian teams!

I cannot believe that NBC fucking just... wandered away before the jump-off.

Great clutch ride from McLain for the US. He does such a great job on hot mares. HH Azur is really special.

Bet the Brazilians might have liked having Rodrigo Pessoa ride anchor for them (he was, somewhat controversially, left off the team).
posted by TwoStride at 9:58 AM on August 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Well, crap. That last fence for Tiffany was heartbreaking.

Okay, I'm really ticked off at CBC. At no point in the games has any equestrian coverage been on the main network. I had to watch dressage and eventing online. Team jumping was on Sportsnet (which at least most people with a standard cable package can get) and now the jumping final has been bumped to TSN, which isn't included in a lot of basic cable packages (while SN is showing badminton and CBC kayaking or canoeing). This really stinks, especially as CBC is the showjumping network in Canada. Why spend all the time between Olympics building up the sport, televising events from Spruce Meadows (and sometimes the Royal) and even Aachen and then not showcase it when it's on the world's stage?

So any speculation as to which Rio fence (if any) will find its way into the permanent collection in Calgary?
posted by sardonyx at 7:01 AM on August 19, 2016


OMG I can't believe McLain had a rail. But yay for Kent Farrington's clear round!
posted by TwoStride at 7:59 AM on August 19, 2016


Any word on Meredith? Is her horse okay after that crash?
posted by sardonyx at 8:04 AM on August 19, 2016


I haven't found anything. He seemed like he just wasn't feeling it today, but I wondered if she also smashed her face into his neck--she kept rubbing/checking her nose and lips as she pulled up. Good on her for deciding that it just clearly wasn't going to be their day and retiring after one good fence.
posted by TwoStride at 8:38 AM on August 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Actually, I thought it looked like she was on the verge of tears. Not that I could blame her. Retiring was absolutely the correct decision.
posted by sardonyx at 8:46 AM on August 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


CBC did just air the jump off on the main network. Sadly, Eric Lamaze brought down the second to last rail, so he only ended up with Bronze.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:05 AM on August 19, 2016


Great job by Skelton. Actually all the medal winners did a fine job. I was impressed by the rider from Qatar, as before the competition I would have never expected that country to be so competitive.

It has been a pleasure watching this with all of you ladies (I think, although if I'm wrong, with you gents too). It certainly added to the experience.
posted by sardonyx at 11:19 AM on August 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yes, it's been fun, fellow Mefites!

Qatar has poured a ton of money into their equestrian program in recent years, and has invested not just in great horses, but great coaches as well. The results are paying off. I really liked how the Sheik pointed to his horse in praise at the end of every round.

Absolutely gutted for Kent Farrington, who was so spectacular all week, but huge respect to Nick Skelton. What a ride and what a great comeback for him.

And yay for the Swedish rider, too--I loved that the livestream showed his groom giving the horse carrots as they were exiting the ring after Round B... :)
posted by TwoStride at 11:34 AM on August 19, 2016


They briefly mentioned the Qatari coach's name. Did he used to ride for (or coach) the Dutch team?
posted by sardonyx at 11:36 AM on August 19, 2016


Yes, they train with the great Dutch rider Jan Tops.
posted by TwoStride at 11:38 AM on August 19, 2016


Nice to know that part of the memory bank is still working! It seems Jan has been doing a good job with them. It's always nice to see new teams come up on the world stage. Makes for much more interesting competition.
posted by sardonyx at 11:44 AM on August 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


jacquilynne,

It's good to hear that they finally showed some part of it. Of course they only did so when they thought they could expect a medal.

Company (who don't get TSN) dropped by and were able to watch but they would have been lost if they had just tuned into the jump-off. As it was, a lot of time was spent explaining things about the course (water jumps, verticals vs. oxers, etc.), the event and the participants, but it was certainly an event everybody enjoyed watching. I still think the CBC did a disservice to its faithful showjumping audience by fobbing viewers off to second and third tier networks.

(Now to try to make up too many hours of lost work time.)
posted by sardonyx at 12:47 PM on August 19, 2016


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