London 2012 Olympics equestrian events - my pick
Horsemart reader and blogger Melsi, describes herself as a ‘forty-something back to the saddler’. She can’t wait to see the equestrian events at the London 2012 Olympics. Neither can we...
The London Olympics are soon upon us. Whoop Whoop!! Bunting is coming out and hanging around all the houses and pubs ready for the Queen’s Jubilee, and will hopefully stay there in support of our Olympians at the end of July.
The sun is shining after a long very cold and wet winter, the birds are singing (very loudly, especially at half four in the morning), and I can’t help but notice smiles and better moods are upon us all. I know that I am looking forward to following our Equestrian competitors in the 2012 Olympics from the comfort of my armchair, glued to the living room TV.
After the disappointment of no Badders (Badminton Horse Trials) and many event cancellations due to the wet weather, I am hoping for wonderful TV coverage and fantastic weather for all those amazing riders representing our Country.
All equestrian supporters will know that there are three Olympic Equestrian sports, Dressage, Eventing and Showjumping. The Equestrian events run from 28th July to 9th August so we all have plenty to choose from and plenty of time to stock up on TV watching goodies, (if you need any ideas ask me).
Even though it is our Olympic year, I do think it is good to remember our other Equestrian events that in my opinion are still just as important and also vital viewing for those wishing to take up a new and different sport. We have our Driving, Reining and Endurance of course, but also our Vaulting.
British Equestrian Vaulting have announced the selection of Vaulters to represent Great Britain at the Senior World Championships which take place in Le Mans, France and the Junior European Championships which will be competed in Slovakia, both events in August. For someone who needs a winch and mounting block to climb aboard, I am in awe at the grace and beauty of such stars as Joanne and Hannah Eccles.
These two sisters are podium and medal regulars and must indeed make their parents proud. If you like horses and you like ballet, dance, gymnastics and horses do take a moment to watch and follow the world of Vaulting. You may just want to try it yourself. I know if there was a winch strong enough to get me up on board I would like to try it myself!
Back to the London Olympics, I would also like to prompt you all to remember our British Para Equestrian Dressage Squad. In 2010 they came away from the Altech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky with 13 Medals!! Come off it press, why did we not hear more on this on our news. This is an amazing accomplishment.
Lee Pearson, one of our top Paralympic riders, has an armful of Gold Medals and is surely one to watch again with his two beautiful 17 hand horses, Gentleman and Zion. Lee, born with a muscle and joint condition that painfully twists his limbs, is a role model to all those riders who hope for future success in any sport. After 15 operations and a winner of the Children of Courage Awards, Lee produces quality performances that many able body riders aspire to. I look forward to watching Lee and really wish him great success in the GB Paralympic Dressage Squad.
So, because our five Event riders are not due to be announced in the middle of June, for now I will share in my dream team. William (Fox Pitt), Mary (King), Piggy (French), Nicola (Wilson) and hopefully Zara (Phillips). (NB - Melsi's wishes were very nearly completely granted! See our report on the named Team GB Eventers) Team GB Eventers, if you do compete in the London 2012 Olympics, please know, I will be there, riding every step, jumping every fence, feeling your nerves, and sharing your laughter and smiles.
I will be chewing my nails, holding my breath and sipping copious mugs of tea. I will be proud no matter what because I know how long and how tough a journey it has been for you to get there, and I know how brave, dedicated and courageous you have to be to take part in this awesome sport.
Of course, I have to include the wonderful Carl Hester in this little appreciation as no Dressage competition in my opinion is worth watching unless it has this truly stunning rider that exudes elegance and control! (Melsi trots off on the wrong leg)!!
Photo of dressage horse by Thowra_UK
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