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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

All Dressage Horses Pass Olympic Veterinary Inspection

Team USA's Rafalca and Jan Ebeling. Photo by Jennifer Bryant.

Fifty-three horses from 23 nations were successfully presented to the Olympic equestrian veterinary commission today. It was the first hurdle of the 2012 Olympic dressage competition, which begins Thursday with the Grand Prix.
Ravel's owner, Akiko Yamazaki, was on hand to watch her horse jog. Photo by Jennifer Bryant.
Having just seen the Olympic event horses in their "trot-ups," I was struck by two differences: 1) the eventers jog much better than many of the dressage horses, and 2) dressage horses are fat. OK, OK, I know our horses have different muscling, but some of these animals are downright zaftig.
Mistral Hojris gets the better of Laura Bechtolsheimer. Photo by Jennifer Bryant.
A few horses got a little out of control during the jog, including 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games individual silver medalist Mistral Hojris. "Alf" dragged rider Laura Bechtolsheimer of Great Britain clear out of the jog track.

A few riders seemed unclear as to the jog pattern. Spanish competitor Jose Daniel Martin Dockx steered the PRE stallion Grandioso clear off the hard-surfaced jog track into the arena footing and had to be guided back by the vigorously waving veterinary officials.

Parzival and Adelinde Cornelissen of the Netherlands. Photo by Jennifer Bryant.
Only one horse, the KWPN stallion Painted Black, was sent to the holding box. A former mount of Dutch Olympic champion Anky van Grunsven, Painted Black was accepted for competition on re-presentation by his current rider, Morgan Barbancon of Spain.
Hiroshi Hoketsu of Japan, at 71 the oldest athlete at these Games, with his mount Whisper. Photo by Jennifer Bryant.
Some horsy hijinks, a few unexpected laughs--it wasn't too bad a way to start the 2012 Olympic dressage competition.

2 comments:

  1. It's also amazing how much more massive dressage horses are not just in their girth but height compared to the eventing horses. Not quite sure if that is a good thing, case in point your picture of Alf and Laura.

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  2. Also I met the old college roommate of Hiroshi Hokestu a couple of days ago in church. I hope he does well and enjoys himself and it's just another great thing about our sport: age does not matter.

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