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Diana De Rosa/Press Link Letters of Assignment for Tokyo Olympics Clips from Past Olympic Games Diana De Rosa/Press Link has been the one company over the past eight Olympic Games who writes for multiple media, especially filling in the gap for those that don’t get media credentials. Since she has covered the past 8 Olympic Summer Games, she has proven that she has what it takes to produce quality articles and photos under pressure and tight deadlines, which is why the media keeps hiring her/Press Link to do their coverage. Keep in mind that we are very early for confirmed assignments and as we get closer more media will be reaching out. I’ve already been informed by some media that if they don’t get credentials they will have me cover for them. Past Coverage: Here is a partial list of media (38) for whom Diana De Rosa/Press Link has done coverage either articles, photos or both for the past eight summer Olympic Games. She also has covered every World Equestrian Games and every Pan Am Games since 1988. Central Equine, Dressagedaily, Dressage News Network, Dressage Today, Elite Equestrian, Estable, Equestrian Life, Equestrian Magazine, Equine Journal, Eurodressage, Examiner, The Gazette, Hoofcare & Lameness, Horse Connection, Horse Directory, HorsemenOnline, Horsesdaily, HorsesInTheSouth.com, HorseCity.com, Horse & Style Magazine, Horse Illustrated, Horse Radio Network, Horse Show Magazine, Horse World USA, HubPages.com, Pegasus, RUOnline, Sidelines, Southeast Equine, Stablegate.com, USDF Connection, The Gazette, The Horse, Towerheads, Today’s Equestrian, USCTA/USAE, Western Horseman, Young Rider. As of the moment she has the following Letters of Assignment, with letters attached - Horsesdaily - Elite Equestrian - Today’s Equestrian - Southeast Equine - Hub Pages Also in the attached document is a selection of coverage for past Olympic Games. These include: - Central Equine - Dressagedaily - Equestrian Magazine - EuroDressage - Examiner.com - Horse & Style Magazine - Horsesdaily.com - Pegasus Magazine - Scoop.It - Today’s Equestrian - USDF Dressage

DIANA DE ROSA/PRESS LINK – DDEROSA1@OPTONLINE.NET – 516-848-4867


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10275 SW 69th Court Ocala 34476 O: 352-304-8938 info@EliteEquestrian.us www.EliteEquestrianMagazine.com

Diana DeRosa 45 Sarah Drive Farmingdale NY 11735

April 29, 2019

Dear Ms. DeRosa, Thank you for agreeing to represent Elite Equestrian magazine again at the next Olympics. Your contributing photos and editorial will be featured in the hard copy magazine which is also available in digital format indeďŹ nitely on our web site. 10,000 hard copy issues are printed every other month, (six times/year). Our web site receives an average of 6000 views per day. The link for the online version is posted on the web sites for and/or emailed to the membership of- Western Dressage Association, American Endurance Ride Association, RIDE TV and Stream TV, plus thousands of online subscribers. We also have a new edition in Dubai, UAE which is printed quarterly and distributed throughout Dubai, Bahrain, Kuwait, and some in Saudi Arabia. I look forward to receiving your editorial and photos! Sincerely, Noelle Vander Brink Editor

Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. -Ralph Waldo Emerson


Horses Daily, INC – 800-572-3286 - mary@horsesdaily.com 1765 Blackwelder Rd - DeLeon Springs, Florida 32130

May 8, 2019 To Whom It May Concern, Established in 1997 Horsesdaily.com is the longest running website in equestrian sport. The Horses Daily websites (which include targeted coverage for the three Olympic disciplines: Dressage, Eventing and Show Jumping) represent a long-term commitment to equestrian sport. Horsesdaily.com has covered every Olympic Games and World Equestrian Games and many Pan American Games and World Cups since its creation. CEO Mary Phelps has been a longtime member of the IAEJ and has worked with respected journalist and photographer Diana De Rosa (USA), who has covered the past 8 Olympic Games and World Equestrian Games for our websites. With over 6,000 daily visitors (totaling over 180,000 visitors a month) and a strong presence in Google and other search engines, our websites represent the quality and integrity in reporting, profiles, photo galleries and event coverage with a long-term commitment. Diana De Rosa will be providing photos of equestrian sport during the Olympic Games. We respectfully submit a request for Olympic credentials for Ms. De Rosa for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Mary Phelps mary@horsesdaily.com 800-572-3286


May 06, 2019 To Whom it May Concern: I am writing to confirm that ​Diana De Rosa​, is a contributing writer to online publication HubPages.com​, and she has confirmed her intention to publish the equestrian events at the Tokyo Olympics. HubPages authors are individual contributors and are not employees of HubPages.com. HubPages parent company, ​Maven​, is a media coalition of professional content destinations, operating exclusively on a shared digital publishing, advertising, and distribution platform, providing a professional, premium news and information alternative to social platforms. HubPages​ ​is an online community that provides everyday experts with tools to share knowledge and experiences through in-depth, media-rich articles. HubPages provides an innovative platform to share knowledge in a way that will help build readership and earn money from ads strategically placed on articles. The site had over 40 million unique visitors in April 2019. We thank you in advance for your consideration, and please advise if you need anything further. Thank you,

Robin Edmondson Head of Editing redmondson@maven.io


P.O. Box 38 Middlesex, NC 275557 252-235-7645 www.SoutheastHoofbeats.com

ToWhom It May Concern: Diana DeRosa will be providing our magazine Southeast Hoofbeats with stories ad photos from the Olympic games. Our magazine services 10 Southeastern states (Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennesee, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisanna. We reach 20,000 equestrian per month with our print issue and 15,000 per month with our digital issue. We will also be using photos and information from Diana for our social media sites which have over 5,000 followers and in our television show which is nationwide and 42 countries.

Rose Cushing, Publisher Southeast Hoofbeats


Today’s Equestrian P. O. Box 743 Coram, NY 11727 631-451-3938 www.TodaysEquestrian.com

To Whom It May Concern:

Diana DeRosa, an award-winning photo journalist, has covered many major equestrian events for Today’s Equestrian’s social media sites and we would be delighted if she did so for the 2020 Olympic Games.

Today’s Equestrian is published by Ashley Holzer, a member of the United States Dressage Olympic team. Our Facebook page and website are viewed by active horse show riders, trainers and equine-related businesses. We would be honored to share Ms. DeRosa’s photographs and coverage with our viewers. We appreciate your consideration in providing Diana DeRosa press credentials for the Games. Sincerely,

Barbara Messina Assoc. Publisher, Managing Editor Today’s Equestrian


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A FEW EXAMPLES OF DIANA DE ROSA OLYMPIC COVERAGE

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Rio Olympics 2016 Behind the Scenes With HorsesDaily's Diana DeRosa Saturday, August 6, 2016 Posted by Diana DeRosa

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Another one of those special moments was one morning when I was sound asleep and suddenly heard loud music. I ran to the balcony and down below was a parade of people following the torch (or at least that’s what we think it was). The picture says it all. Photo: © Diana DeRosa 2016

Whirlwind – that’s the best way I can describe these last few days. You think you have a moment to relax and get organized and suddenly you’re in a mad dash for the unexpected. As I write this article, many journalists are heading to the Opening Ceremony, but none of us got We use cookies on this site to enhance your user experience

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tickets. As much as we all wanted to go and would still gladly go, in a way it was a blessing in disguise because we can already feel the workload building. So, going back a bit. The landing at the airport in Rio was seamless with accreditation right out of customs. Then on to finding a shuttle to the Main Press Center and then an uber to an apartment I’m sharing with fellow journalists Cealy Tetley, her husband Bryan Barrier and Kim and Allen MacMillan. The apartment where we are staying is right across from the ocean. Remember all those pics you’ve seen of ugly water. Well, not here. This water is beautiful and the sun bathers are covering the beaches. Our

Military Keeping it safe in Rio.

apartment is spacious with plenty of room for all of us and much cheaper than what others paid for the press hotels, which we’ve heard aren’t worth the $254 dollars they are paying a night per person, compared to our $50 a night. Luck was with us, thanks to Cealy, who did all the research and bargaining to find this Air BNB. Next in the plans was going to the MPC to get photo vests, sign in to Nikon or Canon, and check into transportation. Uber was the way to go when we first came but now only the official vehicles are allowed on the roads so bye We’ve mapped out a new plan to get to the We useand cookies onbye thisuber. site to enhance OK, I agree No, thanks your user experience


MPC where we can take a shuttle to the Equestrian Center. The official vehicles, including the shuttle, are traveling on a road designated for just them. So, the hour long ride we took during the 2007 Rio Pan Am Games only takes us 30 minutes now. Others may get caught in traffic, but not us. We arrived on August 3 rd thinking we had a free day on August 4 th , only to find out that was not the case. So, on

Around the town in Rio

Thursday, we faced the true shuttle challenge. That ½ hour ride I mentioned, took us three hours of frustration, all because of lettering. They told us Bay D and then take 35. Well there is a Bay D35, which we hopped on, not realizing that the bus # was 32. Needless to say, we were taken everywhere but where we needed to go. That’s when we finally hopped into a taxi. As an aside, the ride on the shuttle passes an array of beautiful apartment buildings and run down neighborhoods. Graffiti is everywhere and as you pass some of the areas it’s clear where you would not want to be walking alone day or night. Despite taking the alternate routes to the equestrian center, the good news is we made it to the stable tour where we were allowed to take pictures but noton approach to the riders. You’ll see some pictures We use cookies this siteor totalk enhance OK, I agree No, thanks your user experience


of that and other things I’ve mentioned here. Eventer Boyd Martin and Phillip Dutton were wandering around, while dressage rider Shelly Francis was relaxing outside the stables. The most impressive part of the tour was leaving to head out to walk the cross-country course and passing all the grooms relaxing and grazing their horses.

Gustavo Lorenzo, was happy to help carry camera bags. Photo: © Diana DeRosa

Gustavo Lorenzo and Rabbe Wrede were just a couple of the staff posing for some cool pictures for us while also being helpful in answering questions. Because we didn’t have time to drop off bags at the media center before heading out, my backpack was starting to get a bit on the heavy side and Gustavo politely helped by carrying it around for me. So much negative has been passed around but the truth is the setup is very nice. Even the cross-country course is colorful, the fences well built, and the ground we are told has met and almost surpassed the standard. There’s a cushion you feel when you walk. As has been the case recently in the high profile events, it’s more of a technical course than a long galloping course with lots of questions, hilly terrain and turns. The course designer, Pierre Michelet wandered to some of the fences with us and explained the direct and alternate routes and some of the questions each fence posed for both horse and rider. We use cookies on this site to enhance OK, I agree No, thanks your user experience


On our way home to catch the shuttle the streets were lined with people waiting for the torch to pass. Families, couples and kids of all ages were having fun. One group of girls saw the camera and their pose was priceless. For food, we are on our own but the supermarkets have everything you can imagine. You just need to see what is pricey and what’s not as the range does not compare to what we see in the United States. The number of people in the Mundiale we went to was truly insane. Where did they all come from? Water is better in bottles as the chlorination in the drinking water and showers is very noticeable. With the weather being quite warm during the days (despite this being their winter) water is a must if you don’t want to get dehydrated. Today was the jog or first horse inspection and it was done in the Olympic Equestrian Centre. This arena is beautifully laid out. The horses all sparkled and many had markings on their rumps. A total of 73 horses jogged and ultimately all passed the inspection. I have to say that the highlight of the week so far was watching Cealy clear out the mosquitos. Yep, there are mosquitos and lots of them. And to handle the situation, the owners of the condo we are staying in left us with lots of spray and electric zappers and when they zap they ZAP! The welcome bags we got at the MPC all contained a bottle of Off! and we’ve been encouraged to keep doors and windows closed, especially at night.

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One other

What is this strange animal in Rio?

highlight was having Norman, the mascot of the 2014 Alltech World Equestrian Games, travel the cross-country course with us. Then there was we know not what. We think it is a monkey, but maybe one of our HorsesDaily readers can tell us by looking at the picture with the flying tail. Another one of those special moments was one morning when I was sound asleep and suddenly heard loud music. I ran to the balcony and down below was a parade of people following the torch (or at least that’s what we think it was). The picture says it all. Days have already started to be long but it’s also exciting to be here to see how the action unfolds. It’s a lot better than we had anticipated. Military are everywhere carrying rifles and the word we’ve gotten is daytime is fine – nighttime is not. Since we are pretty much confined to the venues, computers and cameras, there won’t be much worry about that. My moment of glory was on the cross-country course when we stopped at a beautiful Rio 2016 wooden sign to take a picture that will be a memory forever. The backdrop was the grazing horses and the surrounding terrain. It was the highlight of the day. We use cookies on this site to enhance your user experience

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If you are curious about anything that’s happening here, feel free to reach out so we can let you view these Olympic Games from the inside. Tomorrow is the big day because that’s when Eventing starts. It starts with two days of dressage, followed by cross-country on Monday and show jumping followed by the medal ceremony on Tuesday. Stick with HorsesDaily as they bring all the action to you, both in front and behind the camera! Like

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5/8/2019

Blinks Finishes Sixth In Olympic Freestyle | Horses Daily

Sydney, Sept. 30, 2000---The U.S. Equestrian Team made a strong statement about the quality of American dressage today, as Sue Blinks of Mt. Kisco, N.Y., nished eighth in the individual dressage competition at the Olympics, while Christine Traurig of Carlsbad, Calif., her teammate on the bronze medal squad, wound up 11th. The top 15 dressage riders from the original eld of 47 competed in the musical freestyle, the last of three competitions to determine the individual placings. The gold medal was awarded to Anky van Grunsven (NED) on Bon re with a total of 239.18 percent over three phases of competition, beating her longtime rival, defending Olympic champion Isabell Werth (GER) on Gigolo (234.19). Another German, Ulla Salzgeber, took the bronze with Rusty (225.88).. Blinks rode Flim Flam, a Hanoverian gelding owned by Fritz Kundrun and the Dressage Sponsor Corporation. She earned 74.45 percent in the freestyle. That score, combined with her marks in the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special, gave her an overall score of 214.65 percent. https://horsesdaily.com/article/blinks-finishes-sixth-olympic-freestyle

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Blinks Finishes Sixth In Olympic Freestyle | Horses Daily

"I have tears of joy, what a horse," said an emotional Blinks after her ride. "He is tired today, but he really came through. I am really pleased. The hard stuff is done and I was just going in to have a good time." "This has been a work in progress," Blinks said. "This was the rst time Iテ夫e done this (freestyle) in its nal form. I was not nervous, Iテ夫e done pretty well with that. For me, that is the biggest part, getting myself mentally in the right place. But I felt coming here this time that I really belonged here." Riding Etienne, a Westphalian gelding owned by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Haas, Traurig earned 67.57 percent in the freestyle. Added to her previous marks, her combined score was 208.34 "He was tired," Traurig said. "There is only so much you can do in a short time, but overall I was really happy. I have to say I was really proud of him over three days. " "I would like to come back to another Olympics, but it is a long road," added Traurig. "Itテ不 a wonderful challenge. The growth that you undertake as a rider, what you learn along the way, is pretty amazing. Itテ不 been a great experience being around all these world-class riders." Photo by Diana De Rosa Like

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5/8/2019

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Courtney King and Mythilus at the 2008 Olympic Games :: Photo Š Diana DeRosa Photographer

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Debbie McDonald and Brentina in the Grand Prix at the 2008 Olympic Games :: Photo Š Diana DeRosa Photographer

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The gold medal winning American show jumping team :: Photo Š Diana DeRosa Photographer

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U.S. Team Vet Confirms Brentina's Soundness

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2008 Olympic Games The American team veterinary, Dr. Rick Mitchell, confirmed the soundness and good health of U.S. team horse Brentina after the Grand Prix. Debbie McDonald and Brentina achieved an uncharacteristic low score of 63.000% following a test in which Brentina was visibly unlevel in the trotwork and made mistakes in the pirouettes. “Brentina was thoroughly examined by a panel of three veterinarians per our selection process prior to entering quarantine in Germany,” said Dr. Rick Mitchell. “Furthermore we had the opportunity to observe this mare training twice daily for six weeks, and we evaluated the soundness of all the team horses on a daily basis. There was never any question during that time or now about any aspect of her soundness.”

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U.S. Team Vet Confirms Brentina's Soundness

Dr. Mitchell also explained that per the IOC rules, he evaluated each of the three horses one hour before their dressage test because a replacement was available up until that time. Brentina never demonstrated any evidence of soreness and lameness, and passed the horse inspection prior to the competition without any question. Up to one hour before a ride, a team can replace a rider with the reserve combination. Michael Barisone and Neruda were on stand-bye but Brentina was fit in the warm up and there was no need to replace her. In an interview with the press representative of the US. equestrian Federation Joanie Morris, McDonald said: "She’s fitter and sounder than ever. She’s been schooling so well but she was totally different in the ring than she was in the warm up. I was totally caught by surprise when she started spooking in the ring. She got tense and tight and became unrideable.” The 2008 Olympic Games were Brentina's last competition. The 17-year old Hanoverian mare by Brentano II x Lungau will be retired at her owners' place, Perry Thomas' River Grove Farm in Idaho, U.S.A. A special retirement ceremony will be held for Brentina at the 2009 World Cup Finals in Las Vegas at the (Perry) Thomas & Mack Center. Photo courtesy: Diana DeRosa Check out Diana DeRosa's fantastic articles (http://horsesdaily.com/olympics/08oly/press/derosa-index.html) on the Olympics at Horsesdaily.com Horsesdaily.com (http://horsesdaily.com/olympics/08oly/)has fantastic coverage of the Olympics with articles by DeRosa and photos by Cealy Tetley and Shannon Brinkmann. Back to the 2008 Olympic (http://www.eurodressage.com/2008/08/19/2008-olympic-games-table-contents) Index

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5/8/2019

SCOOP IT

Diana De Rosa, Page 2 | Scoop.it

From www.dressagedaily.com - August 26, 2012 7:40 PM

Diana De Rosa“ Our Olympic Reporter Settles Into  London - De 87 views | +0 today

Newsletter Analytics Rosa Daily 2012 Olympic GamesDressageDailyDiana De Rosa arrives early to prepare for the Games, and take advantage of the free salon and massgae services provided for the press.”

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What's Happenin' | Olympics Opening Ceremonies From sidelinesnews.com - August 26, 2012 7:40 PM

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Equestrian standings at 2012 Olympic Games after first phase of eventing - Examiner.com From www.examiner.com - August 26, 2012 7:39 PM

“ Equestrian standings at 2012 Olympic Games after first phase of eventingExaminer.com2012 Olympic Games · Olympic Games · London Olympic Games · Diana De Rosa · press link. Advertisement.”

“ Olympics Opening Ceremonies. July 29, 2012 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'. Photos by Diana De Rosa. Team USA. Leave a Reply. Click here to cancel reply. You must be logged in to post a comment.”

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Cross-Country Will Not Be About the Jumps - De Rosa Daily 2012 Olympic Games - DressageDaily From www.dressagedaily.com - August 20, 2012 8:26 AM

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“ Cross-Country Will Not Be About the Jumps - De Rosa Daily 2012 Olympic GamesDressageDailyWritten by Diana De Rosa. Sue Benson Course Designer.”

Eventing standings after crosscountry at 2012 London Olympic Games - Examiner.com From www.examiner.com - August 20, 2012 8:26 AM

“ Eventing standings after cross-country at 2012 London Olympic GamesExaminer.com2012 Olympics · London Olympic Games · Olympic Games · Olympics · Diana De Rosa · press link. Advertisement.”

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Final eventing results at 2012 London Olympic Games Examiner.com From www.examiner.com - August 20, 2012 8:25 AM

“ Final eventing results at 2012 London Olympic Generate Leads with your curated content. GamesExaminer.com2012 London Olympic Games · London Olympic Games · Olympic Games · 2012 Get Scoop.it Content Director to customize a lead capture form that will Olympic Games · Diana De Rosa · press link. appear right here to collect email addresses, business prospects or Advertisement.” newsletter subscribers.

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“ Cross-Country Will Not Be About the Jumps - De Rosa Daily 2012 Olympic Games · 2012 London Olympic Games, De Rosa Daily - 2012 Olympics, Olympics 2012 Eventing. Written by Diana De Rosa. Monday, July 30, 2012 ...”

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“ Great Britain takes the lead after dressage Grand Prix at the Olympic GamesExaminer.comDiana DeRosa is a veteran equestrian journalist, who has traveled the world and recorded history for close to 30 years.”

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Our Athletes Speak Profound Words of a World that is Always Evolving - De ... - DressageDaily From www.dressagedaily.com August 20, 2012 8:24 AM

“ Our Athletes Speak Profound Words of a World that is Always Evolving - De ...DressageDailyWritten by Diana DeRosa. 2012 London Olympic Dressage Team - Jan Ebeling, Tina Konyot, Adrienne Lyle and Steffen Peters (Photo: Diana DeRosa).”

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2012 Is a Different Dressage Game - De Rosa Daily - 2012 Olympics - DressageDaily From www.dressagedaily.com August 20, 2012 8:24 AM

“ 2012 Is a Different Dressage Game - De Rosa Daily - 2012 OlympicsDressageDailyCharlotte Dujardin and Valegro (Photo: Diana DeRosa). I remember when getting a score of 70 or higher was something we hoped for.”

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The team from Saudi Arabia leads after the first round of the show jumping - Examiner.com From www.examiner.com - August 20, 2012 8:23 AM

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Swiss rider wins individual show jumping gold medal in 2012 London Olympic ... - Examiner.com From www.examiner.com - August 20, 2012 8:20 AM

“ Swiss rider wins individual show jumping gold medal in 2012 London Olympic ...Examiner.comDiana DeRosa is a veteran equestrian journalist, who has traveled the world and recorded history for close to 30 years.” From joannaemery.wordpress.com - August 20, 2012 8:23 AM

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We Have To Start Pressing the Right Buttons - De Rosa Daily 2012 Olympics - DressageDaily

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“ We Have To Start Pressing the Right Buttons - De Rosa Daily - 2012 OlympicsDressageDailyWritten by Diana DeRosa. Nick Skelton celebrates Gold! (Photo: Diana DeRosa).”

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Individual Show Jumping Has Some Suprises - De Rosa Daily 2012 Olympics - DressageDaily From www.dressagedaily.com August 20, 2012 8:20 AM

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Results London 2012 Olym Following who and which countries dominate the London 2012 Oly Curated by Joanna Emery

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Olympic records broken during team dressage competition at London Games

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From www.washingtonpost.com - August 5, 2012 1:47 PM

Charlotte Dujardin’s record score riding Valegro helped Britain take a slender lead over Germany on Friday after the two-day rst round of the Olympic dressage competition. Dujardin's score of 83.663 broke the Olympic record.

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Read more at "Olympic records broken during team dressage competition at London Games." US Results: US rider Ste en Peters, a four-time Olympian and a former World Cup champion on Ravel, scored 77.705, nishing in sixth individually. Rafalca, co-owned by the wife of US presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and ridden by Jan Ebeling, scored 70.243 percent to place 30th out of 50 riders. Tina Konyot and Colecto V scored 70.456 and Adrienne Lyle and Wizard nsished on 69.468. Going into the next round of the dressage competion, the US team is in fth place behind Great British, Germany, Netherlands and Denmark. Dressage competition continues August 7 for the dressage team medal and August 7 and 9 for the individual medal. Photo: Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro break Olympic record with score of 83.663 in the dressage competiton August 3 at the 2012 London Olympic Games / Diana DeRosa photo

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CENTRAL EQUINE


WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY DIANA DE ROSA

BEEZIE MADDEN 2004 ATHENS OLYMPIC GAMES TEAM USA SILVER MEDAL 2006 AACHEN WORLD EQUESTRIAN GAMES DYNAMITE 2007 WORLD CUP IN LAS VEGAS AUTHENTIC ANCHOR RIDER 2006 USEF EQUESTRIAN OF THE YEAR 2003 GOLD MEDAL PAN AMERICAN GAMES PULSAR CROWN VALEDICTORIAN PAIR ING UP WITH JOHN MADDEN NORTHERN MAGIC CLEAR THINKER FRENCH RAPTURE ME RCEDES GRAND PRIX OF NEW YORK JUDGEMENT MICHELOB GRAND PRIX DE PENN NATION AL CINCINNATI RED NATURAL

GOING FOR THE

GOLD


Going For The Gold It was the second day of show jumping competition at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and Beezie Madden was walking the course with her husband John and her brother-in-law Frank. You couldn’t read anything from her expression. There was no nervousness or angst, nor would you have known that Beezie was in the lead. For Beezie it was all part of a day’s work. On that day her Team USA would win a Silver Medal. Fast forward one year after her Team and Individual Silver Medal finish at the 2006 Aachen World Equestrian Games, with the fastest time but the last rail down. She is now at the 2007 World Cup in Las Vegas; hands in her pockets, looking relaxed and eyeballing the course with her husband. No change in her facial expressions. The only thing that indicates something might be up is that Beezie is dressed in jeans and not the typical riding gear. And if you were there the day before for the first round in the World Cup you would have seen Beezie and her Olympic mount Authentic take an uncharacteristic fall eliminating them from any further competition at this event. Yet for Beezie, that’s all part of the path she is traveling on. Sometimes you have good days and other times not so good but you keep moving on up one step at a time.

Beezie and husband, John Madden.

“I always assumed that Beezie would have great success,” commented John. “Wherever you want to start to define her success, most people would agree it has not been sporadic. It HAS been a VERYnatural progression.” “I am even tempered,” admits Beezie. “And I think it helps me to not get too low when things don’t go well. Rather, just try to figure out why and realize that things will go better. When things do go well I also don’t get overly excited. I look at the good times the same way and attempt to figure out why they went well and then try to learn from that and do the same the next time.

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“It usually pertains to a certain horse,” continued Beezie. “I think about what made that horse perform well that week or what didn’t. When I’m in a championship I take it one day at a time. That way it is the same thing you do week after week. We try to do well in the competition each day and then generally by the end of the week you are close to the top or leading.”


Insider

Beezie uses as an example the Athens Olympic Games where she was clear all the way until the very last Individual round and her problems at the World Cup. “At the World Cup I was taking a real shot to win (not necessarily that leg, but the overall World Cup Final) and a couple of little things went wrong resulting in a crash.  Authentic was a little rusty in the ring due to a lack of showing this year and very rusty indoors. We knew this going in, but we were hoping we could pull it off anyway. In an effort to give him a good break after WEG in Aachen, he didn’t show indoors at all in the Fall of 2006. Then when we planned on showing him in Palm Beach, the footing had deteriorated and we opted not to show. If I had to do it over again, I would have shown Authentic in some European indoor shows

or started him back sooner so that unforeseen problems didn’t set us back to the point where we felt not as prepared as we would have liked.” “For Athens, Authentic was only 9 years old at the time and for every team member it was their first Olympic Games. First and foremost we were there for the team medal. I was the anchor rider. I jumped two clear rounds for the team and then didn’t have to go in the jump off because the other team members had done so well. For me, at the time it was one of the most exciting nights. It was a great scenario. When I think of Athens that is what I think about. At only 9 to do what he did, I wasn’t disappointed in him at all when I didn’t make it to the final individual round.” In fact, although on that day her Team won Silver they lat-

er ended up winning a Gold Medal and Chris Kappler an Individual Silver Medal (the result of positive drug tests on other horses who placed above them and then were all eliminated).

A Veritable Who’s Who If you speak to Beezie’s husband John you’ll realize that neither one of them is surprised by Beezie’s bio which reads like a who’s who. In addition to her achievements mentioned above, Beezie has won numerous other awards. She was a member of the 2003 Gold Medal Pan American Games Team in Santo Domingo. She is one of only two Americans to win a Pulsar Crown event (the other was Anne Kursinski). She did this at the 2000 Valkenswaard Grand Prix in The Netherlands by beat

HISTORICAL RESULTS Olympic GAMES Year VENUE 2004 Athens (GRE)

HORSE Authentic

INDIVIDUAL RANK 28th

TEAM RANK 1st

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS YEAR VENUE 2006 5th WEG Aachen (GER) 2002 4th WEG Jerez de la Frontera (ESP)

HORSE Authentic Judgement

INDIVIDUAL RANK 2nd 29th

TEAM RANK 1st 1st

WORLD CUP FINALS YEAR VENUE 2007 CSI-W Final Las Vegas, NV (USA) 2006 CSI-W Final Kuala Lumpur, (MAS) 2003 Las Vegas, NV (USA)

HORSE Authentic Judgement Judgement

INDIVIDUAL RANK 39th 13th 30th

TEAM RANK N/A N/A N/A

Source: FEI


ing Barcelona Olympic Gold Medalist Ludger Beerbaum (GER) by .31 seconds in a four-horse-jump-off. And these are only the tip of the iceberg as Beezie’s accomplishments are too vast to mention. “I always assumed that Beezie would have great success,” commented John. “Wherever you want to start to define her success, most people would agree it has not been sporadic. It has been a natural progression.” John would certainly know. He first met Beezie when she was working with noted horsewoman Katie Prudent. She’d gone to two years of school at Southern Seminary Jr. College where she graduated valedictorian in liberal arts. In 1983, she turned down a chance to go to the University of Virginia when Katie offered her a job on her Plain Bay Farm in Middleburg, VA. “I really didn’t have anything else that interested me,” explained Beezie. “And then Katie offered me a job and I decided to take it. I did anything that needed to be done; a little riding, a little teaching, equipment management, grooming.” Even back then John was keeping a close eye on Beezie. He recognized her talents and had businesses in need of them.

Pairing Up With John Madden “John was in Wisconsin at a horse show in Milwaukee (where he lived at the time) and said casually to my mom that he wished he could get someone like Beezie to ride for him,” she explained. “My mom said ‘why don’t you ask her.’ And he did. “I realized that at some point I would have to go somewhere other than Katie’s stable to be the main rider and that was what John was offering me,” said Beezie.

horses and riders and manages the business end of the operation. When they are at a horse show you rarely see them apart and often Frank will be there as well offering advice and sharing the discussions on how to ride the next course that Beezie and one of her mounts is being confronted with. John credits a lot of Beezie’s success with the fact that she is “a clear thinker.” She hasn’t had a sporadic development. She’s paid her dues by being methodical. Her success is a byproduct of all

“I always thought IT WOULD BE part of my life but never knew it would be my main profession until I was in college.” “I knew Beezie fairly well from being involved with Katie,” interjected John. “I called Beezie and we started negotiating a little bit. We didn’t have much in the way of horses. We had a bunch of sale horses and a nice horse called Northern Magic. I felt pretty grateful that she struggled along with me.” It was in 1987 that they first started working together. A little over ten years later (1998) they were married. Now both Beezie and John are glad they blended their talents. While Beezie does the riding, John trains

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her time and effort. The development of all the attributes that you think of great riders as having is the net gain.” John explained that initially, “the business was set up for horse training and sales. After a few years, we had many riding customers for training and we made a decision to change the business focus (for a third time) so that we could concentrate on Beezie’s training and riding. We’ve been really lucky with that. A little bit of it is timing. We started to be around long enough that people had confidence in


Insider

The Unfortunate fall from Authentic at the World Cup Finals 2007

Beezie. It’s hard to look at it and dissect it. You put one step in front of the other. I always had the feeling that things would go along as well as they have. I know how Beezie is and knew she would continue and try to do everything as well as possible and the net result of all that would be success.”

How It All Began The road to that success began in her hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “My parents had horses at the Milwaukee Hunt Club when I was young growing up and you

had to be at least 3 years old to ride there, which is when I started riding. I always thought it would be part of my life but never knew it would be my main profession until I was in college.”

Beezie and Authentic at the Olympic Games in Athens 2004

And then the schedule of the horse can help it stay fresh and want to do what needs to be done when you put the pressure on.”

Beezie continued riding as part of the Intercollegiate program when she went to Southern Seminary Jr. College for two years and the rest is history.

It’s those lessons learned and so many more that have helped Beezie and John to slowly and surely get to where they are today. They have used the experience they’ve gained over the years to build up a very successful business.

When asked what she has learned from being involved with horses Beezie answered, “as a kid responsibility and later how to make the horse work for you. First the horse has to be happy and healthy.

“Along with the experience is the fact that my husband John and I have built a good team of staff and owners that are supporting us. Abigail Wexner is a huge supporter – she owns Authentic, DeSilvio September / October 2007 13


and Integrity. And she now has five other horses with us coming up. We’re lucky enough to have others that have been loyal to us for many years.” As far as her riding success, Beezie recalled her first international Grand Prix victory. “I had French Rapture and I was 5th in the World Cup Final with him in Gothenburg in 1993. That same year, French Rapture won the Grand Prix of Luxembourg. That was probably the first international Grand Prix I won.” That may have been the first true international victory but certainly not her first win. If

you meander through Beezie’s bio you see that in 1989 she won the Mercedes Grand Prix of New York and the Michelob Grand Prix de Penn National, both on Northern Magic. In 1991 she was first in the Michelob Grand Prix of Indianapolis on Schnapps and in the American Bankers Grand Prix on The Girl Next Door. In 1993 she won the Crown Royal Cup in Toronto, the Hampton Classic Grand Prix, the Tampa Grand Prix and was 5th in the Volvo World Cup. So, while it is true that the Luxembourg was her first victory outside of North America, in fact she was already proving herself well before then.

As the years passed she continued winning on Cincinnati Red, Dynamite, Imaginario, Innocence, Cloud Nine, Cockney II, and more recently on Judgement, Authentic and others. In fact, Cockney II was the first time she and John organized a group of people to buy a horse. “I just missed the Sydney Olympics with him but won the Grand Prix of Valkenswaard (Netherlands]. Starting with Jerez I made all the teams since then,” commented Beezie with an ever so slight hint that she was proud of those accomplishments. Beezie has made World Equestrian Teams, the Pan American and Olympic Team since 2002,

Frank, Frank, John,John & & Beezie going Beezie Madden goingover overthe theOlympic course. Olympic Course.


Insider with three different horses; Judgement, Conquest II and Authentic. That is truly an amazing achievement. She was also the USEF Equestrian of the Year and Authentic was the USEF Horse of the Year in 2006. That same year the USET honored her with the Whitney Stone Cup, awarded to an outstanding competitor and sportsman. In fact, there is so much that Beezie should be proud about and yet her enthusiasm is so subtle you would never know. But if Beezie doesn’t spend time boasting about herself, her husband John won’t hesitate to tell you just what a wonderful person his wife really is. “She is an extremely intelligent person and she is also an extraordinarily clear thinker,” explains John.“I’ve been lucky to work with a couple of good riders. The thing they have in common is concentration. She has a real ability to concentrate. Perhaps Beezie’s biggest attribute is that she is a mixture of dedication and clear thinking. She decides to do something and then she is completely dedicated to doing it. Some people can do this but then not have a clear path to do something, but Beezie knows exactly what to do and goes for it.” Yet John thinks beyond the horses even though there is

little time spent outside of the horse world. They take one vacation a year and at home enjoy watching a movie or reading a book. At home most of their life is focused around training the horses and their day begins at 6:30 in the morning. Beezie starts riding at 8:00 and finishes around 1:00, just in time for lunch and some paperwork or to get ready to leave for the next show. At the horse shows most of Beezie’s day is spent competing. “John’s day starts around 6:00 a.m. checking horses and organizing the sched-

around horses John admits, “The only thing she is a lot better at than riding is as a person. She’s compassionate, she’s intelligent, she’s got all the sort of things one would value – integrity – great character. She’s genuinely a nice person. She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body.” After watching Beezie for all these years walking those courses, competing on the horses, answering questions in press conferences and wandering around at horse shows it’s easy to see that she is consistently the same

“PERHAPS BEEZIE’S BIGGEST ATTRIBUTE IS THAT SHE IS A MIXTURE OF DEDICATION AND CLEAR THINKING.” ule,” explains Beezie.  “By 7:30, he’s walking courses with me or students. The rest of his day he helps get horses in the ring.  If we have any to school, or lessons, we usually do that together.  We would typically have five or six students at one show and each student has multiple horses. John is in charge of them in case I am busy.  In between, he’s organizing where I go next and handling telephone calls.  At the end of each day, we make a plan for the next day.” And even though it is clear that both their lives revolve

person. Whether walking the course while leading the pack or eyeing the course after she no longer has a shot she continues to maintain the right sense of balance in her life. And there’s no doubt that one day Beezie will achieve her ultimate goal. When asked what that goal is, Beezie quickly responds, “An Individual Olympic Gold would be great and it would be nice to win a Team Gold Medal on that day!” And if Beezie could choose her life all over again she admits, “I would do the same thing!.” September / October 2007 15


PEGASUS

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story & photos by diana de rosa

Rather than resting on her laurels and taking things easy after years of success at the highest levels, a well-known Olympic gold medalist sets an inspiring example of how to make the most of both herself and any opportunity that comes her way.

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B

Germany, which was a real testament to their abilities. eezie Madden is constantly on a horse, Set on a grass field and surrounded by a full-house whether at home training or at a horse show audience, each fence tested their power, agility and competing. While much of her attention is strength. After she jumped the last fence clear that focused on doing well in every class, she has same Olympic smile swept across her face as the yet another goal this year and that is to make it onto applause from the packed stands of people resounded the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team headed to England in throughout the arena. That same year she and Coral July. That goal stems not only from a childhood desire Reef Via Volo, a Belgian Warmblood, continued their but also from the experience of having already been strong showing, placing third in the Grand Prix there. Beezie has fond memories of her team gold and qualifier at the Dublin Horse Show, individual bronze medals at the while later that year at the Spruce 2008 Olympics. While the bronze Meadows Masters she won the medal is precious it was that team Whatever the level Cana Cup and was a member of the medal that she coveted the most. of competition when winning U.S. Nations Cup Team. Watching her and Authentic take On her home turf the pairing also their victory gallop you could not walking the course claimed victory in the American miss that “I am proud to be an beforehand Beezie’s Gold Cup. American” smile on her face. At the 2011 FTI Winter The path to victory on the rhythm always stays Equestrian Festival they were now-retired Authentic – and now on the Nations Cup Team and in working towards being named to the same. You can’t April tied for fourth place overall yet another Olympic Team on her read anything from in the Rolex/FEI World Cup Finals new string of horses (Coral Reef on Danny Boy and Coral Reef Via Via Volo, Simon, Cortes C) – took her expression. Volo. In August Madden garnered a years of planning and even some She never shows Global Champions Tour victory at disappointments. Whatever the Valkenswaard riding Cortes C and level of competition, when walking nervousness or angst. won the Longines International the course beforehand, Beezie’s Grand Prix of Rotterdam on Coral rhythm is always the same. You Reef Via Volo. She finished the year can’t read anything from her as a member of the gold medal Pan American Games expression. She never shows nervousness or angst. For team and garnered an individual silver in Guadalajara, Beezie it’s all part of a day’s work, whether claiming MX, on her 13-year-old Coral Reef. She had claimed the Olympic team gold medals that she earned in a similar team victory in 2003 at the Pan American 2004 and 2008, the team and individual silver finish Games in Santo Domingo, then riding Conquest II, who on Authentic at the 2006 Aachen World Equestrian is now retired. Games or making her plan for how she will be named While 2012 looks like it will be another impressive to this year’s Olympic team. There is always focus, year for Beezie and her horses, the path that led here determination and a steady rhythm both on and off has not always been easy. the horse. At the 2007 World Cup in Las Vegas Beezie walked After she started with a new string of horses in the course, hands in her pockets, looking relaxed and 2010, she claimed most of her victories on Coral eyeballing the layout with her husband. The only thing Reef Via Volo. The pair won seven grand prix classes, that indicated something might be up was that Beezie including the Warsteiner Grand Prix in Aachen,

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was dressed in jeans and not the typical riding gear as just the day before, for the first round in the World Cup, Beezie and her Olympic mount Authentic had taken an uncharacteristic fall which eliminated them from any further competition at the event. For Beezie, though, that’s all part of the path she is traveling on. She believes that, whether you have good days or not so good, you keep moving on one step at a time. “I am even tempered,” admits Beezie, “And I think it helps me to not get too low when things don’t go well. Rather, I just try to figure out why and realize that things will go better. When things do go well I also don’t get overly excited. I look at the good times the same way and attempt to figure out why they went well and then try to learn from that and do the same the next time. It usually pertains to a certain horse,” she continued. “I think about what made that horse perform well that week or what didn’t. When I’m in a championship I take it one day at a time. That way it is the same thing you do week after week. We try to do well in competition each day and then by the end of the week you are generally close to the top or leading.” Beezie uses as examples the Athens Olympic Games – where she was clear all the way to the very last individual round – and her problems at the World Cup. “At the World Cup I was taking a real shot to

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win (not necessarily that leg, but the overall World Cup Final) and a couple of little things went wrong resulting in a crash. Authentic was a little rusty in the ring due to a lack of showing that year and very rusty indoors. We knew this going in, but we were hoping we could pull it off anyway. In an effort to give him a good break after WEG in Aachen, he didn’t show indoors at all in the fall of 2006. Then, when we planned on showing him in Palm Beach, the footing had deteriorated and we opted not to show. If I had it to do over again, I would have shown Authentic in some European indoor shows or started him back sooner so that unforeseen problems didn’t set us back to the point where we felt not as prepared as we would have liked,” explained Beezie. “At Athens, Authentic was only nine years old and for every team member it was their first Olympic Games. First and foremost we were there for the team medal. I was the anchor rider. I jumped two clear rounds for the team and then didn’t have to go in the jump-off because the other team members had done so well. For me, at the time it was one of the most exciting nights. It was a great scenario. When I think of Athens that is what I think about. At only nine to do what he did was above the call of duty and I wasn’t disappointed in him at all when I didn’t make it to the final individual round.” In addition to those achievements already


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Beezie and John are glad they blended their talents. mentioned, Beezie has won numerous other awards. While Beezie does the riding, John trains horses and She is one of only two Americans to win a Pulsar riders and manages the business end of the operation. Crown event (the other was Anne Kursinski), beating At a horse show you rarely see them apart and often Barcelona Olympic gold medalist Ludger Beerbaum John’s brother Frank will also be there, offering advice (GER) by .31 seconds in a four-horse-jump-off at the and sharing the discussions on how to ride the next 2000 Valkenswaard Grand Prix in The Netherlands. She course confronting Beezie and her mount. was the first woman and first American show jumper John credits a lot of Beezie’s success with the fact to reach the top three in the 2004 Show Jumping World that she is a clear thinker. “She hasn’t had a sporadic Ranking List, and she was the first woman to pass the development. She’s paid her dues by being methodical. million dollar show jumping earnings mark. Her success is a byproduct of These are only the tip all her time and effort. The of the iceberg as Beezie’s development of all the attributes accomplishments are too diverse that you think of great riders and numerous to list. She was the first as having is the net gain.” John “I always assumed that Beezie explained that the business was would have great success,” woman and first initially set up for horse training commented her husband John. American show and sales. “After a few years, we “Wherever you want to start to had many riding customers for define her success, most people jumping rider to reach training and we made a decision would agree it has not been the Top Three in the to change the business focus (for sporadic. It’s been a natural a third time) so that we could progression.” John would certainly 2004 Show Jumping concentrate on Beezie’s training know. He first met Beezie when World Ranking List, and riding. We’ve been really she was working with noted lucky with that. A little bit of it is horsewoman Katie Prudent. She’d and she was the first timing, we had been around long gone to two years of school at woman to pass the enough that people had confidence Southern Seminary Jr. College in Beezie. It’s hard to look at and where she graduated valedictorian million dollar show dissect, but you just put one step in liberal arts. In 1983, she turned jumping earnings mark. in front of the other. I always had down a chance to go to the the feeling that things would go University of Virginia when Katie along as well as they have. I know offered her a job on her Plain Bay how Beezie is and knew she would Farm in Middleburg, VA. continue to try to do everything as well as possible and “I really didn’t have anything else that interested the net result of all that effort would be success.” me,” explained Beezie. “And then Katie offered me a The road to that success began in her hometown of job and I decided to take it. I did anything that needed Milwaukee. “My parents had horses at the Milwaukee to be done; a little riding, a little teaching, equipment Hunt Club when I was young growing up and you had management, grooming the horses…” Even then, John to be at least three years old to ride there, which is was keeping a close eye on Beezie. He recognized her when I started riding. I always thought it would be talents and had businesses in need of them. part of my life but never knew it would be my main When asked how she and John got together, Beezie profession until I was in college.” Beezie continued explained, “John lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and at riding as part of the intercollegiate program when a horse there said casually to my mom that he wished she went to Southern Seminary Jr. College for two he could get someone like me to ride for him. My mom years and the rest is history. When asked what she said ‘why don’t you ask her?’ And he did. I realized has learned from being involved with horses Beezie that at some point I would have to go somewhere listed responsibility and how to make the horse work other than Katie’s stable to be the main rider and that for you. “First the horse has to be happy and healthy. was what John was offering me.” Then the schedule of the horse can help it stay fresh “I knew Beezie fairly well from being involved with and want to do what needs to be done when you put Katie,” interjected John. “I called Beezie and we started the pressure on.” It’s those lessons learned that have negotiating a little bit. We didn’t have much in the helped Beezie and John to slowly and surely get where way of horses. We had a bunch of sale horses and a they are today. They have used experience gained nice horse called Northern Magic. I felt pretty grateful over years to build up a very successful business. that she struggled along with me.” It was in 1987 that Along with that experience, John and Beezie have they first started working together and a little over built a good team of staff and owners that support ten years later, in 1998, they were married. Now both

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them. “Abigail Wexner is a huge supporter – she owns Authentic, Danny Boy, Cortes C, Simon, Mademoiselle, Zhivago and Amadora. Coral Reef Via Volo is owned by Coral Reef Ranch and Gwendolyn Meyer. We’re lucky enough to have others that have been loyal to us for many years” commented Beezie, who hopes to ride Simon, Cortes C and Coral Reef Via Volo in the Olympic selection trials, feeling that all three are solid possibilities for the Olympic Team. Other top horses in their barn are Danny Boy, Capri,

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Amadora, Zhivago and Mademoiselle - all owned by Abigail Wexner. Prima is Beezie’s speed horse and is owned by Neapolitan Holdings Co. They won quite a bit zooming around courses in the summer of 2011 in Europe. They also have Counselor (sired by Judgement, who is now retired). He is just six years old but coming along nicely and owned by John Madden Sales, Inc. Wexner also recently purchased Vanilla (daughter of Coral Reef Via Volo) and Beezie has been bringing her along in Florida. Beezie says Vanilla is


very similar to Coral Reef Via Volo and they have high hopes for her future. When asked about the three horses Beezie is hoping to compete on in the selection trials she commented, “Coral Reef Via Volo is the one I have the most experience with, although I think all of them have the scope that it takes for the Olympics. She is a fighter in a good way and tries to do things right. She’s been a really solid contender for the past two years.” Beezie hasn’t had Simon for long but his record is

strong. He was #1 in the World Breeding Rankings in 2011 and 3rd in the 2011 World Cup Finals with Dutch rider Jeroen Dubbeldam. He also won the CN Masters Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows in 2010. “All of them have a lot of blood, which is good for a Championship course as it means they can go the distance,” Beezie commented. “I got Cortes in May 2011. By then he’d already had some success in some World Cup Grand Prix. He has tons of scope, a super temperament and a lot of blood.” Beezie explained that for the winter

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and Coral Reef. That is a truly amazing achievement. circuit she has been competing more with Simon and She was also the USEF Equestrian of the Year and Cortes C because she doesn’t know them as well. “I Authentic was the USEF Horse of the Year in 2006. That hope to compete with one of them in the Nations Cup. same year the USET honored her with the Whitney Coral Reef Via Volo will compete once or twice more Stone Cup, awarded to an outstanding competitor and before the trials and we will schedule them so they sportsman. In fact, there is so much that Beezie should all peak for the Trials.” When asked if any of the be proud about and yet her enthusiasm is so subtle three horses had some quirks, Beezie laughed before you would never know. If Beezie doesn’t spend time saying, “All three of them stick their tongues out at boasting about herself, however, her husband John some time.” If she is successful in getting named to won’t hesitate to tell you just what a wonderful person the Olympic team, Beezie will then formulate her his wife really is. “She is an extremely intelligent game plan of how to get her mount to peak at the person and an extraordinarily clear thinker,” he Olympic Games. explains. “I’ve been lucky to work with a couple of While discussing her riding successes, Beezie good riders and the thing they have in common is recalled her first international Grand Prix victory. “I concentration. Beezie has a real ability to concentrate. was 5th in a World Cup Final with French Rapture in Perhaps her biggest attribute is that she is a mixture Gothenburg in 1993. That same year, French Rapture of dedication and clear thinking. She decides to do won the Grand Prix of Luxembourg. That was probably something and is then completely dedicated to doing the first international Grand Prix I won.” That may it. Some people can do this but then not have a clear have been the first true international victory but path to get it accomplished, but Beezie knows exactly certainly not her first win. If you peruse Beezie’s what to do and goes for it.” biography you see that in 1989 she won the Mercedes John does think beyond the horses even though Grand Prix of New York and the Michelob Grand there is little time spent outside Prix de Penn National, both on of the horse world. They take one Northern Magic. In 1991 she was vacation a year and at home enjoy first in the Michelob Grand Prix watching a movie now and then or of Indianapolis on Schnapps and reading a book. Most of their home in the American Bankers Grand life is focused around training the Prix on the Girl Next Door. In 1993 horses and their day begins at 6:30 she won the Crown Royal Cup a.m. Beezie starts riding at 8:00 and in Toronto, the Hampton Classic finishes around 1:00, just in time Grand Prix, the Tampa Grand Prix for lunch and some paperwork, or and was 5th in the Volvo World to get ready to leave for the next Cup. So, while it is true that show. At the shows most of her day Luxembourg was her first victory is spent competing. outside of North America, in fact “John’s day starts around she was already proving herself 6:00 a.m. checking horses and well before then. As the years organizing the schedule,” explains passed she continued winning Beezie. “By 7:30, he’s walking on Cincinnati Red, Dynamite, courses with me or students. Imaginario, Innocence, Cloud Nine, The rest of his day he helps get Cockney II, and more recently on horses in the ring. If we have any her newer mounts. Cockney II to school, or lessons, we usually was the first time she and John As the years passed do that together. We would organized a group of people to buy typically have five or six students a horse. “I just missed the Sydney she continued winning at one show and each student has Olympics with him but won the on Cincinnati Red, multiple horses. John is ultimately Grand Prix of Valkenswaard (NED). in charge of them in case I am Starting with Jerez, I made all the Dynamite, Imaginario, busy. In between, he is organizing teams since then,” commented Innocence, Cloud Nine, where I go next and handling many Beezie with an ever so slight hint phone calls. At the end of each day, of pride at those accomplishments. Cockney II, and more we make our plan for the next day.” Beezie has been named to World recently on her newer Even though it is clear that both Equestrian, Pan American and their lives revolve around horses, Olympic Games Teams since mounts. John admits “The only thing Beezie 2002, with four different horses; is a lot better at than riding is as a Judgement, Conquest II, Authentic

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And if Beezie could choose her life all over again she admits, “I would do the same thing!”

person. She’s compassionate, intelligent and she’s got all the attributes one would value – integrity – great character. She’s genuinely a nice person who doesn’t have a mean bone in her body.” After watching Beezie for all these years walking those courses, competing on the horses, answering questions in press conferences and wandering around at horse shows it’s easy to see that she is consistently the same person. Whether walking the course while leading the pack or eyeing the course after she no

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longer has a shot, she continues to maintain the right sense of balance in her life. And there’s no doubt that one day Beezie will achieve her ultimate goal. When asked what that goal is, Beezie quickly responds, “Another Olympic team gold medal would be great and an individual gold medal at the same games would be a bonus!” And if Beezie could choose how to live her life all over again? She retorts in a flash, “I would do the same thing!” 1


5/8/2019

Olympic Dressage Team Competition - A New Era | Horses Daily

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Olympic Dressage Team Competition - A New Era Sunday, August 5, 2012 Posted by Diana De Rosa

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I thought our riders did a good job riding accurate tests but I felt like they lacked a little expression, like they were riding cautiously in order to be accurate. I asked Anne Gribbons what the plan was to see if what I was seeing was true and so she commented, “The plan going into the Grand Prix was to qualify for the Special, which was not a given considering the formidable quality of our competition. We are now in fth, so mission accomplished with room to spare.” Anne continued, “Between Britain and Germany, it will go down to the wire. The Brits have the home advantage, but the Germans also have Great Brittain's Carl hester and Uthopia photo: Diana De Rosa

incredible horses and as usual a formidable drive to regain their crown.“The team test, or tests as in this case, are always a bit cautiously ridden because

mistakes cost the team too much. A clean test must be the priority. “Not until the freestyle can the riders turn on full power and take risks, and they are all aware of this and playing the team game. https://horsesdaily.com/article/olympic-dressage-team-competition-new-era

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“This year I think a medal is beyond our reach, which in no way will stop us from trying. We have competent riders, accomplished horses and it is not over until the fat lady sings!” And just to clarify about Anne’s comment “or tests as in this case.” In years past the teams were decided immediately after the Grand Prix and only using that one test. This time around the Grand Prix scores will be combined with the Special scores to decide the ultimate team winners. Dressage is no longer being dominated by one country. Now lots more countries have riders and horses that can go with the best of them. We are close but this time we’ll need just a little luck to make a team medal a reality. Like

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THE ART OF RIDING

GOLDEN GLORY AT LONDON GAMES london 2012

PRESTIGIOUS YEAR FOR PARALYPMICS VIP Victory for Valhalla Issue 4 I 2012


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For 18-year-old Reed Kessler, 2012 was the “best year� of her life. The rising star was the youngest American to compete in show jumping at the London Olympic Games and she is excited for what the future holds. In just a short six months she and her horse Cylana went from their first 1.60 meter grand prix all the way to representing their c ountry in their very first Olympic Games. story & photos by Diana De Rosa

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“I couldn’t have in my wildest dreams thought this would happen. It is a pretty long way to come in the span of six months,” remarked the striking young rider with her long auburn locks and magnetic dancing eyes.

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eed, Lexington, KY, earned the honor to represent her nation after she won the Olympic Selection Trials. “It didn’t shock Katie (Prudent - her trainer) but it shocked me,” she commented. When it was all over she didn’t win any medals but she proved she was up for the task. She learned a lot and now has some good mileage that will bode well for her the next time she is in a similar position. “Now that it is done it is amazing to take a step back and look at how my career has changed in six months. Making the Olympics has been my biggest dream and my entire goal. The fact that I have done it so young is an unbelievable feeling. Now, I can’t wait to come back and medal,” she added with an evident determination that made you believe she will do just that. Chatting with Reed it’s hard to believe she’s so young as her comments made you feel they were coming from someone who has been a longtime veteran in the sport at the highest levels. “The Olympics is just one week of your life,” she reflected, “so it doesn’t fully assess your riding ability. We turned the conversation to what Reed felt were the things she

needed to overcome and what she had learned from this monumental experience. “I have never competed in a real championship format,” she explained. “Not like on this level, where you have to dig really deep to jump these fences.” Kessler spoke highly of the courses designed by Bob Ellis. She had jumped his courses at some of the events she had competed at in Florida and Calgary and so was familiar with his style. “I think he is a fantastic course designer,” she commented. “There were some big fences but his courses are more technical then it is killing the horses; more rider error than sheer scope of the horse. A lot of thought goes into his courses.” We discussed her preparation with Cylana, which was very simple. “I barely did anything. It was more to stretch and loosen her. I kept it to a real minimum to keep her very fresh and excited.” Then our tête-à-tête focused a bit on the Olympic Trials. “We’ve done so much jumping to get here.” You could sense that on the one hand she wondered if it didn’t take too much out of the horses but then on the other hand, “it has its ups and downs but it gives way for new people like me to break through.” the art of riding I pegasus I

25


Where Do We Go From Here to Win Medals None of the U.S. riders (team or individual) who competed in England won any medals and we talked a bit about our lack of medals at these Olympic Games and what homework needs to be done to solve that. “There is never an immediate fix to anything,” she said after a moment’s pause. “Things take time to see the scale rise and fall. I think we are on a rise. We have a strong 26 I pegasus I the art of riding

new wave of young riders my age coming up. While we may not have medaled, we did finish on the upper side of the pack.” The U.S. wasn’t the only surprise finish after coming off back-to-back victories in the past two Olympic Games. “Germany and France didn’t even make the second round,” she remarked. With more reflection she repeated an earlier comment. “It is just one week. We had a strong team. Rich (Fellers) and Flexible are

one of the greatest combinations in the world. Via Volo (Beezie Madden’s mount) is just coming back from an injury and had a surprising refusal on the first day. McLain Ward’s horse Antares is not as seasoned and McLain is coming back from an injury from a fall earlier this year. They just had some bad luck with foots in the water and rails down. Then there was me never being in a championship before. It was a lot. Our performance was not stellar


“Things take time to see the scale rise and fall. I think we are on a rise. We have a strong new wave of young riders my age coming up. While we may not have medaled, we did finish on the upper side of the pack.”

but it was pretty solid but at the end of the day you have to jump clean rounds and it didn’t happen for us this week.” Kessler was happy with her first round despite the one time fault, which she felt may have caused some of her later faults. “I think the whole thing was having the time fault the first day. You make mistakes and the fences come down and that happens but there is no one to blame but yourself for a time fault.”

In the second round she felt worrying about the time fault helped her to drop two rails for eight faults. “I was a bit aggressive. So, it was my fault and unfortunately luck wasn’t with me.” More rails fell on the last day (3 for 12 faults). Despite the fact that Chef d’Equipe George Morris and Katie thought she rode a tough water jump after a rollback just fine, Cylana ended up with a foot in the water. “I might have not ridden it

strong enough. Then the next rail fell because of having the water. By the end of the course there was a real reachy huge oxer after the ingate and I needed to feel her fading,” she explained with a clear sense of determination in her voice.

The Olympic Experience Enough about what she didn’t feel. Kessler also wanted to talk about the wonders of her very first Olympic Games. “It was a packed the art of riding I pegasus I

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crowd and I was so excited because it’s been a long build up to get here. Kind of what you’ve been training for and working for is finally here. I was ready to sink my teeth in. I was excited to actually do it. “The crowd really pumped me up even more. I like a lot of pressure. I don’t attribute the faults to crumbling under pressure. I thought I performed admirably. I just don’t have championship experience, not for nerves but just jumping real championship courses four days in a row. That is something I have never done. It takes time, strength, experience and the ability to fight to clear every fence.” For Kessler looking back she recalls these Olympic Games as a wonderful memory that she’s already learned from but now she’s moving on. She’s hoping to represent her country again in upcoming championships, Nations Cups, World Cups and more. “Your first championship is 30 I pegasus I the art of riding

survival. As a team member I wish I could have pulled out a clear round for my team and I wish I could have pulled out a medal for Cylana because she is a horse that deserves to medal. She has taken a kid to the Olympic Games and had solid performances each day. “I am just so thankful for the experience and that I had the opportunity. Now that I’ve done it and learned so much, I can’t wait to try again. “It was an amazing opportunity to have spent the time studying with George, bonding with the team and watching real veterans ride. I want to come back many times and bring back a lot of hardware for my country.” Reed paused for a moment and reflected on one of the most important lessons she’d learned and it was from watching British world class rider Nick Skelton who after 54 years finally won an Olympic Gold team medal. “He’s won just about everything

else, but the Olympic medal was one that continually escaped him. Nobody goes to every show each week and wins. Here is one of the greatest riders in history and it took him all these years to win a Gold Medal. “Katie and Henri (Prudent) my trainers are good friends with Nick Skelton. After his victory he was talking about his win and that every time he tried just as hard, wanted it just as much and he rode just as well but it never came together until this one. I thought that was inspiring. “Finally one of the world’s greatest riders came back and did it. It’s taken him so long to do this that you can’t be upset about it. He’s worked so hard and finally did it in front of an enthusiastic crowd in his own country. At only 18, I have a few more years to come back and try. Hopefully like Nick, one day I will come back and finish with a medal around my neck.” 1


THE ART OF RIDING

GOLDEN GLORY AT LONDON GAMES london 2012

PRESTIGIOUS YEAR FOR PARALYPMICS VIP Victory for Valhalla Issue 4 I 2012


FEI/Kit Houghton

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The cross-country course at the 2012 London Olympic Games was like a maze or a jigsaw puzzle and course designer Sue Benson had her job cut out for her. After years of planning she miraculously built an Olympic level course in the confines of Greenwich Park, the oldest royal park, and where the Royal Observatory, Royal Naval College and National Maritime Museum are all located. Words & Photos by Diana De Rosa the art of riding I pegasus I

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enson, a former international three-day event rider has been course designing for close to 20 years. She was assigned to the task five years before the Games began and from the onset she contemplated on what the best course would be when you were already dealing with such tough and hilly countryside. “The difficulty with the terrain was that there was so much,” explained Benson. “I agonized about it from start to finish.” “I knew that the terrain was already 3* or 4* so I had to adapt the fences accordingly and not overdo their severity,” she continued. “I tried very hard, during those five years, to get the message across to the world, that they needed quality horses that were super fit. I think I succeeded on the whole. We did not get too many ‘bad’ pictures of tired horses ‘rolling’ home under pressure.” Benson knew there was no getting around having the riders deal with some very steep hills because she had a minimum distance of 5,700 meters that she was required to cover. “I had to use the hill twice so I was always anxious about the last third of the track. For this reason I ‘softened’ the questions in the last three minutes of the course, which was hard to do because instinctively designers like to ask one final ‘question’ near the end of a course,” she added. Benson also had to take into account the terrain 80 I pegasus I the art of riding

when deciding how to make it possible for the riders to achieve the time allowed of 570 meters a minute. “This is a perfectly manageable speed if the ground is even, the terrain is undemanding and the turns are gentle,” she noted. “In a small Park, with numerous trees, hills, ‘speed bumps’ and turns the achievable speed is greatly reduced. To this end I worked tirelessly, in the early days, to find a track which provided stretches of good straight galloping ground so that riders COULD increase their speed to approximately 750 meters a minute in order to make up some of the time lost on the hills and turns. One of the places riders made up a lot of time was into and out of the main arena.” Benson achieved her goal because when every rider had finished the course, nine riders rode within the optimum of ten minutes and three seconds.

Milestones to Achieve While Raising the Bar Once hired Benson had three milestones she wanted to achieve: 1. To allow the less experienced nations to complete while testing the best nations for medals. 2. To avoid any unnecessarily unattractive pictures to go global (too many falls, refusals, etc). 3. To raise the bar in terms of presentation and imagination for spectator/TV participation.


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Benson put a lot of thought into #3 and the fences she had designed were proof positive that she had raised the bar. While some fences were straightforward and non-descript, others were pure British. “From the moment I saw the Bandstand I wanted to include it in the course,” she remarked. “Initially I had the idea to jump horses on and off the Bandstand but I was quickly told that this was a listed building - so NO. I designed the rails to replica those of the Bandstand. We matched the pattern exactly as well as the color. It was a triumph of skill from my builder. They were beautiful and it is hard to make ‘rails’ beautiful!” Two fences that were undoubtedly one of the most visually beautiful on the course and most remembered were a half-moon and planet jumps. Throughout all the competitions, the backdrop of the city was always taken into account. Benson had these jumps placed in such a way that you could capture the city as a backdrop. “The Planet and the Moon jumps were an example of the right fences in the right place. I was 82 I pegasus I the art of riding

inspired by The Observatory and its link to the sky. Both had the backdrop of Canary Wharf and the larger ‘London’ skyline.” Yet another visually appealing jump was the Time Line Clocks, which Benson said was inspired by “Greenwich Meantime.” “This fence sat reasonably accurately on the timeline and endeavored to replica the Observatory,” she explained. “The jumpable part of the fence - a simple ‘roof’ shape – displayed fourteen clocks while the towers on either side housed a total of eight more. Each clock had the name of a competing nation above it and each clock accurately told the time of that nation. It was a simple idea but incredibly difficult to put into practice.” There were two water complexes on the course with multiple jumps within each one. Fence # 8abc was The River Bank. “This fence had less to do with London and more to do with my favorite children’s book – The Wind in the Willows,” noted Benson. “This theme was lost


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on many and in particular foreigners. Nevertheless, it achieved its aim, which was to provide a peaceful environment for spectators to sit and watch the action while offering imaginative detail to enjoy in between the horses appearances. Ratty’s house was built from recycled Opepe timber. The ‘dead’ tree was brought from Sussex, the ‘river’ itself was installed in late May and the wild flowers were planted in the turf. Toad, Ratty and Mole were made of clay and Toady’s caravan was another example of skill and imagination from my builders. It did exactly what it was designed to do which was to ‘ride’ well.” A bonus for this jump was a “huge screen that allowed thousands of spectators to enjoy the whole course while relaxing in the Park in view of something very beautiful,” she added. The second water jump was #17 and #18ab and the theme was a working waterway. Here is where most of the spectators settled in for the day because the jump really showed the ability of the horses and riders to jump multiple obstacles in one location. While designing the course Benson had her thoughts on how the fences would ride but later revealed, “Not all fences ‘rode’ the way I thought. The Bandstand Rails had a deceptively difficult line on an acute angle which I did not think many people would tackle so early in the course. The alternative route was not a lot slower so I was surprised so many attempted the difficult route. “I expected the Ancient Market Place (#10) to cause a little more trouble (just one fall here). I also expected more trouble on the exit of the Inland Waterways (#18ab). I was surprised by a fall at #21 (The Altar). In some ways I was disappointed that not all my

alternative fences were used but that was the result of a thought process which goes like this: If I make the direct routes more difficult how many riders will accept the time penalties incurred by taking easier options and how many will attempt the difficult route and then fail – providing the world with unacceptable pictures of our sport? It is a difficult balance.” Regardless of how many took the direct routes or the alternatives, Benson was pleased noting, “The outcome of the competition was perfect. The best team really did win and the individual medals went with form. I could not have asked for a better result – there were no surprises. I saw some pretty inept riding by some good individuals but I also saw some sensible riding from less experienced riders. Overall I thought the sport will have taken a step forward in popularity. It was amazing to see Thailand, South Africa, Belarus, Ecuador and Brazil finishing the competition. I hope they all are inspired to take the message back to their countries that this really is a great and do-able sport!” It is those “bring home” messages that was the guiding light for Sue Benson. “If there is a legacy I hope it will be to promote the sport within the Olympic movement. We had 22 nations competing this year. It would be great to bring that number up. Bringing the sport to London meant there were thousands of spectators who would never have bought tickets if the event had been held away from the City. To those who came without knowledge, the legacy is obvious. To sow a seed of interest is to hope it will grow into support. Horses are magnificent to watch as well as ride and the sport needs followers. It is an immeasurable legacy but one I am sure will exist,” she concluded. 1 the art of riding I pegasus I

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Reed Kessler – 18 and Already an Olympic Veteran

For 18-year-old Reed Kessler, 2012 has been the “best year of my life,” remarked the youngest American to compete in show jumping at the London Olympic Games. In just a short six months she and her horse Cylana went from their first 1.60 meter grand prix all the way to representing their country in their very first Olympic Games. “I couldn’t have in my wildest dreams thought this would happen. It is a pretty long way to come in the span of six months,” remarked the striking young rider with her long auburn locks and magnetic dancing eyes. Reed, Lexington, KY, earned the honor to represent her nation after she won the Olympic Selection Trials. “It didn’t shock Katie (Prudent - her trainer) but it shocked me,” she commented. When it was all over she didn’t win any medals but she proved she was up for the task. She learned a lot and now has some good mileage that will bode well for her the next time she is in a similar position. “Now that it is done it is amazing to take a step back and look at how my career has changed in six months. Making the Olympics has been my biggest dream and my entire goal. The fact that I have done it so young is an unbelievable feeling. Now, I can’t wait to come back and medal,” she added with an evident determination that made you believe she will do just that. Chatting with Reed it’s hard to believe she’s so young as her comments made you feel they were coming from someone who has been a longtime veteran in the sport at the highest levels. “The Olympics is just one week of your life,” she reflected, “so it doesn’t fully assess your riding ability. We turned the conversation to what Reed felt were the things she needed to overcome and what she had learned from this monumental experience.


“I have never competed in a real championship format,” she explained. “Not like on this level, where you have to dig really deep to jump these fences.” Kessler spoke highly of the courses designed by Bob Ellis. She had jumped his courses at some of the events she had competed at in Florida and Calgary and so was familiar with his style. “I think he is a fantastic course designer,” she commented. “There were some big fences but his courses are more technical then it is killing the horses; more rider error than sheer scope of the horse. A lot of thought goes into his courses.” We discussed her preparation with Cylana, which was very simple. “I barely did anything. It was more to stretch and loosen her. I kept it to a real minimum to keep her very fresh and excited.” Then our tête-à-tête focused a bit on the Olympic Trials. “We’ve done so much jumping to get here.” You could sense that on the one hand she wondered if it didn’t take too much out of the horses but then on the other hand, “it has its ups and downs but it gives way for new people like me to break through.” Where Do We Go From Here to Win Medals None of the U.S. riders (team or individual) who competed in England won any medals and we talked a bit about our lack of medals at these Olympic Games and what homework needs to be done to solve that. “There is never an immediate fix to anything,” she said after a moment’s pause. “Things take time to see the scale rise and fall. I think we are on a rise. We have a strong new wave of young riders my age coming up. While we may not have medaled, we did finish on the upper side of the pack.” The U.S. wasn’t the only surprise finish after coming off back-to-back victories in the past two Olympic Games. “Germany and France didn’t even make the second round,” she remarked. With more reflection she repeated an earlier comment. “It is just one week. We had a strong team. Rich (Fellers) and Flexible are one of the greatest combinations in the world. Via Volo (Beezie Madden’s mount) is just coming back from an injury and had a surprising refusal on the first day. McLain Ward’s horse Antares is not as seasoned and McLain is coming back from an injury from a fall earlier this year. They just had some bad luck with foots in the water and rails down. Then there was me never being in a championship before. It was a lot. Our performance was not stellar but it was pretty solid but at the end of the day you have to jump clean rounds and it didn’t happen for us this week.”

Kessler was happy with her first round despite the one time fault, which she felt may have caused some of her later faults. “I think the whole thing was having the time fault the first day. You make mistakes and the fences come down and that happens but there is no one to blame but yourself for a time fault.”


In the second round she felt worrying about the time fault helped her to drop two rails for eight faults. “I was a bit aggressive. So, it was my fault and unfortunately luck wasn’t with me.” More rails fell on the last day (3 for 12 faults). Despite the fact that Chef d’Equipe George Morris and Katie thought she rode a tough water jump after a rollback just fine, Cylana ended up with a foot in the water. “I might have not ridden it strong enough. Then the next rail fell because of having the water. By the end of the course there was a real reachy huge oxer after the ingate and I needed to feel her fading,” she explained with a clear sense of determination in her voice. The Olympic Experience Enough about what she didn’t feel. Kessler also wanted to talk about the wonders of her very first Olympic Games. “It was a packed crowd and I was so excited because it’s been a long build up to get here. Kind of what you’ve been training for and working for is finally here. I was ready to sink my teeth in. I was excited to actually do it. “The crowd really pumped me up even more. I like a lot of pressure. I don’t attribute the faults to crumbling under pressure. I thought I performed admirably. I just don’t have championship experience, not for nerves but just jumping real championship courses four days in a row. That is something I have never done. It takes time, strength, experience and the ability to fight to clear every fence.” For Kessler looking back she recalls these Olympic Games as a wonderful memory that she’s already learned from but now she’s moving on. She’s hoping to represent her country again in upcoming championships, Nations Cups, World Cups and more. “Your first championship is survival. As a team member I wish I could have pulled out a clear round for my team and I wish I could have pulled out a medal for Cylana because she is a horse that deserves to medal. She has taken a kid to the Olympic Games and had solid performances each day. “I am just so thankful for the experience and that I had the opportunity. Now that I’ve done it and learned so much, I can’t wait to try again. “It was an amazing opportunity to have spent the time studying with George, bonding with the team and watching real veterans ride. I want to come back many times and bring back a lot of hardware for my country.” Reed paused for a moment and reflected on one of the most important lessons she’d learned and it was from watching British world class rider Nick Skelton who after 54 years finally won an Olympic Gold team medal. “He’s won just about everything else, but the Olympic medal was one that continually escaped him. Nobody goes to every show each week and wins. Here is one of the greatest riders in history and it took him all these years to win a Gold Medal.


“Katie and Henri (Prudent) my trainers are good friends with Nick Skelton. After his victory he was talking about his win and that every time he tried just as hard, wanted it just as much and he rode just as well but it never came together until this one. I thought that was inspiring. “Finally one of the world’s greatest riders came back and did it. It’s taken him so long to do this that you can’t be upset about it. He’s worked so hard and finally did it in front of an enthusiastic crowd in his own country. At only 18, I have a few more years to come back and try. Hopefully like Nick, one day I will come back and finish with a medal around my neck.”


THE ART OF RIDING

Germany conquers JONELLE RICHARDS

Success is an attitude! 100 years of Olympic Games Issue 3 I 2012


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Tina Konyot and her stud muffin stallion Calecto will live it, believe it and strive for their best as they compete in the most important event of their dressage career. story & photos by Diana de rosa

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“I was 15 and I went with my parents and watched the talented Dressage riders and horses and I said, ‘I am going to do that one day’ and now that one day has arrived. Here I am.”

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t took Tina Konyot 35 years to accomplish the wish she made when she was just 15 years old. In 1976 she went to the Montreal Olympic Games and it was then that she decided she would one day be an Olympian. “I was 15 and I went with my parents and watched the talented Dressage riders and horses and I said, ‘I am going to do that one day’ and now that one day has arrived. Here I am. “When I was named to the team it didn’t hit me right away. Then my boyfriend, Roger Attfield, bought me a beautiful belt that said London 2012. One day a lady walking behind me admired my belt and asked if I was going to the Olympics. I turned around and said ‘actually I am.’ It was like a slap in the face – a great slap.” Tina and her famed stallion Calecto V will now have their chance and will be joining Steffen Peters, Jan Ebeling, and Adrienne Lyle in England for the 2012 Olympic Games. Tina, a 2010 World Equestrian Games veteran, is pleased with the team that was chosen for these Games. “I think we have a very good team. All of us are seasoned competitors. All of us are friends. We care about the well-being of each other and each other’s horse. We all know what we are capable of doing. I think the support of each other to bring the best out will also help.” After being named to the team Tina made decisions on what she felt would be the best preparation for her 14-year-old, 17H, dark brown, Danish Warmblood Calecto to peak at the Games. This was a horse she first saw at an auction in Denmark in 2006. “Nobody bid on him but we were able to organize purchasing the horse a couple of months afterwards for a very reasonable price.” This was a point Tina emphasized: the fact that she is not wealthy, but

rather just a hardworking equestrian female with a goal. “So often the media makes it appear that only the wealthy can make it to an Olympic Games, but I am proof that you don’t have to be rich to achieve what so many little girl’s wish for; to ride in an Olympic Games,” she stated.

THE PREPARATION Once the announcement was made that she and Calecto had made it onto the team she focused on how to best prepare her mount. In her mind that meant to maintain as much of the norm for both her and her horse. “After the team was selected I chose to be home for a couple of weeks to have some peaceful time for my horse and myself. It was important that he could be out in a paddock. I wanted to not take him away from his normal routine even though he has somewhat of an abnormal routine with the flying, shipping, showing and other things. Yet, he deals with all of it in a very comfortable way,” she explained. If you wonder how she knows he’s comfortable some of that is because Calecto loves his siesta time. “He sleeps well,” she said with a smile. “Everyone finds it humorous how he lays down and stretches out several times a day.” There are more reasons why Tina also likes being home. Home for Tina is both Connecticut and Canada and then during the winter it’s Florida. “At home in Canada he can be doing different types of work for fitness because we have beautiful hills there. I ride up and downhill which increases his fitness level,” she continued. When we chatted Tina was on her way back to Gladstone to meet up with her teammates and prepare for their departure to Europe. Unlike Tina, because her teammates live much further away than the nine hour the art of riding I pegasus I

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“So often the media makes it appear that only the wealthy can make it to an Olympic Games, but I am proof that you don’t have to be rich to achieve what so many little girl’s wish for; to ride in an Olympic Games,” 140 I pegasus I the art of riding

drive she had, their horses had to remain in Gladstone until their departure out of Newark with Federal Express. But some, like Steffen, chose to fly home for a couple of days. “It’s important that we also keep ourselves fresh as athletes,” she quipped. Health is important to Tina as well and she is thankful for her genes. “Genetically I am blessed. I don’t have to worry about carrying too much weight. I am 50 years old. I do not go to a gymnasium. I choose to be outside doing things like mowing grass or running around doing whatever I can. I keep myself fit and healthy that way.” What she consumes is also important to her and so when she can, Tina cooks dinner at home because she knows that meals prepared at home are healthier. Knowing her fitness and comfort routines are in place, Tina was feeling confident about the upcoming travel because they’ve been there and done that before.


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“In other situations such as travel and flying to horse shows in Europe in the past Calecto has handled it very well. We’ve also traveled a lot up and down the East Coast of the United States. So, I foresee a very comfortable trip.” Our conversation turned to the stallion that has taken Tina to these Olympic Games.

CALECTO V Since Calecto is a stallion he is a powerful horse yet unlike most stallions, “he doesn’t take any notice to mares and doesn’t get wound up,” she explained. Tina keeps Calecto on a very good fitness and aerobic program. “Most afternoons we do very slow jogging up and down hills thanks to his caring groom, Lauren, who is on the same fitness program.” When it comes to what Calecto is fed Tina answers that in general terms noting, “I think every horse that is an athlete is on some sort of diet but each horse is an individual and so the diet may vary. For Calecto most of his grain is oats since that is what he loves more than anything. Nutrena sponsors me and feeds all of my horses. He gets a Nutrena grain.” Delving a bit deeper it was clear to see the connection she has with Calecto. “He is my pet horse. And no matter who is around, when Calecto sees me he pushes everyone aside.” Calecto’s favorite treat is stud muffins. “If you have apples in one hand and carrots in the other hand you

first have to give him one or two stud muffins and then he will choose an apple or carrot. He travels with a big three foot tall teddy bear. He plays with it, throws it up in the air, bites it and we hang it in his stall.” While we already know Calecto loves his many naps he also “loves sleeping out in the sun in the paddock,” remarked Tina. As far as how Calecto is to ride, “He is like a giant couch. Like the most comfortable couch you would ever want to sit on and you don’t want to get off,” she said. Tina tried to explain what he’s like even more. “He is a big strong stallion and you feel an enormous amount of power underneath you. It is like sitting in a very fast car, like an Indie car with an enormous engine underneath you, yet very comfortable to drive. And he appears that way also. He is a bold strong stallion.” Fortunately the stables where they will be set up in England have all the amenities they need to keep their horses comfortable and happy. “We do have turnout with beautiful outside fields to ride where we are staying in England,” she added.

THE OLYMPIC GAMES When asked what her plans were for peaking at the Olympic Games Tina made it clear that you do the best you can but, “every day is different with animals and people. You will never have the same answer on that. It’s an animal that has feelings the art of riding I pegasus I

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Dressage Team: Jan Ebeling (Moorpark, CA) on Amy Ebeling, Beth Meyers, and Ann Romney’s Rafalca Tina Konyot (Palm City, FL) on her own and John Byrialsen’s Calecto V Steffen Peters (San Diego, CA) on Four Winds Farm’s Ravel Individual: Adrienne Lyle (Ketchum, ID) on Peggy Thomas’ Wizard

“Making it to the Olympics proves to me that people who work hard and do their very best can accomplish their dreams. Finally at 50 I have accomplished my dream,”

and you have to keep everything in mind including how they warmed up, what the temperature is, the surroundings and so on. But in general before I go into the arena I am riding to do a great job and to try and win. I always talk to him and tell him what a good boy he is and that he’s my boy and we get it together and off we go.” When asked what she is most looking for Tina was quick to remark, “It’s a package. First it is being an Olympian and representing our country. Then it is knowing that my dream as a 15-year-old has finally come true. I’m looking forward to all the parts, from the Opening ceremony, to meeting all the other Olympians, to the competition, to sharing time with my teammates.” 144 I pegasus I the art of riding

“Making it to the Olympics proves to me that people who work hard and do their very best can accomplish their dreams. Finally at 50 I have accomplished my dream,” she added with a note of content in her voice. As for her goals, they are to “ride the very best I can, to ride a mistake free test and to peak at the right moment for that day. I want both of us to be at our highest level of performance. That is my goal. You can’t say I want to win a medal because there are so many factors, including a panel of seven judges. All I know is that when I am ready to enter the Olympic arena I will have prepared my horse to the very best of my ability and at that moment I will then live it, believe it and ride my very best. 1


The Konyot Family Legacy

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ina’s family legacy is one to amaze because she truly comes from a long line of equestrians from all walks of life. Tina’s great-grandfather, Leopold Konyot, was owner of Circus Leopold. His passion for the circus began when he ran away from his Hungarian home in 1870 at 15 to join the circus. Leopold and his wife Henrietta had 12 children (yep 12). All were known for their bareback riding skills as they performed in many European circuses. In 1907 John Ringling brought them into his Barnum and Bailey Circus. They did that until 1912, at which time they went back to Europe to start their own Konyot Bros. Great American Circus and Wild West Show. Among the 12 children was Arthur Konyot who was known for his Dressage expertise. After a stint in the Austro-Hungarian Army, the lure of the circus pulled him back into that arena. He managed a circus in Italy and performed in French circuses. This was in the 1920s. Arthur was especially known for his work with horses at liberty. The legacy continued as Arthur, his wife and their two children, Alex and Dorita, continued to move around with their horses and other animals always focusing on a circus-like life and also started to focus on Classical Dressage. In time the Konyots rode Andalusians and Lusitanos and performed a high school act throughout Europe. Then in 1940 the family was part of the opening of the John Ringling’s circus which took place at Madison Square Garden. In 1950, Arthur and his daughter Dorita headed for Chicago where Arthur opened the Riding Academy and School of Equitation. Among the famed horses and riders they trained was Arthur Godfrey. In 1961 Arthur Konyot’s story was told in his autobiography “The White Rider: My 60 Years as a Circus Equestrienne.” Death for Arthur came in 1966 when he was 78 years old. While he never made it into the Circus Hall of Fame while he was alive, it was awarded to him posthumously. Now this is where Tina’s parents enter the story. Alex was married to Tina’s mom, Josephine Berosini, a Czechoslovakian high wire artiste whose nickname was “Fina.” In 1939 she came to the U.S. for the World’s Fair and performed for the Ringling Circus. Alex and Josephine met and were married in 1952. Alex eventually opened an equestrian school in Florida focused on Dressage. In 2006 Tina lost her dad to heart disease. He was 91. Tina credits her dad with teaching her horsemanship, care and feeding, managing horses and showmanship. Her riding career began when she was just a baby riding in front of her dad on the saddle while she held on to the horse’s mane. In her early years riding was fun, going bareback with hands spread eagle jumping fences. As she got older she began to focus. Her training included five years in Europe, two years studying with noted trainer Herbert Rehbein and later with Rudolf Zeilinger and Klaus Balkenhol. She was short-listed for the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000 on a horse named Justice and for the Athens Olympics in 2004 with Anna Karinina. Finally in 2010 she made it on to the 2010 World Equestrian Games U.S. team. Tina is more than a Dressage rider. Rather she has the genetics from an astute family of equestrians from all walks of life. That influence helped bring her to where she is today, heading to England as a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Games team. the art of riding I pegasus I

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5/8/2019

Olympics Opening Ceremonies – What's Happenin'

SIDELINES

SUNDAY, JULY 29 2012 / PUBLISHED IN WHAT'S HAPPENIN'

Olympics Opening Ceremonies Photos by Diana De Rosa

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Olympics Opening Ceremonies – What's Happenin'

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Olympics Opening Ceremonies – What's Happenin'

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5/8/2019

U.S. Olympic Dressage Team in Fifth Place After First Half of Team Competition | Horses Daily

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U.S. Olympic Dressage Team in Fifth Place After First Half of Team Competition Tuesday, August 7, 2012 Posted by USEF

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U.S. Olympic Dressage Team in Fifth Place After First Half of Team Competition | Horses Daily

Greenwich, UK - Steffen Peters (San Diego, CA) returned to the Olympic Games

Steffen Peters and Ravel (Photo: Diana DeRosa)

(http://www.dressagedaily.com/showtime/section/2012-london-olympic-games) with Ravel and proved that the 14-year-old KWPN gelding still has what it takes to be competitive at the highest level of the sport of dressage. Four years after they were fourth individually in Hong Kong at the 2008 Games, Peters and Ravel scored 77.705% in Greenwich Park's main arena to lead the U.S. Team to fth place at the conclusion of the rst half of the Team Competition. "I can't explain the feeling you get from Ravel when he's on but today was one of those days," said Peters. "I'm just thrilled that Ravel is still the same horse after all those years."Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro set the mark and lead the British effort as they look to win their rst Team Gold in dressage. Their score of 83.663% was never in danger of being touched. Adelinde Cornelissen and Parzival are second for The Netherlands on 81.687% and Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill are third for Germany...read more> More U.S. Dressage team updates from the 2012 Olympic Games • Ebeling and Rafalca Set Mark for U.S. Olympic Dressage Team Like

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5/8/2019

Behind the Scenes at the Rio 2016 Olympics Equestrian Events – The Horse

THE HORSE

Behind the Scenes at the Rio 2016 Olympics Equestrian Events While you watched world-class horses jump and passage on your favorite streaming device, farriers, vets, and grooms kept busy back in the barns. Posted by The Horse Sta | Aug 25, 2016 | Rio 2016 Olympics: Equestrian Coverage, Slideshow Slideshow of Diana De Rosa Olympic Photos - appr. 10 photos

Olympic Horses Pull Shoes, Too

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. If you continue to use the site, we'll assume you're okay with A tidy, fully equipped station allowed farriers to quickly address any shoeing-related issues that can arise during

this. Accept | Read MoreDe Rosa elite competition. Photo: Diana

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Rio Olympics 2016 - Breathtaking Olympic Showjumping Showdown | Horses Daily

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Rio Olympics 2016 Breathtaking Olympic Showjumping Showdown Wednesday, August 17, 2016 Posted by Louise Parkes

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Rio Olympics 2016 - Breathtaking Olympic Showjumping Showdown | Horses Daily

France claimed Team Jumping gold for only the second time in the history of the Olympic Games with a brilliant performance at Deodoro Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro (BRA) today. Lying only a single penalty point behind the joint-leaders from Brazil, Germany, Netherlands and USA after yesterday’s rst round of competition,

French win Olympic showjumping gold. Photo: Diana Derosa

they added just two time faults to clinch it this afternoon. Silver went to Team USA who completed with ve faults while Germany won out in a thrilling two-way jump-off against Canada for the bronze. The rst French Team Gold was won at Montreal (CAN) in 1976 with team member Jean-Marcel Rozier whose son, Philippe, was French path nder today. “My father was here in Rio, and we are all feeling very proud to have another gold medal in our https://horsesdaily.com/article/rio-olympics-2016-breathtaking-olympic-showjumping-showdown

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Rio Olympics 2016 - Breathtaking Olympic Showjumping Showdown | Horses Daily

family!”, Philippe said this afternoon. It hadn’t been smooth sailing for the French who have endured a series of setbacks. “We had bad luck at the beginning of the week with Simon’s horse and then Penelope” said Kevin Staut, referring to the withdrawal of Simon Delestre’s horse, Ryan, who was injured and then a night in the veterinary clinic. Penelope Leprevost’s mare Flora de Mariposa had a fall in Sunday’s rst quali er. Flora jumped brilliantly in yesterday’s rst round of the team event and did not have to compete at all today as Roger-Yves Bost (Sydney Une Prince) joined Staut (Reveur de Hurtebise) and Rozier (Rahotep de Toscane) went on to seal the deal with three great rounds. There were four teams sharing a zero score as the day began, but only Germany elded a full four-rider side, as the elimination of Jur Vrieling (Zirocco Blue) hit the Dutch hard yesterday and the disquali cation of Stephen de Freitas Barcha (Landpeter do Feroleto) left the Brazilians looking vulnerable. Then this morning it was announced that Beezie Madden’s Cortes C was withdrawn from the US team after picking up an injury. On a day lled with time faults, Rozier collected just one in an otherwise storybook path nding run for France but it was Staut’s clear when next to go that suddenly placed his country in real contention. Bost followed with one of his edge-of-the-seat rides to come home with just one time fault and team gold was already being celebrated by the French fans. Bost insisted he had no idea the pressure he was under when going into the ring as last French rider. “I wasn’t sure what the score was, I just went in to do my job and the medal just came to me!” he said afterwards. Staut joked in reply, “when Bosty is warming up, nobody is speaking to him!” The Americans kicked off with just a time fault from Kent Farrington and Voyeur. Lucy Davis and Barron left the middle of the in uential triple combination, three from home, on the oor. McLain Ward followed through with a spectacular clear from Azur USA's fate was sealed on a ve-fault total which was plenty good enough for silver spot. The Dutch kicked off with a mistake from Jeroen Dubbeldam at the second fence along with a time fault and although Maikel van der Vleuten and Verdi only fell foul of the clock, three fences down for Harrie Smolders and Emerald saw them disappear from the reckoning. Brazilian dreams were dissipated when Eduardo Menezes (Quintol), Doda de Miranda (Cornetto K) and Pedro Veniss (Quabri de L’Isle) all faulted just once, but in the meantime there was another drama beginning to unfold. Germany wrapped up their score on eight, thanks to a classic bit of riding from anchorman 52 year-old Ludger Beerbaum who came home inside the time with Casello under the most intense pressure. That meant the ve faults collected by Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (Fibonacci) could be dropped leaving just the single https://horsesdaily.com/article/rio-olympics-2016-breathtaking-olympic-showjumping-showdown

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Rio Olympics 2016 - Breathtaking Olympic Showjumping Showdown | Horses Daily

errors from Christian Ahlmann (Taloubet Z) and Daniel Deusser (First Class) to be added together. And that eight-fault total left them on level pegging with the Canadians who added just four to their rst-day result thanks to brilliant USA, France, Germany Silver, Gold and Bronze Showjumping Photo: Diana Derosa

clears from Tiffany Foster (Tripple X) and Eric Lamaze (Fine

Lady). Canadian opener, Yann Candele (First Choice), hit only the last and they could discount the 12 picked up by Amy Millar (Heros). The Canadians were rst to go in the two-way showdown for bronze, but it was three German clears, from Ahlmann, Michaels-Beerbaum and Deusser, that clinched it. “We always knew there was a high possibility of a jump-off” said Michaels-Beerbaum, “we all fought very hard for this medal today and we are very grateful to have it.” Back in the winner’s enclosure, Kevin Staut re ected on how his team managed to turn it around in a week when nothing seemed to be going their way. “Maybe the problems helped to make us ght more and more” he said. And how it feels to be crowned Olympic team champion? “Really proud - to be French, to be a rider and to be a gold medallist!” Result here Quotes: Ben Maher (GBR): ”I think we (Team Great Britain) have been progressing over the past three rounds, which is not really what you want to do in the Olympic Games. You probably want to set out as you mean to go on. But Tic Tac felt amazing today. We’ve had a tough week for the team with silly mistakes, but myself and Nick (Skelton) are out for ourselves now. And we are going to try and redeem ourselves.” Luciana Diniz (POR): "Honestly, I am really happy because my goal today was to qualify for the nal. And I am in. So...look, I have goosebumps." Talking about her mare Fit for Fun: "The rst thing I do is I say 'thank you' to her. And she gets a lot of bananas. She is like a monkey, she loves bananas. So that is my way of rewarding her." https://horsesdaily.com/article/rio-olympics-2016-breathtaking-olympic-showjumping-showdown

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Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum GER: - talking about hitting the very last fence on the course today - "Nacho (Fibonacci) jumped super. Maybe I felt like it was over already. I was surprised to see it fall. That was a rider's mistake. I can't blame the horse." Kent Farrington USA: “I’m thrilled to be here on the team at my rst Olympic Games and to win a medal. There is no prouder feeling than representing your country and the silver medal is a great achievement.” Guilherme Jorge BRA, course designer: “The course was dif cult yesterday and today we had four teams on zero so I stepped up the degree of dif culty and played with the time allowed. We had a good result with a number of clears and it shows how high the level of the riders and horses were today. To design an Olympic course in my home country - it doesn’t get better than this!” Ludger Beerbaum GER: (on the pressure of being the last to ride for Germany): "You know, when you go in the ring you cannot have all of these thoughts and questions. There was no tactic - I could not have a fault and I should not have one down. But knowing this is not a guarantee that it will happen. So if you start thinking about 'What if, when, why' ... you mess everything up. You should not think such thoughts. Try to stay focused and do your job. You cannot help it if it does not work." On the emotion of the day: "It was the same rollercoaster for the United States and France and Brazil and Canada. So we have not been in a different position. Everybody was hoping to go clear and do their best and be on the podium." McLain Ward USA: - on losing Beezie Madden from the team today - "We did not really have an option. Beezie has been our anchor for the better part of a decade and her record of coming through for us is second to none. But we thought we had a strong team, strong horses. And we thought the course was brilliant today - it was real Olympic calibre team jumping. So we are very proud." Like

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olympics2016_Layout 1 9/2/16 8:11 PM Page 1

Great

Olympic

TODAY'S EQUESTRIAN

The USET came home victorious from the Olympics held in Rio de Janeiro, August 5-21, with medals from all three disciplines.

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he US Dressage Team (photo above) claimed the Bronze Medal. Team members were Laura Graves on Verdades, Allison Brock on Rosevelt, Kasey Perry-Glasson on Duble and Steffen Peters on Legolas 92. The top 18 individual riders after the Grand Prix Special advanced to the Grand Prix Freestyle which proved to be a very competitive field with 10 riders earning scores over 80 percent. The United States qualified three riders for the Grand Prix Freestyle and they did not fail to impress. Laura Graves led the United States to a fourth place finish on her 14-year-old KWPN gelding Verdades with an 85.196 percent.

The Three Day Eventing Team members were Phillip Dutton on Mighty Nice (photo on right), Lauren Kieffer on Veronica, Boyd Martin on Blackfoot Mystery and Clark Montgomery on Loughan Glen Dutton. Phillip Dutton, 52 years old, had a near perfect cross country ride on Mighty Nice, putting him in spot #3. The pair then finished both jumping rounds with minimal time penalties to win the Individual Bronze Medal. They were the first American duo to earn an individual Eventing title since Beijing.

Photos by Diana DeRosa

Moments

The Medals

Show Jumping Team Gold: France • Silver: United States • Bronze: Germany Show Jumping Individual Gold: Nick Skelton, Great Britain Silver: Peder Fredricson, Sweden Bronze: Eric Lamaze, Canada

Dressage Team Gold: Germany • Silver: Great Britain • Bronze: United States

Dressage Individual Gold: Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro, Great Britain Silver: Isabel Werth on Weihegold Old, Germany Bronze: Kristina Broring-Sprehe on Desperados FRH, Germany Three-Day Evnting Team Gold: France • Silver: Germany • Bronze: Australia

Three-Day Eventing Individual Gold: Michael Jung on Sam FBW, Germany Silver: Astier Nicolas onPiaf de B'Neville, France Bronze: Phillip Dutton on Mighty Nice, United States

Although the US Show Jumping Team (photo above) had to withdraw Beezie Madden, two-time gold medalist, due to her mount Cortes ‘C’ suffering a tendon injury, the team still brought home the Silver Medal. As a 3-member team, the US was not able to have a drop score. The riders began the final day in a four-way tie for first with the Netherlands, Brazil and Germany. They knew they each needed a near-perfect ride if they were to earn a medal. Top-notch performances from Kent Farrington on Voyeur, McLain Ward on Azur, and Lucy Davis on Barron carried the team into Wednesday’s final round with a clean slate of 0 penalty points giving them the Silver Medal in show jumping.

Other Highlights:

Great Britain’s Nick Skelton won the Individual Show Jumping Gold Medal. At 58, Skelton was the oldest competitor in the individual equestrian competition but experience won out when he and Big Star cleared three rounds to win the coveted Individual Gold Medal. This was Great Britain’s first individual show jumping gold in the nation’s history.

Dressage rider Isabell Worth, Germany, was the most successful rider at the Olympics with a Gold Medal in the Grand Prix Special and a Silver Medal in the Grand Prix Individual Freestyle. Germany won the Gold in dressage. Ω


THE

B R A N D : PA R L A N T I

SEPT/OCT

BEHIND

HORSE SPORT PORTRAIT

HISTORY

OF

MECCA OF A

RIDER: TINA LUND

S T Y L E : T H E R I D I N G B O OT • S T Y L E R I D E R : PA R I S S E L LO N

2016

of

The


OUT&

congratulates

about

2016 RIO OLYMPIC GAMES – RIO, BRAZIL

1.

2.

4.

3.

Team USA

L U C Y DAV I S , K E N T FA R R I N G T O N , M C L A I N WA R D , B E E Z I E M A D D E N

W I N N E R S O F T H E 2 0 16 R I O O L Y M P I C G A M E S S H OW J U M P I N G T E A M S I LV E R M E DA L

5.

6. 1. Former Olympic Eventer Peder Fredricson (SWE) earns the Individual Silver in Show Jumping riding All In​​. Peder competed as an Eventer in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games and as a Show Jumper in the 2008 Athens Olympic Games. 2. Four years after winning Team Gold in London, Nick Skelton (GBR), at age 58, is the first Brit to bring home Individual Gold in Show Jumping. He did so after two perfect rounds and a six horse jump-off on the superb stallion Big Star. 3. After four decades of not standing at the top of the podium, Team France – Roger Yves-Bost, Penelope Leprevost, Kevin Staut, Philippe Rozier – gallantly earned Gold. Starting the second day in 5th place with 1 time fault, in three rounds they added only 2 additional time faults, taking the lead with no fourth round needed. France also won Team Gold in Eventing. 4. Lucy Davis (USA) and Barron brought home a Silver Medal in their Olympic debut. 5. Eric Lamaze (CAN) is all smiles after piloting Fine Lady 5 to Individual Bronze. Deciding she would be his Olympic mount last December, Lamaze carefully brought the mare along, and it paid off. 6. McLain Ward (USA) aboard the phenomenal mare HH Azur. A dynamic duo that is just beginning a winning relationship. This page and opposite: All Photos © Diana De Rosa

september/october ·

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5/8/2019

Rio Olympics 2016: Laura Graves Leads U.S. in Dressage Individual Final | Horses Daily

   https://twitter.com/horsesdaily) (https://www.pinterest.com/dressagedaily/) DRESSAGE DAILY (/discipline/Dressage Daily)

Rio Olympics 2016: Laura Graves Leads U.S. in Dressage Individual Final Tuesday, August 16, 2016 Posted by Classic Communications/USEF Communications Department

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Rio Olympics 2016: Laura Graves Leads U.S. in Dressage Individual Final | Horses Daily

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Excitement lled the air as the nal day of dressage got underway at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Deodoro Olympic Equestrian Center on Monday. The top 18 competitors from eight nations competed in the Grand Prix Freestyle, the deciding competition for the Individual medals. Only three athletes

Laura Graves and Verdades on the way to becoming the highest-placed U.S. rider and nishing just outside the individual medals in fourth place. (Photo: Diana DeRosa)

from each nation were eligible to compete. After winning the Bronze medal with teammate Kasey Perry-Glass on Friday, Steffen Peters, Alison Brock, and Laura Graves entered the sunhttps://horsesdaily.com/article/rio-olympics-2016-laura-graves-leads-us-dressage-individual-final

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BRONZE! Team USA breaks 12-year drought with 2016 Olympic dressage medal By Diana De Rosa

ROZ KINSTLER PAYS IT FORWARD For the 2015 USDF Volunteer of the Year, it's about a love of teaching and sharing our sport

4 INSIDE USDF Olympic Adventure By Lisa Gorretta

6 RINGSIDE Dressage Goes Mainstream By Jennifer 0. Bryant

14 THE JUDGE'S BOX Reflections on Rio By Gary Rockwell

By Fran Severn-Levy

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SW EET ON D RESSAGE As CEO of boutique chocolatier Harbor Sweets , amateur rider Phyllis LeBlanc has a yummy job By Katherine Walcott

MY HOLIDAY GIFT LIST Editor's picks for a happy, horsey holiday season By Jennifer 0. Bryant

16 FREESTYLE CONNECTION The Olympic Freestyles Critiqued By Terry Ciotti Gallo

20 CLINIC Refine Your Riding By George Williams with Sue Weakley

28 ALL-BREEDS CONNECTION Breed of the Month: Pinto 52 HOLIDAY GIFTS Special Advertising Section 60 THE TAIL END It Takes a Village By Kelly Eaton

IN EVERY ISSUE 8 HEADS UP 18 SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT 54 SHOP@X 58 USDF CONNECTION SUBMISSION GUIDELINES 58 USDF OFFICE CONTACT DIRECTORY 59 ADVERTISING INDEX ON OUR CO\,ER

For the first time since Athens 2004, the US dressage team won a spot on an Olympic Games medal podium. . From left: Allison Brock, Laura Graves , Kasey Perry-Glass, and Steffen Peters. Story, page 32. Photo by Diana De Rosa. VOLUME 18, NUMBER 6

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Team USA breaks 12-year drought with 2016 Olympic dressage medal STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY DIANA DE ROSA

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YOU’VE ARRIVED AT YOUR DESTINATION: US chef d’équipe Robert Dover’s (left) “road map to the podiums” led straight to bronze in Rio for Team USA’s Kasey Perry-Glass, Allison Brock, Laura Graves, and Steffen Peters

UNTOUCHABLE: The nearly-flawless Valegro and Charlotte Dujardin of Great Britain winning their second consecutive Olympic individual gold medal

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n 2013, when six-time Olympian Robert Dover was named chef d’équipe of the US dressage team, he wrote a 58-page plan for winning international medals that he famously called his “road map to the podiums.” On August 8, Dover’s road map reached its destination when Team USA—Steffen Peters and Legolas 92, Laura Graves and Verdades, Kasey Perry-Glass and Dublet, and Allison Brock and Rosevelt—stood on the bronze-medal podium at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The US riders finished behind the gold medalists (Germany) and silver medalists (Great Britain) with scores that were so close it could have been anyone’s day. Germany’s final overall score of 81.936 percent was fewer than four percentage points ahead of the British, who finished on 78.595. Team USA had a final overall tally of 76.667 percent. In Rio, the dressage team competition comprised the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Special. When both scores were tallied for each rider, Perry-Glass totaled 73.235 percent, Brock 73.824, Peters 74.522, and Graves 80.644. The individual results, although no US rider medaled, were equally as impressive. Riding her own Verdades, Graves finished in fourth place. The judges rewarded her Grand Prix Freestyle with one of her highest-ever scores at 85.196, mere fractions from the bronze-medal-winning score of 87.142 earned by Germany’s Kristina Broring-Sprehe on Desperados FRH. The individual silver went to Broring-Sprehe’s countrywoman Isabell Werth on Weihegold OLD (89.071), who with that medal—her ninth—became the most successful Olympic equestrian in history.  USDF CONNECTION

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Even with the Germans in top form, there was no touching the pair that has dominated dressage since they won double gold in London 2012. Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro, who won individual gold in London on 90.089 percent, set a new Olympic dressage record in Rio. Their Latin-themed GP Freestyle earned a score of 93.857. The performance, which reduced Dujardin to tears afterward, was all the more poignant for the knowledge that this was “Blueberry’s” final competition; the Dutch Warmblood gelding will be officially retired next month in a ceremony at the CDI-W Olympia in London.

The Long Journey to Rio For Team USA, the bronze medal was a long time in coming; our nation’s last Olympic dressage medal, also team bronze, was in Athens 2004. If it was a long wait for US dressage fans, it was nearly half a lifetime for Peters, who was 31 when he won his only previous Olympic dressage medal—team bronze at Atlanta 1996, aboard Udon. Peters wasn’t on the team for Sydney 2000 or Athens 2004, and in Hong Kong 2008 and London 2012 he and his teammates went home empty-handed. “I have been waiting for this team medal for twenty

IMPRESSIVE START: Olympic Games first-timers Kasey Perry-Glass and Dublet

years,” said a teary-eyed Peters, 52, of San Diego, CA. “USA dressage has been waiting for this for twelve years. At my age you ask yourself that question: When is the time when

Behind the Scenes with Team USA Dressage

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ika and water and crime, oh my! Despite dire predictions about Brazilian mosquitoes, dirty water, and unsafe streets combined with political unrest, the events of the 2016 Rio Olympics largely went off smoothly. Some who attended—including members of the US dressage team—were pleasantly surprised. “Everything is really good. The stabling is well done, and the horses have big stalls. There are no bugs, and the venue is beautiful,” said Kasey Perry-Glass. “It is better than what we were expecting.” “They have done a fabulous job,” Allison Brock concurred. “The footing is impeccable everywhere. The

WORLD-CLASS: Veteran competitors said the Rio equestrian venue was as good as anywhere in the world

LUXURY HOUSING: Teams appreciated the airy, roomy stabling

stalls are extremely comfortable, horse-friendly, and airy. From what we had heard coming into it to what we found, everybody was very pleasantly surprised. And every person we have interacted with has been nothing but friendly, helpful, and seems happy that we are here. So it’s been very welcoming to be in Brazil.” “To compare it to other facilities, it’s right up there with the very best I’ve been in,” said Laura Graves. For these dressage pros, whose days are typically jammed with multiple horses to ride and lessons to teach, having the time to lavish on one horse is a

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luxury. All were clearly enjoying the extra time they had to spend with their Olympic mounts. They shared stories about their horses with USDF Connection. The laid-back Dublet, said Perry-Glass, is “like a surfer boy. He is a very kind horse, and he always wants to do the right thing.” One of “Dudu’s” quirks: “He likes giving back rubs. If you scratch him in a really good spot, he will pull you closer with his nose and start scratching you.” If Dublet is a surfer boy, then Rosevelt is the jock: “the all-around guy, the kind that is exceptional in sports, a really good student, played in the band, and is friends with everybody yet not arrogant,” said Brock. “He is a kind animal but has a high play drive, which comes out when you see him do the jog. He is really naughty in the jog, but it’s only because he is playful. He does not have a mean bone in his body.” Rosevelt expresses his playful nature with his tongue. “He loves to give you his tongue. He will stick it out. It’s a social, friendly behavior that some horses do. He’s done it forever. He’ll do it to other horses. It’s his greeting.” The stallion is also “cold backed,” and not paying attention to that can land Brock on the ground. “People always look at me funny because I lead that horse up to the arena. The walk down loosens his back up. Yes, it tears my boots up, but I know what that horse needs. Now he is acclimated, so the day after the Grand Prix I could get on him at the barn. But if I was to just assume, I could end up in the dirt real fast. I can tell by how relaxed he is. He has a short back and needs a little bit of time. This is nothing new. He’s had this his entire life.” “He is my best friend,” Laura Graves said of Verdades, whom she’s owned since he was a foal. “We know each other completely inside and out. He is really funny. He can reach out and grab anything on his stall front and throw it just to get attention, just so you get up.” But the “funny, easy guy” is all business when Graves climbs into the saddle. “He is the most focused and hardest-working employee you have ever had. Any time you ask him to show up, he shows up. If you ask him to work overtime, he would and would not expect a raise. He has an incredible work ethic.” Steffen Peters says of Legolas 92: “The reason we get along so well is because we are both still two little kids. He is extremely talkative when I come into the barn. It’s not just this little nicker; it’s this loud greeting that I get every time I see him and he sees me.” Legolas demands a daily scratch from his rider. The preferred location “changes daily—sometimes right on

top of the croup; then it’s right on his back. He is very clear about where he likes to be scratched. If I stand in his stall on a stepping stool, he just moves around me and shows me exactly what the particular spot is on each day.” Perry-Glass and Brock, in particular, appreciated the support of Peters and of US chef d’équipe Robert Dover at their first major international championships. “I was reading an article about Steffen’s first Olympics [in Atlanta 1996],” said Perry-Glass. “I had no idea he was so stressed and had the hardest time ever. After I read that, I was able to talk to him about it. Having someone who has been through it like that is very helpful.” Dover, who has said since his hiring as chef in 2013 that medals for US dressage are his goal, said his faith in the American riders never wavered. “The outcome has been exactly as I had hoped and truly in my heart expected,” Dover said. “This is a group that on any given day could be in the medals, especially the top five.” Like many others, including US FEI 5* judge Gary Rockwell (see “The Judge’s Box,” page 14), Dover expressed disappointment that the equestrian events in Rio were poorly attended. “The attendance was sad, between Zika, the political situation, and people saying it was not going to be safe. Yet this has been a tremendously well-organized Olympic Games. Everyone was as nice and as helpful as they could be on a facility that is as excellent as any facility I’ve ever been to anywhere in the world. There is not one bad thing that I can say.” Dover, whose first of six Olympic appearances was in Los Angeles 1984, said he has seen the quality of international dressage skyrocket, even in just the past four years. “This has been the greatest group of horses that have ever been in one venue, ever,” he said of the Rio lineup. “This is better than in London [the 2012 Olympics] by far. Look at the number of horses [scoring] over 80 percent. Look at the statistics. There were five horses over 80 percent, and many got over 75 percent and higher.” Already a perennial optimist, Dover was overflowing with superlatives after Team USA’s Rio triumph. “I am extremely thankful to our riders and the fabulous horses that we love so much; to the most amazing grooms; the best staff; and the greatest owners, sponsors, and veterinarians. We have it all. Americans believe in being the best. I believe in the next four years we will see that in dressage!” —Diana De Rosa

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THE PERFECT GENTLEMAN: The stallion Rosevelt and rider Allison Brock made a strong showing

you can’t do this any more, and when is the time that this will be the last time in the arena?” The lead-up to Rio was different from what Peters and other veterans were accustomed to—but for these Games only Peters fully appreciated the changes, as his three teammates all were Olympics first-timers. The US Equestrian Federation instituted a new selection process for Rio. Instead of the usual selection trials on US soil, the USEF sent eight horse/rider combinations to Europe, where for three months they were watched closely as they competed in designated “observation event” CDIs (FEI-recognized dressage competitions). It was from that group that the final four were chosen. Next behind Peters in terms of international experience was Graves, 29, of Orlando, FL, who also competed at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, the 2015 FEI World Cup Dressage Final in Las Vegas. and the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. But Rio was the first major international championships for both PerryGlass and Brock. Perry-Glass, 28, of Orangevale, CA, was hopeful that she would make the Olympic team aboard Dublet, a 2003 Danish Warmblood gelding owned by Diane Perry; but she realized that “you can’t expect anything. You have to go out there, do your best, and hope that your best is what will get you on the team. Luckily it was.” Although “it was a long stint in Europe,” Perry-Glass said, “I think it got us really prepared as a team to come over here and get the job done.” Her performances in the

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A RIDE TO REMEMBER: Steffen Peters said he’ll cherish the memory of his Olympic Grand Prix test aboard Legolas 92

Olympic arena showed how well the experience helped her. “My first ride was a good warm-up ride,” Perry-Glass said of her Grand Prix effort, which garnered a score of 75.229 percent. “It was the first time in a big stadium like that for him. We had the ring familiarization, but it’s different when you are all by yourself and there is a different atmosphere around you; but he really stepped up to the plate. He was a little nervous at first, but by the end of the ride he was relaxed and trusting me. “In the Grand Prix Special, I felt like he understood he was there to pull the team together and get a final good score. We had one mistake in the extended trot, and that affected our extended-trot and our transition scores.” She’d asked a little too much of Dublet in that movement, she said, “and my half-halt was not at the right time and he just kind of fell on his forehand.” But her coach, Olympian Debbie McDonald, had taught her that “you have to keep on riding. You can’t dwell on what just happened. You have to block it out and make the rest really special.” Perry-Glass did; it worked; and she ended with a GP Special score of 73.235. For Brock, 36, of Wellington, FL, her bobble in the Grand Prix wasn’t as obvious. Her mistake in the two-tempi changes resulted from a momentary loss of focus, she said. “When I picked up the canter, I realized they were play-


ing Anky’s [van Grunsven] Bonfire kür music,” she said. Momentarily struck by the fact that she was riding to the music of one of the most decorated dressage Olympians in history, “I had an idea of where I was but lost count. And then I didn’t give the aid that I needed. I prayed for the change instead of riding for the change. I was mortified.” If that Grand Prix test wasn’t Brock’s best effort—her 72.686 ended up being the team’s drop score—she redeemed herself in the Special, besting Perry-Glass’s 73.235 with a 73.824 aboard Rosevelt, a 2002 Hanoverian stallion owned by Claudine and Fritz Kundrun. The effort was sufficient to qualify Brock for the individual medal final, the Grand Prix Freestyle, along with Peters and Graves. (Perry-Glass missed the cut, failing to place in the top 18 individually.) “It was quite hot, and yet he couldn’t care less about that. He thinks he belongs here,” Brock said of her mount. “He just cantered in there like he owns the place.” That wasn’t always the case, however. According to Brock, Rosevelt “used to be a horse that was very environmentally sensitive.” In one experience she called “terrifying,” her freestyle music volume wasn’t adjusted properly, and the blast of sound “really scared him.” Patient training helped the stallion to overcome his fears, and now Rosevelt is “a perfect gentleman,” said Brock, who expressed her pride that “my horse stood like a rock and calmly trotted around the awards ceremony in Rio.” It was Peters’ score of 77.614 percent in the Grand Prix that put Team USA on the fast track to a medal. Later, he rhapsodized about the effort: Even though he went on to score 79.393 in the freestyle, “The one ride that I will remember for the rest of my life is the Grand Prix. It was exactly what I had dreamed of. I wanted to deliver a score that would put the team a little bit ahead of nations who were in the running for third place, and that is exactly what I did. Let me rephrase that: It was exactly what Legolas did,” he said of his mount, Legolas 92, a 2002 Westfalen gelding owned by Four Winds Farm. Peters and Legolas have had an enduring and successful partnership, with appearances at the 2012 Olympics, the 2014 WEG, the 2015 Pan Am Games, and the 2015 World Cup Dressage Final. Peters made it clear that these Olympics were extraspecial. “I remember getting off, and even after four Olympics being crazy emotional about his performance,” he said of his horse. “And then when I started talking to the TV crew [in the round of mandatory post-ride press interviews], I made it through the first crew, but by the second crew I was bawling my eyes out. When you have a group of people together for three months without a single conflict, without a single

THIS IS WHAT 80 LOOKS LIKE! Laura Graves and Verdades pour it on to top 80 percent in the Grand Prix Special

incident, it is more than friendship; and then to deliver for three incredible people and for their families, their support, and for our country, to try to put that into words, it’s almost impossible.” If the Grand Prix was emotional for Peters, the Grand Prix Special was equally memorable, but for a different reason. The audience saw Legolas make one obvious bobble in a half-pass—a momentary loss of balance, Peters said—but the real (and unseen) story started in the first piaffe. “The buckle of my belt broke, and for the entire test the belt was flapping around, and I could feel my pants getting looser and looser and sliding down,” Peters recounted. “Finally, by the last center line, I grabbed the belt with my left hand, and when I saluted I looked at [judge] Gary [Rockwell], who was at C, and he saw me taking the rest of my belt off. He had this look on his face as if to say, ‘What is he doing?’” The distraction concerned Peters because “I didn’t know if the score was going to be good enough to support the team. I knew we needed a 74.198, but the score was not up on the scoreboard.” Fortunately, the effort was more than sufficient, and when his score of 74.622 was announced Peters got “super excited. I knew it was a supporting team score. From there on, I was quite happy coming out with a belt in my hand.” But the bronze medal wasn’t secure yet. With both PerryGlass and Peters scoring slightly lower than hoped in the Special, it came down to Graves. She’d earned the top US score in the Grand Prix with her 78.071, and after the Special she USDF CONNECTION

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Scene in Rio

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eteran photojournalist Diana De Rosa has captured seven Olympic Games in photos. Here are some of the indelible images from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

CRITICAL MOMENT: Horses must pass a veterinary inspection (“the jog”) to be permitted to compete. Allison Brock concentrates on keeping the “naughty, playful” Rosevelt under control.

BRAZILIAN PRIDE: A carioca waves her country’s flag and Vinicius, the Rio Olympics mascot, at the dressage competition

TEAM GOLD MEDALISTS: Germany again reigned supreme with riders Isabell Werth, Dorothee Schneider, Sonke Rothenberger, and Kristina Broring-Sprehe PARTY CITY: Beachside watering hole in Rio de Janeiro

TIGHT SHIP: Armed security forces were evident throughout the city and at competition venues

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OVERWHELMED: Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin (with mount Valegro and groom Alan Davies behind her) wipes away tears during the individual medal presentation while silver medalist Isabell Werth (left) and bronze medalist Kristina BroringSprehe look on. Dujardin’s victory was all the more poignant for the knowledge that this was “Blueberry’s” final competition.


MAGIC MOMENT: Team USA went wild when Laura Graves and Verdades delivered under pressure to secure the bronze medal. At left, the teammates high-five as Graves exits the arena. At right, supporters exult in the “kiss and cry” area: Graves’s groom, Alex Levine-Nevel; US chef d’équipe Robert Dover; Graves’s coach, Debbie McDonald; USEF dressage managing director Hallye Griffin; Betsy Juliano, one of Graves’s sponsors; and Graves’s boyfriend, Curt Maes.

revealed that she’d gone in the ring determined to hit a new high mark—what she later termed “the elusive 80 percent.” “I had no idea of the score I needed,” Graves said afterward. “I wanted to give the team enough points to put us on that podium.” (In fact, a score of 73-plus-percent would have been sufficient.) Graves went for it, and her Grand Prix Special with Verdades showed a new level of power that the judges rewarded with a score of 80.644 percent. “Kasey and I were sitting together watching Laura pull off that incredible ride,” Brock said later. “I could see the ticker on the screen. It was 80, 81, 79. It was unbelievable.” Peters decided that the team should run down to the ring to high-five Graves for the achievement. The exuberant competitors startled “Diddy” at the exit gate (“but it was totally worth it,” Graves said) and broke the news that they’d won the bronze. Delivering under pressure is the stuff that sporting legends are made of. Asked how she managed it, Graves said: “I am very lucky that I have such a great horse that gives me the ability to be confident. I don’t have to prove any more that I have a nice horse and that I can ride. And that feels good, especially against the Charlotte Dujardins and Isabell Werths in the world. When you are warming up next to them, it can be distracting, and you can maybe feel lesser. These past three years have given Podcast Alert

PODCAST

Listen to our Olympic special edition episode 136 at usdf.podbean.com.

me the experience to not have those feelings. It helps your mindset and your riding that you could very easily beat any other combination.”

Stronger Together Praise for the members of Team USA flowed lavishly after the medal ceremony. “It’s been a great experience,” said Graves. “I got to share it with three great teammates, our amazing alternate [traveling reserve Shelly Francis with Patricia Stempel’s 2003 Oldenburg gelding, Doktor], and the staff. Everybody just worked so well together. We did everything we planned on doing. Every member of our team was able to contribute to that medal.” “I am excited to be part of the team that put the US back on the podium after there has been a drought, because I also think now we are building momentum,” said Brock. “I know what kind of depth we have coming up behind us. I think it was really good for American dressage.” Said Peters: “If this would have been my last time in the ring, it was worth the wait. It really meant that much to me. It hit me when Laura did her last center line because the score was great. That was the most emotional part, and the medal confirmed it later on. It is one of those moments you live for. I look at it this way: We didn’t lose the gold or silver; we won the bronze medal, and that is why to me it is as good as gold. The bottom line is that we didn’t just hope that the dream would come true. We made the dream come true.” ▲ Journalist and photographer Diana De Rosa, of Farmingdale, NY, has covered seven Olympic Games and numerous World Equestrian Games, World Cup Finals, and other prestigious championships. She is the owner of the PR firm Press Link and the current president of American Horse Publications. USDF CONNECTION

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Profile for Diana De Rosa

Diana De Rosa/Press Link Olympic Coverage  

Diana De Rosa hasCentral Equine, Dressagedaily, Dressage News Network, Dressage Today, Elite Equestrian, Estable, Equestrian Life, Equestria...

Diana De Rosa/Press Link Olympic Coverage  

Diana De Rosa hasCentral Equine, Dressagedaily, Dressage News Network, Dressage Today, Elite Equestrian, Estable, Equestrian Life, Equestria...

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