2016 Rio Olympics

This might come as somewhat of a surprise, but I think this is the best Olympics for eventing that I can remember.

Most of the time I feel like the Olympics are just a fun display to showcase the sport to other non riders. I don't usually feel like it's a true test of the best eventer in the world.

Not so in 2016.

The course is hard when WFP adds 20
Despite Team USA's inability to complete, I really think that our performance was extremely good. On a day when even the seemingly unbeatable German team is off the podium we have two riders in the top ten. Two. And Phillip Dutton is in the top five on his second string horse. And if Veronica hadn't hung a leg or if Loughan Glen had been feeling 100% we would have been in contention for a podium finish for Team USA.

Clark Montgomery & Loughan Glen
I don't think you can be upset with that.

It's easy to be disappointed, and to Monday morning (or Tuesday morning?) quarterback. But this is why they run the race. You never know who's going to win. It'd be impossible to know Loughan Glen wasn't going to want to play. I saw that horse go at Great Meadow - he was a demon on the cross country. Clark Montgomery basically sat there and hung on as his horse ate up a course that claimed it's own share of victims.

Lauren Kieffer & Veronica
And Lauren Kieffer and Veronica are one of the best pairs in the country. She's finished second at Rolex twice, to two of the top riders in the world. I do wish she had taken the long route but Veronica could have just as easily not hung a leg and saved time penalties that way.

I'm in no way comparing myself to a fantastic four star rider, but my second training I had the option of two banks. There was a softer one that involved kind of a wonky turn but went straight to a set of chevrons in the water, and a larger bank off more a direct route into shady deep water with a sharp left turn to the chevrons. I walked the softer bank, and my trainer said to stick with that unless I was having a really good round. She trusted my judgement.

Phillip Dutton & Mighty Nice
I was having a great round so of course I got cocky and took the big bank. My horse launched to China and I lost both my stirrups. Bless her she got me to the other side of the chevrons anyway. But if we had had a stop that would've been on me, and my choices.

Boyd Martin & Blackfoot Mystery
I'm writing this before stadium has finished so I'm not sure how this will end, but let's be real, we're eventers. We like cross country and stadium and dressage are those things we have to do to get to the cross country. Best of luck to Boyd and Phillip, I can't wait to see them kick ass.


  1. Yesterday's cross-country was hard to watch! I was so stressed haha. It is a shame about Lauren and Veronica... but she had been moving well, so I don't blame Lauren for feeling good enough to take that direct route.

    1. yeah i don't either, just sucks how it went out for her. im REALLY glad they're both okay

      (also your other ocmment was a duplicate so i deleted it :P)

  2. I get frustrated with eventing. People cry that it is just a dressage competition and then people cry that it's too hard and dangerous. Just make up your damn mind.

    Personally I thought that yesterday's course was super tough but fair. People took risks and sometimes paid the price (the exception being poor Tim Price, that just sucked for him) but it was all very doable. And it shook things up a lot as I think XC should do.

    1. i agree - i think the course was perfectly designed and rewarded and punished accordingly. there should be stops and glance offs. especially at this level!

  3. I think that while it was a crazy difficult course it was well designed to ensure the health and wellness of horses and riders. There were way more 20's than falls, as it should be. It was nail biting to watch but I'm glad it's not just a dressage competition.

    1. i concur! and honestly it SHOULD be nailbiting. it's the olympics. i was almost having a heart attack watching mens gymnastics the other day!

  4. I haven't had a chance to watch any olympics!

    1. uh i havent either... as its during work and i have diligently been working....
      .... right :P

  5. I dunno if you watched Buck and Kyle's assessment of yesterday's events, but I 100% agree with Kyle. I thought Veronica was jumping a little bit overbold in places, she went past her distance a few times and her own quick feet is what saved them earlier in the course. I actually gasped a couple times. Add that to the fact that Lauren had already taken one long route, trying to go the direct route at the house to gate was an error in judgment. Veronica was overbold jumping in, pulled Lauren a bit to get down there, they didn't get there at a good distance, and while the mare tried her heart out to make it, there was just no way. Not at a tall vertical fence on an angle like that. IMO it was not as simple as "the mare hung a leg". She hung a leg because of everything else that happened up to that point.

    BUT - I don't think it was Lauren's error in judgment, because IMO it should not have been hers to make. By that point we already had one person out, the emphasis should have been on finishing a team. The coach should have directed her to take the long route anywhere that was sketchy, and that house to gate was probably THE sketchiest place on the course. Almost no one made the direct route work, and there were even problems with the long route. It was an unnecessary risk, IMO, and a poor decision made by our team coach to leave the route up the rider. As soon as there is a team competition and a rider signs up to represent their country and ride FOR THE TEAM, the team must come first. We could have been in contention for a medal today if Lauren had finished with even 10-15 time faults. Frustrating, because we had the horse talent and rider talent to get the job done, but we keep going out there and blowing it on the international stage.

    Yeah, I'm probably being overly harsh, but that's my personal opinion in a nutshell. I know it's easy to sit here and armchair quarterback, but I also think that unless we're critical of ourselves and the choices we make, we will not get better, and that was a bad choice, plain and simple. So patting everyone on the head (which, to be clear, I'm not saying YOU are doing, but I've seen a lot of people do) and being like "dang it, she hung a leg, poor us" is not helpful. We set ourselves up for that, and there's a definite lesson to be learned here. Hopefully it's onward and upward.

    Now you can probably see why I didn't post about it... I'm still pretty riled up! lol

    1. HAHA

      i 150% agree with everything you said -- i DEFINITELY think DOC should have said "you NEED to finish - NEED - so you go the long route everywhere. forever."

      and i think you have every right to be riled up about it. i was definitely pissed yesterday, and i had an entry written yesterday that was... pretty grumpy, to say the least. germany blew it hard and left the door wide open to us. and we didn't do ANYTHING to capitalize. its a waste of talented horses and riders. now im getting annoyed again :P :P :P

      i'll definitely go see buck and kyle's assessment because i'd love their take on it.

    2. i think this post was more of a... im glad the olympics wasnt a pansy 'everyone completes, good job!' competition, like it normally is.

  6. I was pleased to see that the xc turned out to be a real test and that it wasn't just smooth sailing for the usual suspects and a quagmire for the rest of the nations not really known for equestrian prowess. It definitely looked like a tough course tho and I found myself growing skeptical of how many lame horses might show up at the jog (or not even present) the following day. Learning that all passed and only one did not present actually made me feel a lot better about it. I'm disappointed about team USA but ultimately the event proved to be excellent TV!!!

  7. I found the olympics fun to watch, but the course did seem more difficult than usual. I do wish the coverage was a little easier to follow. All the bouncing around to different cameras and views makes it hard to follow one rider over the course.


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