Olympic Happy Hour: August 6

Throughout the Olympics, Horse Nation will be capping off each day with a pint-sized synopsis of the most recent Olympic equestrian sporting festivities. Here’s your Happy Hour report for Monday, August 6.

From Liz Fletcher:

Holy Union Jack, Horse Nation! What an awesome Olympics for team GBR. So far in the ponies they’ve racked up one team gold, one team silver, and are looking really good for an individual medal from Nick Skelton PLUS the GBR dressage team is KICKING BUTT. Go home team!

Watch team GBR’s show jumping victory gallop, brought to you by Sarah from SmartPak via her Twitter.

Sadly, the day was not as kind to the Americans. Team USA ended up out of the medals in 6th place after a number of faults for the riders, including the usually unflappable Rich Fellers and Flexible. Flexible and Fellers will move on in the individual competition, but with eight faults it is unlikely that they will medal. McLain Ward and Antares F will also move on to the final individuals rounds, but they go in with 12 faults. You can catch the final show jumping action on Wednesday, August 8th.

While at work this afternoon, the TV was turned to NBC sports and highlights of the show jumping came on. One of my coworkers turned to me and said, “That is a ridiculous Olympic sport. And it’s not even that hard.” I said, “They’re jumping over five feet.” He replies, “Well, people can jump that high.” But after watching about five minutes he went, “Uh, you are so right. This looks impossible.” Even the uninitiated can understand how difficult show jumping can be, and today’s course caught out many pairs. Only three horses and riders have gone clear since the first round: Nick Skelton on Big Star for Great Britain, and two riders from the Netherlands, Maikel van der Vleuten on Verdi and Marc Houtzager on Tamino.

The Saudi team led the team standings coming in to this morning’s competition, but it was into a jump off by the end to decide team gold between Holland and Great Britain. GBR had not won the show jumping title since the Helsinki games in 1952. In the jump off, three of four of the British contingent went double clear, but two Dutch riders had fences down. Saudi Arabia landed the bronze medal, their first ever.

Here is an excellent article written by EN’s friend Erin Gilmore with more in depth information about the disqualification of Tiffany Foster.

Well, now that the team medals have been decided, the show jumpers have a two-day break and we begin tomorrow morning with more coverage from dressage! Click here to see the start times. Remember, if you are EST, subtract five from the start time and you will have your local time. The Americans will all ride before 12 p.m. GMT, so set your alarms!

Go Team Great Britain!

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