Olympic Happy Hour: August 9

Throughout the Olympics, Horse Nation is capping off each day with a pint-sized synopsis of the most recent Olympic equestrian sporting festivities. Here’s your Happy Hour report for Thursday, August 9.

Liz Fletcher wraps up our “Olympic Happy Hour” series today with this report from the Individual Dressage Finals.

From Liz:

This morning saw the completion of all equestrian events of the London 2012 Olympics with the Dressage Individual Final.

Congratulations to Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro, GOLD MEDAL WINNERS with a 90.089%.!!! Adelinde Cornelissen and Parzival won silver with an 88.196%, and Laura Bechtolsheimer and Mistrel Hojris secured bronze with an 84.339%.

Did you miss this morning’s coverage? You can catch the replay here.

Freestyle is my favorite to watch because of the symmetry between the movements and the music, and I’m a sucker for dramatic movie music set to a horse galloping across the dressage ring. But that’s just me.

Steffen Peters and Ravel gave it a good shot, but they had many small, costly mistakes that earned them a  77.286%, just not good enough to medal with this year’s pairs.

Anky Van Grunsven on Salinero scored an 82% for their last games together. When she finished her test, she was absolutely beaming, and I’m sure she would have been thrilled no matter what the score was. It’s a testament to Salinero’s mental and physical capabilities that he competed on the Olympic stage until the age of 18!

Juan Manuel Munoz Diaz and Fuego had a decidedly Spanish theme to their music, making it not just a good show, but a patriotic one, too. The big grey stallion is really a thing of beauty, and if I could choose an Olympic dressage horse to catch a ride on, it would be him. They scored a 79.357%, which I thought was a bit low for such a consistent test on a flashy horse.

Kristina Sprehe came out on Desperado and IMMEDIATELY I had about 15 tweets from people about her music, a “Now That’s What I call the ’80s” soundtrack. It was really quite epic. “Shout,” “Tainted Love,” “Fade to Grey,” and “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” were some of the clips played during her freestyle. Sprehe and Desperado scored an 81.375%.

Carl Hester and Uthopia had a lovely test and finished in 5th behind his two teammates on an 82.857%. Their memorable moment? A final halt to “God Save the Queen.” His teammate Laura Bechtolsheimer rode immediately after him and put in an amazing test on Mistral Hojris to the sounds of The Lion King‘s “Circle of Life,” “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King,” and “Hakuna Matata.” At the final halt, she threw her arms up in the air, then immediately covered her face to hide her tears. It was a lovely, lovely moment and I was so thrilled that her hard work has paid off in such a memorable way.

Final individual results:

What is happening to these fantastic horses after the Olympics? It is quite likely that Ravel will be retired, as Peters says the horse owes him and Akiko Yamazaki (his owner) nothing, and he has nothing left to prove. Anky’s Salinero will definitely be retiring after the Olympic games, and Dujardin’s Valegro and Hester’s Uthopia are to be sold, which they say had always been the plan.

Thank you for tuning in to the marathon that is equestrian sports during the Olympics. While many jokes were made at the expense of the sport I hold so dear by co-workers and other unintitiated folks, the fact that they were having a discussion about it puts a smile on my face. The word is getting out, ladies and gentlemen. Equestrian is for the hardcore!

Go Normandy 2014!!!!!

Photo: SmartPak

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