California Riding Magazine • July, 2012

Tune Into the Olympics
London Games equestrian competition begins July 28.

Time (PST)
Medal Ceremony
July 27   Opening Ceremonies  
July 28 9 a.m.

Individual & Team Eventing
Dressage - Day 1

July 29 9 a.m. Individual & Team Eventing
Dressage - Day 2
July 30 11:30 a.m. Individual & Team Eventing
Cross Country
July 31 9:30 a.m. Individual & Team Eventing
Team Eventing
July 31 1:30 p.m. Individual Eventing
Individual Eventing
Aug. 2 10 a.m. Individual & Team Dressage
Grand Prix Day 1
Aug. 3 10 a.m. Individual & Team Dressage
Grand Prix Day 2
Aug. 4 9:30 a.m. Individual & Team Jumping
Aug. 5 10 a.m. Individual Jumping 2nd Qualifier
Team Jumping – Final Round 1
Aug. 6 1 p.m. Individual Jumping 3rd Qualifier
Team Jumping – Final Round 2
Team Jumping
Aug. 7 9 a.m. Individual & Team Dressage
Grand Prix Special
Team Dressage
Aug. 8 11 a.m. Individual Jumping, Final Rounds A & B Individual Jumping
Aug. 9 11:30 a.m. Grand Prix Freestyle Individual Dressage Individual Dressage
Aug. 12   Closing Ceremonies  

Twelve days of equestrian Olympic competition begin July 28, with the first of two dressage days for individual and team eventing, and end on Aug. 9 with the Grand Prix Freestyle finale for the individual dressage competition, including the medal ceremony. The London Olympics open on Friday, July 27 and end Sunday Aug. 12.

All equestrian competition will take place in Greenwich Park, in the heart of London. The Park is described as the oldest royal park. It dates back to 1433 and sits on the south bank of the River Thames in Southeast London and also smack dab on the longitude 0 degrees, thus the home of Greenwich Mean Time. The cross-country course winds through the Park, with viewing spots to accommodate what organizers estimate will be 50,000 spectators. A main arena was constructed within the National Maritime Museum to hold 20,000 spectators, and is located just a short distance from the Queen Mum's home.

All our American riders carry the weight of our country's hopes on their shoulders, but our show jumpers might feel the most pressure because they are defending 2004 and 2008 team gold. Beezie Madden and McLain Ward were teammates on both of those squads and were, at presstime, considered highly likely to make this summer's team. Recent individual accomplishments include Chris Kappler's silver in 2004 and Beezie's bronze in 2008.

Outgoing USEF president David O'Connor scored individual eventing gold in 2000, and our team earned bronze that year and again in 2004. In dressage, the Germans have taken team gold every Games dating back to 1992, while the U.S. earned team bronze in all but one Olympics during that time span. The Germans and other European countries will be tough to beat, as always, but here's hoping our own presumptive stars, Steffen Peters and Ravel, will get us back on the podium.

As in the past, equestrian sports will likely get short shrift when it comes to prime time coverage on Olympic network NBC-TV. Spectacular stories and U.S. successes will increase the odds of coverage, but happily the network is also providing streaming live coverage for all 32 sports. The website promotes this as free to all cable or satellite service TV subscribers after signing up with our providers. The streams are downloadable to computers and compatible TVs, and can be downloaded to some mobile phones and tablets with help from an application. Visit the website for details.

Go Team USA!!