Green Light for All but Two at Rio Horse Inspection

Laura Graves and Verdades
Laura Graves and Verdades

Rio de Janeiro – August 8, 2016 – Two horses were not accepted during Monday afternoon’s horse inspection for the dressage competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Sweden’s Dante Weltino OLD (to be ridden by Therese Nilshagen) and Italy’s Chablis (to be ridden by Valentina Truppa) will have the opportunity to present for re-inspection Tuesday morning. Truppa is competing as an individual for Italy, while Nilshagen is one of four members of the Swedish team.

A third horse, France’s Badinda Altena (to be ridden by Pierre Volla), was sent to the holding box but passed when re-presented.

Update, August 9: Upon re-inspection, Chablis was cleared to compete, while Dante Weltino OLD was not accepted to compete at Rio 2016.

It was clear sailing for all of the U.S. horses presented. Robert Dover, chef d’equipe of the U.S. team, said the athletes were looking forward to the beginning of competition on Wednesday after the long build-up to the Games.

“We’re excited to start; we’re ready to go,” Dover said. “We’ve had a great season in Europe. Now it’ll be up to everybody rising to the occasion on the day, which is what it’s all about. We have a formidable job ahead, with the Germans, the Brits and the Dutch – and you never know, of course, the Swedes and the Spanish are also strong teams. But I think on any given day, if our horses and our riders do their very best, then we’re not here just to take part. We’re here to look for a medal.”

U.S. team rider Laura Graves said the Rio experience has exceeded expectations thus far.

“The horses are super happy, they have oversize stalls, and it’s just an excellent facility,” Graves remarked. “Diddy loves the stadium, so he’s got plenty of energy.”

The Grand Prix will stretch over Wednesday and Thursday, followed by the Grand Prix Special on Friday for the teams and individuals who qualify. Team medals will be awarded following the Grand Prix Special, based on each team’s top three scores from the Grand Prix and from the Grand Prix Special.

After two rest days, the 18 highest placed combinations from the Special advance to Monday’s Grand Prix Freestyle, which will determine individual medals.

Following the horse inspection, chefs d’equipe representing each team met for the draw to determine the teams’ order of go for the Grand Prix. Australia will be first, followed by Spain, Japan, Brazil, France, Great Britain, Denmark, the United States, Sweden, the Netherlands and finally Germany. Click here for the complete order of go.

Click here for an overview of the Rio dressage competition, including the schedule and format.

Steffen Peters and Legolas 92
Steffen Peters and Legolas 92
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