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Keeping Up with Karen O’Connor: London 2012

Karen O’Connor is nothing short of a legend in the sport of three-day eventing, and this year — her fifth bid for Olympic gold — could be the year she takes home the prize. Join us as we follow along with Karen and her fellow SUCCEED-sponsored teammate Steffen Peters in their pursuit of Olympic gold.

Karen O’Connor’s Olympic Horse: Mr. Medicott:

Tragedy struck just before the Beijing Olympics in 2008, when Karen’s star horse, Teddy, spooked and injured his right hind leg. He had to be put down and Karen had to find a substitute horse, a factor that many attributed to her lower-than-predicted placing in 2008. This year she’s back, aboard Mr. Medicott, a 13–year-old Irish Sport gelding that Karen calls “Mr. M” for short. Like his rider, Mr. M is an Olympic veteran that represented Germany in previous Olympic and World Equestrian Games competitions. Together, Karen and Mr. M placed fourth at both The Fork CIC 3* in Norwood, N.C., and at the Rolex Kentucky CCI4*. They won the Bromont CIC3* in Quebec, where Mr. Medicott took a 43.0 in dressage.

Predictions for Karen O’Connor at the Olympics

As the team veteran and at age 54, the most senior member of the U.S. team, Karen brings a wealth of experience to the U.S. three-day eventers competing in London. Although she has only been training with Mr. Medicott for six months, the pair has gelled nicely. Karen says she’ll continue to work on the connection from her leg to her hand through her seat, but that she feels fit and ready for the upcoming Games.

Other Competitors to Watch Out For:

New Zealander Andrew Nicholson finished in the top two places at the Barbury CIC3* in England last month, with Britain’s Lucy Wiegersma taking third prize. British phenom William Fox-Pitt took first at Rolex Kentucky, and is another one to beat.

Watch Karen O’Connor at the Olympics

Karen and Mr. Medicott’s dressage score for team USA was 48.2 putting her in the 29th spot. She had a great trip around the cross country course with no jump penalties and 5.6 time penalties. She ended her cross country day with a 53.8 on July 30. Tune in to NBC for schedules and more equestrian results.

Karen talks SUCCEED:

Karen and her husband David O’Connor (who will take over as the U.S. team coach following the Olympics) started feeding SUCCEED in 2008. Tigger Too was the first horse to be fed SUCCEED; noticing a marked difference in his performance and condition, Karen put all of their top international competitive horses on SUCCEED.

“When we start on SUCCCEED we see immediate results. Our horses utilize food better, they’re happier and their behavior is calmer,” she said. “SUCCEED is there to help you horse metabolize his food and ultimately give you the highest quality performance from your horse — at whatever level.”

Best of luck to Karen O’Connor and Steffen Peters on their Olympic bid — be sure to subscribe to the SUCCEED blog as we chronicle their Olympic journey.

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