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Looking Back at Karen O’Connor’s Olympic Week with Team USA

As a proud sponsor of Karen O’Connor, we applaud the efforts of the U.S. Equestrian Team. Despite being plagued by bad luck over the past few days, Team USA finished in the top 15 percent with a seventh-place finish.

The team looked strong after the dressage section of the competition, but the grueling Greenwich Park cross-country competition took its toll on Otis Barbotiere. Boyd Martin had to withdraw Otis Barbotiere at the final horse inspection after moving up from 22nd place after the dressage to 12th, citing what he thought may have been a sprained ankle suffered on the cross-country course. Then the normally dependable Mystery Whisper had a refusal and took down two rails during the show jumping with Phillip Dutton, effectively sidelining the U.S. team from any chance at a medal. Will Coleman had a clear round with two time faults on Twizzel during the show jumping, but had a stop on the cross-country. Tiana Coudray was likewise disappointed by having two rails down in show jumping.

Karen O’Connor and Mr. Medicott Recap

Although injuries and bad luck shadowed the other members of the U.S. Team, Karen O’Connor and Mr. Medicott finished the competition without injury, and with a solid performance to be proud of. Despite finishing dressage in 29th overall, behind Phillip Dutton and Will Coleman, she made up ground (both figuratively and literally) on a flat-out cross-country ride that placed her in a tie for 24th overall. The clean round around the cross-country was tempered by a time fault despite Karen’s jokes about Mr. Medicott stretching her arms out due to his eagerness to gallop full-speed around the course.

“He got strong by the end,” O’Connor said in an interview with NBC Washington yesterday. “You have to go flat out, that’s the way the course had to be ridden. I could have been faster in this last section.”

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In show jumping, she moved up even higher in the rankings, to 15th overall after the first round with a score of 53.80, enough to qualify her for the second-round individual final. Her foot-perfect, double-clear round took her to a ninth-place overall finish, and she was beaming when she and Mr. Medicott cleared the last jump.

“I have a horse of a lifetime. I knew that he was a very scopey, very careful jumper, and I’m delighted at the outcome,” she said in an interview with the Chronicle of the Horse on Tuesday. “I’m really disappointed about our team and Otis. That was a huge hit for us. We had two mistakes yesterday from the rookies, the young guys. But they’ve learned a lot from that, and they’ll be here another time.”

Congratulations to Karen O’Connor and Mr. Medicott, whose overall fitness and health helped propel him over a grueling cross-country course and through two clear rounds in the show jumping. Stay tuned as we keep you updated on Team SUCCEED’s Steffen Peters, who competed in the Grand Prix section of the dressage competition yesterday.

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