We’ve been keeping up with Stephanie Honz and her experiences at the Olympics. Stephanie was the “May the Best Horse Win” contest winner who received Olympics tickets after taking part in the SUCCEED Challenge for her horse Gershwin. Read along and she and her trainer, PJ Tymann, share about what it’s been like to attend the Olympic Equestrian events in London.
Arriving In London
The initial trip to London went very smoothly. The city is filled with excitement. You can hear loud cheers of large groups of people watching the games on large screens throughout the city center. We have met so many wonderful people, especially the natives who are delighted to help their many guests.
Cheering on the US Jumping Team
We managed to stay quite dry as the horses and riders made their way around a fantastic course. Beezie Madden had a spectacular ride on Via Bolo. Unfortunately the pair had a rail down. The course was very challenging, with a triple combination along the far side of the field and a big water jump that involved five strides before another vertical just six strides later.
For the first time since 1952, the British won the gold medal in Grand Prix Show Jumping. When the last British rider finished, the crowd went insane. People were stomping their feet and doing the wave all around the stadium. We were sitting behind one of the owners of a Netherlands horse who ended up taking the silver medal, so it was fun to hear their commentary and share in their excitement. The big surprise was the bronze medal going to Saudi Arabia Kingdom. All riders put on solid performances.
Later that evening while dining on the porch of the Cafe Rouge, we watched as the riders came down the sidewalk and everyone started applauding wildly from their tables. The whole atmosphere of these games is one of general camaraderie. It’s so positive and uplifting.
Steffen Peters and the Dressage Grand Prix Special
We watched some very good dressage Wednesday afternoon. Steffen Peters had an impressive ride on Ravel, and received a 76, which was near the top of the field. The British team had wonderful rides and walked off with another gold. The stadium went wild once again and we felt like we were at a football game or something!
All of the volunteers at the games are just wonderful and the atmosphere is tremendous. This is truly an opportunity of a lifetime!
We will continue to follow Stephanie and PJ on the rest of their Olympic adventures. Be sure to subscribe to the SUCCEED blog to get the latest updates.