Commentary and On-Site Reporting of the 2008 summer
competitions include the following:
NBC OLYMPIC INTERNET VIDEO STREAMING OF THE EQUESTRIAN EVENTS IS AVAILABLE IN
ITS ENTIRETY AS ARCHIVED VIDEO AT
Go to search for video by sport, select Equestrian, and all of the available videos
should be presented.
You do have to have broadband that supports legal access to NBC (all of them that
I know of are), and then have to download the Microsoft Media program Silverlight, which seems to be working fine.
You will be asked information on the above when you first try to access the archived
videos, and then to download the MS media sofware that just takes a few minutes.
2008 OLYMPICS HIGH POINTS
SHOW JUMPING: Eric Lamaze on Hickstead wins Canadas first Olympic Individual Gold
DRESSAGE: Anky Van Grunsven wins an unprecedented third Olympic gold medal on
Salinero, with whom she won the World Cup earlier this year too.
DRESSAGE TEAM: Germany and Netherlands continue their rivalry, with the Germany
Team winning Gold this time. Denmark an elegant third with the USA going fourth.
SHOW JUMPING: Canada wins its first team medal in many years (Silver) with a team
that included the esteemed Ian Miller, participating in his sixth Olympic games.
SHOW JUMPING: Beezies Maddens final jump-off ride for the Individual Bronze
was innovative and decisive. She and McClain Ward, the other American finalist, decided to take a short cut "over the arena
decorations" in order to save on time. At first, the strategy looked like they were off course, however it was ruled legal.
While Ward had the last fence down, Madden made it clear--by just .25 seconds beating out Michelle Michaels-Beerbaum of Germany
(formerly of California, USA)
EVENTING: the top-notch cross country course was built on a golf course.
Sand traps were added terrain, and lakes used for the water jumps. The course was tight and handy--a real test yet safe
and fair. Beautiful layout and worth a look--see it at www.nbcolympics.com
DRESSAGE: Japan's rider was the oldest competitor at the Olympics--age 67.
NEW TEAMS: China fielded equestrian teams for the first time this year.
CONTROVERSIES OF THE 2008 EQUESTRIAN OLYMPICS
The "blow up" of Germany's Isabell Werths Satchmo in the piaffe--twice, once in
team and once in individual Dressage competition.
See commentary at:
(includes slow motion pix of the problem on the home page, as well as commentary
that includes a press briefing with one of the judges explaining his decision-making process that enabled them to win Silver
Further commentaries listed below.
HORSE DRUGGING ISSUES
According to NBC TV, several horses were eliminated from the Show Jumping Individual
Finals due to doping issues--use of illegal drugs on the horses.
According to the Federation Equestre Internationale (www.fei.org), the vet horse care site at www.the horse.com, and theUnited States Equestrian Federation (www.usef.org) websites, the four riders provisionally suspended are: Bernado Alves (BRA) on Chupa Chup; Christian Ahlmann (GER)
on Coster; Dennis Lynch (IRL) on Lutinius; and Tony Andre Hansen (NOR) on Camiro.
All horses were found to have the drug CAPSAICIN in their blood tests.
Capsaicin is a "doping/prohibited substance given its hypersensitiving properties
and is a medication Class A prohibited substance for its pain relieving properties". This finding prevented them from
competing in the Individual Show Jumping Finals.
According to FEI rules, riders/horses are provisionally suspended with further
hearings to be held on the matter.
One of the disqualifications was an individual rider from Norway, which may jeopardize
the Team bronze medal that they won.
This is an ongoing investigation at this time.
(The Federation Equestriane Internationale, which is the governing body of all
International Equestrian Competition).
According to informaiton on the FEI site, the timeline for the investigation is that a hearing is to be
held Sept. 8, 2008, and then a final decision to be made in the first week of October.
Switzerland would advance to bronze if the Norway team is eliminated.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: on the FEI.org site, click on to :"Clarification on the
precedures to be followed in relation to the positive/doping medication cases at the 2008 Olympics" in the left hand column.
This provides the timeline for the investigation, as well as the info that after
positive tests are received from Test A, Test B is given, etc.
Is a superb vet info website that provides the same information, and perhaps some
more in depth.
Click on search for article # 12550
COMMENTARIES AND SUMMARIES OF SIGNIFICANCE:
The following are some of the commentaries, reports, opinions that I have found
insightful, informative and interesting:
RE: the Isabell Werth/Satchmo blow up in the Grand Prix Dressage Freestyle and
Click on to:
Karen Robinsons report titled
"Highs, Lows and Raised Eyebrows"
Diana DeRosas reports--esp
"When Brilliance is Marred by One Mistake"
The Dressagedaily.com home page has an excellent slow motion of the problem.
NOTE: this "blow up" was incredibly unusual and unexpected for such a high level
International, proven competitor and horse.
These commentaries reflect the respect deserved to Isabell Werth for all of her
accomplishments, and one even said that she seemed a little embarassed by the silver Individual medal.
RE: The Doping/Illegal drug use issue
The Federation Equestre International is the governing body for all International
competition, including the Olympics and has the final say in any disputes at this level.
They do have information on this issue at their website, as well as the procedures
for resolving such.
A final determination is set for the first week of October, 2008.
Home page has information on the "week in review" that if clicked on includes
the reports on the doping investigation at this point (August 26, 2008).
DISAPPOINTMENTS AND BAD NEWS FROM THE 2008 EQUESTRIAN OLYMPICS
Probably the top disappointment for the USA teams is the performance of former
Dressage Olympic Team Bronze Medal winner Debbie McDonald and Bretina.
Their 64% score did not match the other two team members over 70% scores, and
thus they lost the Bronze team medal in this Olympics.
Debbie McDonald acknowledged the problems in her blog at www.equisearch.com, and even apologized for it. Tho defended the 17yo Hanoverian mare as being sound and just spooking.
See the blog and info above.
A big disappointment for the US Eventing Team was that Amy Taurig on her "rescued"
horse fell on the cross country course and thus was eliminated from the competition.
New Rule: a fall results in elimination
China's first Eventing rider fell on the cross country course and was eliminated.
Isabell Werth and Satchmo totally blow their piaffe-twice--see above.
That 4 resulted in a Gold and Silver in judging.
This was a severe disobedience and non-performance of a high level movement in
one of the top competitions that happens only every four years. Did the scores reflect that?
Dressage is judged on each movement individually.
At the same time, this was extreme.
The Doping problem in Show Jumping--see controversies above.
This is as of yet unresolved, tho the Individuals noted were not able to compete
in the Individual Show Jumping Finals.
OVERALL--The Olympics were a tremendous success, and certainly a boom to China.
The Equestrian venues were ideal, with a lot of time and effort put into them.