Off to Rio!


2017-07-29 RedtoRio

Red boarding the truck that will take him and the other team horses to Miami, where they’ll catch a plane to Rio. Photo courtesy USEF

The US Team horses have set off for Rio, and we riders will follow shortly behind them. It’s been a brief training camp here at Mrs. Mars’ Meredyth South in Ocala, Florida, and we’ve been working very hard to put the finishing touches on our training program. With the hot weather we’ve been up early in the mornings, riding before the worst heat of the day. The footing here is fantastic; we get a good thunderstorm every evening which really leaves impressive turf for us to gallop and jump on.

We’ve had some excellent training this past week with David O’Connor, schooling lots of corners, angles and turning lines. We’re expecting a twisty, technical course down in Rio and have worked to school every possible scenario. FEI dressage judge Jeanne McDonald has been kind enough to judge us on the 4-star test so that we get a feel for riding it in competition. Richard Picken finished things off with a jump school, and the horses are feeling fully prepared for the challenges that lie ahead.

I feel fit and prepared too, and after London I think I have more of an understanding of what we’re in for. The horses and riders are prepared as we can be, but we still have to come up with the goods on the day, so of course we’re all feeling the pressure. I’ve been trying to keep calm and quiet and keep to myself this past week, just focusing on the task at hand. As much as possible I’ve tried to stick to my usual routine, though for a person like myself who’s usually working flat out all day, it’s been a bit awkward having so much free time in the afternoons. Luckily my good friend Scott Keach lives here and we’ve gone swimming, analyzed training videos and watched his horses working, but personally I’m glad to be heading to Rio and looking forward to getting settled in for the final preparations for the Olympic Games.

Go Team USA!



See all blog posts.


  1. The updates are great!
    Hope everyone travels well!
    Positive Thoughts for an excellent Olympics!

Speak Your Mind

Facebook IconYouTube IconVisit Our BlogVisit Our Blog