Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Day 7 - Bravo, Gina!

OK gang here is the great news.... USA won the individual silver medal in 3 day!!! Gina Miles and McKinlaigh have just won the silver medal at the Olympics! She jumped two clear rounds in show jumping to capture the silver. She went in in 4th, and as the two ahead of her each dropped a rail, she kept moving up. When the final rider for Germany , Hinrich Romeike went, we were all on our toes... he went into the final line of three fences, a double , and then a vertical,,,at top speed.. About 4 strides out from the line, he pushed ahead and kicked on , whereupon his horse Marius, shot forward quickly, and we thought, oh boy, you are toast now! The horse got faster and bigger towards the last (and flat too) and we thought for sure he had just given it away...but the horse somehow picked up his feet over the last and a clear round in the final gave Hinrich the gold, Gina the silver , and way up from 6th was Kristina Cook, on Miners Frolic, for Great Britain. Boy, that made all the British officials and workers (of which there are many...we will talk later...) cheer and holler. A great day for everyone and the weather was lovely, the moon out, etc. Remember , the show jumping started at 7:15 and at 11:45 pm, the night concluded! I am writing this at 2am local time! The partying will, I am sure go all night, but some of us have to work again tomorrow night, and frankly I am beat!

I have included some shots of a few jumps from the course, and Gina getting her medal. The Princess Haya (FEI Chairwoman) presented the medals and flowers to the winners – it was a great ceremony. The actual sports presentation dept. is who we (announcing team) are working for, and they were so proud of their ceremony. It was lovely and really well done. Nothing like the Olympic awards, with anthems, flags, and pageantry. Makes it all worthwhile... very cool.

There were two disappointing parts of the day though... one, personal to me , which was that our producer decided that Giles was going to announce the whole evening. Yes, I know I will be announcing the dressage and show jumping (with another English announcer ,Nick, who has done the last two Games)... but I still was a bit put out when I arrived for the day, and really only sat around to watch, and never got on the mic. I have so many friends, colleagues, competitors, etc. who really loved having two announcers kind of tag-team and alternate the announcing... but , well it is over and I will restart my GP dressage job tomorrow night. Just kind of wanted to announce Karen in the ring though...

The second is kind of strange and perplexing (and controversial to say the least)….Phillip Dutton, our superstar anchor, was eliminated from the individual competition (after he qualified for it in round 1) because of a boot infraction. Riders are allowed to use protective boots on the horses legs, but they cannot be over a certain weight...this has been a red flag issue all year, in the jumping world, and in the 3day world too. His horse's boots were found to be overweight (which, according to the rules , is a violation) and so he was eliminated. He used the same equipment for the team jumping, but apparently, his boots were not part of the random selection for testing. However, in the individual round (a separate class of competition ) his horse's boots were selected for testing... and , well, he got busted. This is not my soapbox (well, it really is) but what's up? Yes, I may get some grief for this opinion, but, hey, this issue has been out there all year…riders, coaches, and officials are all on board with this decision. Accountability.... we expect it... I can only hope that Phillip did not know, or was unaware of the problem.

Well, Germany got the team gold after 4 yrs of waiting, and the Aussies rode really well to take the silver, and the Brits were a solid and strong bronze team. Mary, Tina, William were all stars for GB, and the powerhouse Germans had three in the top 5 going into tonight's finale. The Aussies has 3 in the top 8... and our own Gina was waiting in the wings.

New USA slogans for the day: Cinderella had a ball at the Games!! Mac is Back!! Gina is Miles above the Earth, where there ARE silver linings!! Yes, you can use that in any publication...

Our other USA riders all did great too…Karen had one rail and one time fault... Mandiba will be around for a long time. But on a side note, this cross country course was SOOOO Teddy's terrain…totally Teddy's Terrain (T3)... we miss him so much.

Becky had two unfortunate rails, but finished her first Games for Team USA. Our team finished 7th (way under our usual PAR), but the horses looked strong and fit at the end. Amy was the ultimate cheerleader (as was Karen) for the other guys…a true veteran and classy lady. We will miss Poggio, as this is his last go round. He has been a major, major player for the USET Three Day team for over 10yrs... he will undoubtedly go into a hall of fame sometime.

Eventing closes out to much rejoicing (Yeah, as Monty Python fans would say- there was much rejoicing, yeah!) and we move on to the GP Dressage Team competiton. 2 nights under the lights, with lots of sights, full of might, for which I hope I can provide insight, but that is for another blog on the website... so, to all a good night!


Editor's Note: Get the official results on the FEI website.


At Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at 3:28:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wondered why I only heard you once during the break today!

Looking forward to hearing you for dressage

Cyndi K

At Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at 4:08:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

great blog, Brian! can't wait to read it tomorrow. and that is so great about Gina and Mac. Hooray, USA!

Kyle A

At Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at 4:28:00 PM EDT , Blogger Cookie said...

i knew I didn't recognise the voice announcing today. The blog is fantastic, thanks for the Brit info. If it is Nick Brooks-Ward tomorrow he is organising the Europeans at Windsor and does Olympia too, just in case you get chatting!!!!!
Thanks again.

At Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at 4:30:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love your coverage and although it is great to hear your real voice, it is just as great to hear your wriiten voice. Thank you thank you thank you!!!! Can't wait for the GP Dressage!!!

At Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at 4:56:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yo baby bro - your blog is great. Did miss you today, but the rest of the games are yours. thanks for sharing it with us. You are grand!

At Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at 5:48:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

does anyone know if the dressage team competition will be televised? I can't find it on the NBC Olympics website - looks to be all about 3 day eventing.

At Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at 6:36:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome blog! Wish they had more coverage of equestrian and less coverage of other events (like basketball and volleyball).

I'm glad you referenced Teddy, what a loss! May he gallop in greener pastures.

At Wednesday, August 13, 2008 at 4:25:00 AM EDT , Blogger brian said...

Thanks everyone..I am really getting a kick out of the responses...but who is this person Anonymous who keeps writing? Seems he/she has a lot to say,,,,,and often!!!

At Wednesday, August 13, 2008 at 4:28:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brian -- great job -- thank goodness you covered Phillip's mysterious DQ -- the Washington Post had not a word just the DQ and I watched the show jumping on streaming video and knew he had completed both rounds. Loved hearing you during cross country. Keep up the great work.


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