My Olympic Love Affair: Three Day Eventing

We have many budding sports enthusiasts here at Fresh Egg, following everything from fencing to football, show jumping to golf, and table tennis to water polo.  While most of us enjoy our sports as hobbies, we’re excited to see them represented on a large scale during the Olympics, gathering global interest in the events we’re personally so passionate about.

In this mini-series, a selection of Fresh Eggers will tell us why they love their particular sport, the highlights from the Olympic events so far, and which Olympians they’ll be keeping a close eye on.

I’m first off the blocks with an overview of the equestrian three day eventing.

Equestrian three day eventing

There are three different types of equestrian sports featuring in the London 2012 Olympics: the dressage, which is currently taking place, the show jumping, which starts this week, and the three day eventing, which has now finished.

I love eventing because I am involved in the sport at home and it’s probably the most challenging of the equestrian sports due to its three separate phases: dressage, cross country and show jumping. It’s also the only sport where men and women compete together, and as an amateur you get the chance to compete against professionals.

While I don’t compete at eventing myself, I do help a friend train her event horses at home, and groom for her at competitions. I’m also a British eventing volunteer and have been a jump judge in the past, so I can appreciate the pressure on not only the athletes, but the Olympic judges, too.

Sarah competing at cross country
Competing at cross country


The commentary box: three day eventing at London 2012

Having been glued to the BBC’s coverage, I can confidently say this has been the most exciting three day event I have ever watched. The dressage was brilliant, made doubly challenging by the testing weather conditions. One of the Team GB riders – local lady – Tina Cook, had to ride in the most awful downpour, but pulled off an amazing test.

The cross country day was fantastic and the Brits excelled at the track where some riders failed. I have never seen so many people fall off and some not even at jumps!  Personally, it was surprising to see a Japanese rider go into the lead for the cross country day, but great for the promotion of the sport.

The show jumping made for a nail biting end to a great competition. There was hardly any room for error and at one point it looked like the Brits might just take the gold.

My Olympic icon

For me, Tina Cook and her horse Miners Frolic (from just up the road in Findon, West Sussex), did the most amazing dressage test, especially given the weather conditions. They are an experienced pair and came third at the Beijing Olympics.

Miners Frolic was terribly ill last year and Tina has nursed him back to health. It is utterly amazing that they have gone on to not only be selected for the GB team, but also to have an influential role to play in winning us the silver medal! In 2009 they won the European title, and world team gold followed in 2010.

I’m keeping everything crossed for Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester in the Equestrian Dressage.  The team – some of whom are local to us here in Worthing – are certainly doing us proud as the eyes of the world are on us.

Meanwhile at other Olympic venues…

Aside from being naturally hooked on the equestrian events, I’m also really enjoying the swimming, archery and fencing.  The beach volleyball has also grabbed my attention after having seen the crowd getting so into the game.  The music also creates a great atmosphere – I wish I’d secured tickets for that!