We’re nearly there! Olympic mania has taken over the world, and we’re in the final countdown to the Olympic eventing competition in Tokyo, which starts with the first horse inspection on Thursday. Our USA riders are raring to go, but let’s remind ourselves of the history that precedes them. Just how well has the US team done in past Olympics?
Our friends at EquiRatings have dug out some fascinating stats…
Since 1964, the USA has won more individual eventing medals than any other nation - 9.
Here’s how they break down:
Gold: Tad Coffin (Bally-Cor) 1976; David O’Connor (Custom Made) 2000
Silver: Michael Plumb (Better & Better) 1976; Karen Stives (Ben Arthur) 1984; Kim Severson (Winsome Adante) 2004; Gina Miles (McKinlaigh) 2008
Bronze: Michael Page (Foster) 1968; Kerry Millikin (Out And About) 1996; Philip Dutton (Mighty Nice) 2016
The USA has also won the second-highest number of team eventing medals since 1964 - 8 (tied with Great Britain, also with 8). Only Germany has more (9).
This is the list:
1964 (Tokyo): silver
1968 (Mexico City): silver
1972 (Munich): silver
1976 (Montreal): gold
1984 (Los Angeles): gold
1996 (Atlanta): silver
2000 (Sydney): bronze
2004 (Athens): bronze
The great David O’Connor - winner of the individual gold medal at Sydney 2000 aboard Custom Made - holds the record for the best-ever eventing dressage score at the Olympics: 19.3 (when converted to the current scoring system). He and Custom Made went on to win that gold medal on the lowest ever eventing finishing score at an Olympics: 23.3 (when converted to the current scoring system).
Only twice has the leader after dressage at the Olympics held on to their position at the top of the leaderboard to win the gold medal: Sir Mark Todd did it in Seoul in 1988 on Charisma and David O’Connor followed him in 2000.
In Athens, the US team won the bronze medal and achieved the nation’s lowest team finishing score since 1980: 101.1.
One of the Tokyo 2020 team members, Phillip Dutton, has the best Olympic cross-country record of any rider since 1980 with a perfect 5 cross-country clears from 5 Olympic cross-country attempts. David O’Connor also has a 100% record at the Olympics with 4 from 4.
James Alliston made out like a king earlier this summer at The Event at Rebecca Farm with wins in the CCI4*-L and CCI3*-L aboard Paper Jam and Nemesis respectively. We caught up with Alliston to chat about his horses, competing on the West Coast, his time in the States, and how it compares to competing in England.
Three clear show jumping rounds in the CCI4*-S at the Plantation Field International Three-Day Event have placed Allie Knowles in first, third, and sixth place with Ms. Poppins, Morswood, and Business Class all owned by Katherine O’Brien. Phillip Dutton and Quasi Cool, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Quo Vados I x B-Estelle) owned by Caroline Moran, kept their cool to put in a double clear round and move up to second from overnight third place.
It was a historic week for U.S. Eventing as American athletes achieved their best results ever in the CCIO4*-S at CHIO Aachen. The Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team of Will Coleman and Off The Record, Sydney Elliott and QC Diamantaire, Ariel Grald and Leamore Master Plan, and Tamie Smith and Mai Baum took second place in the FEI Eventing Nations Cup – the highest result by a U.S. team at the prestigious event.
Perhaps one of the best reasons to be a member of USEA is the opportunity to qualify for and participate in the USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds. This year there was a record 1,178 entries and a waitlist of over 150. There were 1,009 pinnies handed out and 939 horses started the competition. All combined it made for the largest horse trials in USEA history. Competitions ran in all USEA divisions and additional prizes were given for teams, incentive programs, amateur, and young rider divisions.