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.
Interested in tapping into the audience of three-day eventing? Consider partnering with the United States Eventing Association (USEA) in 2022! The USEA is a non-profit 501 C (3), which serves as the national association for the Olympic equestrian sport of three-day eventing.
Whether you are a rider preparing for a move-up or a trainer looking to ensure your training program is well-rounded, the soon-to-be released USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels is the go-to guide to assist you in navigating key decisions. Lucky enough, attendees of the 2022 USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) Symposium at Barnstaple South Farm in Ocala, Florida on February 8-9 will be the first people outside of the those involved in its creation to access this passion project that the ICP Committee has put two years of research and hard work into developing.
In 2021 Cynthia Smith recorded 536 hours and 59 minutes of volunteer time, setting the standard with the most amount of volunteer hours recorded in a single year since the creation of the USEA Volunteer Incentive Program in 2016. The record-breaking number of volunteer time earned Smith the 2021 USEA Volunteer of the Year title.
Tamie Smith’s year has been nothing short of action-packed as she packed up all 25 of her competition horses and made her way to the East Coast for the first part of the year before hopping on a jet to Tokyo where she served as the U.S. team reserve for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She then stayed overseas and competed abroad for a little while before returning home to the West Coast. While this year has been full of opportunities to show, her aspirations are bigger than just competition. The 2021 Bates USEA Lady Rider of the Year has been full steam ahead chasing goals in both her riding career as well as in her impact on the sport’s future.