Ride-away on Rio

Last month we saw more than 10,000 athletes compete in one of the biggest sporting events in the world and here at Ride-away, we were very excited to see what Great Britain had in store for us all. With our focus on the beautiful and vibrant city of Rio de Janeiro, we wanted to show our support for each equestrian event: dressage, eventing and show jumping.

Charlotte DujardinIllustration - Charlotte Dujardin
Age: 31
From: Enfield, Greater London
Years Riding: 29+
Horse: Valegro
Age: 14
Sex: Gelding
Colour: Dark Bay

“Charlotte is no stranger in the equestrian industry and after her victory at London 2012 she has become an inspiration to riders everywhere, with fans travelling to see her and Valegro’s impressive freestyles. With a distinct Rio carnival sound to the music we were confident that Charlotte and Valegro could bring back a medal and move the British dressage team up the scoreboard.” – Ride-away

Dressage at Rio

This Olympic event sees a horse and its rider performing a series of predetermined movements from memory. This is a skill that is not only highly physical and disciplined, but also needs a strong bond of trust between the pair. Each competition includes a series of tests which increase in difficulty as they go. Most competitors would aspire to competing at Grand Prix level, which is the highest level in Dressage.

Did you know…
There are many moves that can be performed by horse and rider within the event. The more popular ones are: the “pirouette”, the “serpentine” and the “piaffe”. The key to a fantastic dressage performance from a rider requires a relaxed demeanour whilst the horse shows a mixture of athletic ability and a willingness to perform. Each movement is evaluated and judged to a common standard, assigning a score from 0-10.

William Fox-PittIllustration - William Fox-Pitt
Age: 47
From: Dorset
Years Riding: 32+
Horse: Chilli Morning
Age: 16
Sex: Stallion
Colour: Liver Chestnut

“It was great news that William fully recovered after his awful fall which left him in an induced coma and it makes his contribution in Rio that more inspiring. Now 47 years old, there’s talks of Rio being his last Olympics. It was great to see him back in the saddle doing what he loves.” – Ride-away

Eventing at Rio

This equestrian event also known as the horse trials, has individual competitors as well as
teams of four, competing against each other throughout three disciplines. As an equestrian
triathlon, these disciplines include dressage, show jumping and cross-country which are set
across a designated number of days depending on how many competitors there are. Each
phase challenges horse and rider in a different way from dexterity to physicality and trust.

Did you know…
Over the course of the century its format was ever changing through different phases. In
2004 there was consideration of dropping the event altogether due to the large cost of the
areas required for the speed and endurance phases. So instead, a new “short format” was
put forward and debuted in the 2004 Summer Olympics. Since then, it has been the
international competition standard.

Michael WhitakerIllustration - Michael Whitaker
Age: 56
From: Huddersfield
Years Riding: 40+
Horse: Cassionato
Age: 11
Sex: Stallion
Colour: grey

“Michael was one to cope under pressure after recently being part of the winning team at the Nations Cup in Rome, so we were sure horse fans all had high hopes for Michael and his experienced stallion, Cassionato.” – Ride-away

Show Jumping at Rio

This event sees a horse and its rider completing a course set out with obstacles in an allotted time. The placings in a show jumping event are decided by the lowest number of faults accumulated throughout their attempt in the arena. If a horse were to knock down part of the fence or commit a refusal (when a horse stops before the jump or runs out), both are seen as faults within the even, incurring penalties. There is also a limited amount of times a horse can refuse a fence before the competitor is disqualified.

Did you know…
Show jumping was the first equestrian sport at the Olympics. Also, there are many types of
jumps within a course, such as the vertical (a jump with only height), an oxer (a jump with
height and width), and combinations such as doubles or trebles (2 and 3 jumps put right after each other).

Results at Rio
Olympic Medals
Nick Skelton secured gold with partner Big Star in the Individual Jumping event.

Charlotte Dujardin became the first British woman to retain her Olympic title with Valegro,
winning gold in Dressage.

Fiona Bigwood, Charlotte Dujardin, Carl Hester and Spencer Wilton all secured silver in
their Team Dressage performance.

What’s next for the Olympians?

The Olympic Parade takes place in Manchester during early October. Charlotte believes that
her horse Valegro will soon retire, however she has her eyes set for Tokyo 2020. William
meanwhile has many horse trials left this year to compete in, including Osberton International and Aldon Horse trials. Carl is also considering competing in his 6th Olympic games, whereas we are unsure what Michael’s thoughts are after having to withdraw from the Rio final due to Cassionato showing signs of Colic.

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