The Olympics

Wow we did well in the Olympics again, winning 67 medals overall. I forget how many were gold, but we were second to the USA and beat China.  Yay

And didn’t our equestrians do us proud?  Gold from Charlotte Dujardin in the dressage and a long-deserved gold from Nick Skelton in the show-jumping.

Charlotte Dujardin

Here are Charlotte and Dujardin and Valegro. Writing this has inspired me to rewatch her wonderful freestyle dressage. A score of 94.3 won her Olympic Gold and a new world record!

Actually I missed most of it first time round because we had a local Worthing builder in doing some alterations. He did a great job but bad timing 🙁

Wow that pair are wonderful. I love everything about it – from her amazing piaffe pirouettes to the fabulous extended trot, extended canter and passage.  Breathtaking.

Charlotte is now the UK’s most successful dressage rider of all time. And so much credit must go to Carl Hester, who apart from being part-owner of Valegro has been Charlotte’s mentor and the pair’s trainer. Unfortunately he didn’t win a medal this year but his influence is undeniable.

There was talk of Valegro being retired which seems such a shame, but as Carl says, the only thing that horse loves more than his work is to eat!  So he’ll be getting a lot of grass and he’s earned a rest I’m sure you’ll agree.

Well that was breathtaking but there was another medal winner who equally deserved his award.

Nick Skelton, 58 years old and show-jumper who has inspired more than one generation of young riders. It was a nail-biting final, which for once I managed to watch.

Nick and Red Star kept us all on the edges of our seats as they went first in the jump off against the clock.

Nick Skelton & Red Star

Nick likes to go first to put pressure on the other riders. So off he went at a good speed and achieved a perfect clear round!  The others followed and one by one they clocked up faults or were just a tiny bit slower.

I hadn’t realised how fast Red Star was until I saw the others apparently hammering around but going slower!

So at the end of the competition the wonderful twosome left us all inspired and happy for the UK team. Well done Nick.

The win was so popular that there’s a movement to nominate Nick for Sports Personality of the Year. I really hope he achieves that but I doubt it will top the euphoria of winning Olympic Gold at last.

And a shout out to the rest of the equestrian team who were all wonderful but just not the best on the day. It must be so difficult because unlike every other sport you’re not just relying on your body but also on the mind and body of your horse. Both have to be at peak fitness and have the mental stamina to take on the world.

Well done Team GB – we’re proud of you