An unscripted glimpse at the Canadian Equestrian Team's athletes, supporters & fans before, during and after major games. #CanadaStrong

What an unbelievable night!!! After 40 years, Canada has brought home another Olympic medal in team showjumping. I don’t think I’ve seen such exciting horse action since I nearly bit my nails to the quick watching Ashley Holzer make history by getting into the dressage freestyle finals.

It was yet another visually stunning course which challenged the top horses and riders. Belgium’s Cumano and Los Jansik looked superb on course and left all the rails up but incurred 2 time faults. USA’s McLain Ward and Sapphire also left all the jumps up, but it was the water that proved to be their nemesis. Germany just couldn’t seem to pull it together with faults for all of their riders and some drama to boot when Marco Kutscher’s Cornet Obolensky had a rearing refusal at the jump following the water.

It was Canada’s Jill Henselwood who had to prove to the others that the course was jumpable with no faults as she rode Special Ed around the course. It was a little stressful as there was at least 1 rail that was jostled, but it stayed up.

So here I was, furiously doing my calculations as each rider from each nation went around the course. And when it came down to the final round where each anchor rider was to take their turn, Canada was in the lead!!! Stress levels were skyrocketing by then. When Ian Millar came into the ring, I was almost feeling sick to my stomach. I can’t even imagine the pressure Ian must have been under….he had to go clean if Canada was to have a shot at a gold medal. I’m glad there wasn’t a camera on me because I can only imagine what I must have looked like as In Style came up to each jump. And when they crossed the finish line with a big fat 0 on the jumbotron…..wow! Me and Dr. Jenn were screaming ourselves hoarse!

We sure gave the USA a battle for gold. And even while being down a horse (unfortunately Mac Cone and Ole had to withdraw before the class as Ole just wasn’t quite right and everybody wanted to ensure that Ole’s welfare was put first and foremost). It was close, but no cigar and the USA ended up being crowned the champions with 3 straight clears in a row.

Before I upload my millions of pictures from tonight, I want to salute Ian, Jill, Mac and Eric, their fearless chef d’equipe Torchy Millar, their superb team vet Sylvie Suprenant, their hardworking grooms Jerome, Dominique, Samantha and Kirsten, the always organized team stable manager Lori Green and the owner of these fine horses who provide incredible support to the riders and the sport. And last but not least, a special mention to reserve rider Jonathan Asselin, his groom Sergio Jacobo Martinez and the owners of Rayana Chia. It’s tough to travel all the way to Hong Kong with no guarantee that you’re going to ride, but having the reserve is so crucial in order to ensure that a full team can compete. Rayana left the other day to go back home with the Eventing horses. Jonathan stayed on and continues to be a full member of the team – attending training sessions and being there for every competition. Now that’s what I call true team spirit.

I sign off by saying what an honour and a privilege it has been for me to watch these teams in action during my first Olympic Games. Eventing achieved their best international placings since the 1970’s, Dressage made history by having a rider make it through to the top 15 for the individual finals, and the Jumpers have won their first team medal in 40 years. I don’t think even sleep will be able to wipe the smile off my face.

I arrived just when the course walk was taking place.

I arrived just when the course walk was taking place.

the first fence

the first fence

my favourite fence....absolutely gorgeous

my favourite fence....absolutely gorgeous

team huddle watching the early part of the competition

team huddle watching the early part of the competition

Mac Cone and McLain Ward

Mac Cone and McLain Ward

the German team analyze early rounds....unfortunately for them they finished the night with 34 faults

the German team analyze early rounds....unfortunately for them they finished the night with 34 faults

Jos Lansik and Cumano

Jos Lansik and Cumano

Ian Millar, Mac Cone and Torchy Millar

Ian Millar, Mac Cone and Torchy Millar

the media scrum area where riders are interviewed following their rides

the media scrum area where riders are interviewed following their rides

Eric looking pretty relaxed before his ride

Eric looking pretty relaxed before his ride

Eric and Hickstead on their way to the ring to do what they do best

Eric and Hickstead on their way to the ring to do what they do best

Torchy, Jerome, Mac and Jill

Torchy, Jerome, Mac and Jill

watching the last American rider to go to see if there will be a jump-off for Gold (Beezie Madden and Authentic)

watching the last American rider to go to see if there will be a jump-off for Gold (Beezie Madden and Authentic)

Jump-off time! Ian and Jill review the new shortened course.

Jump-off time! Ian and Jill review the new shortened course.

reserve rider Jonathan Asselin was there supporting his team all the way

reserve rider Jonathan Asselin was there supporting his team all the way

being interviewed after winning the silver medal

being interviewed after winning the silver medal

Eric posing with dressage groom Lindsay

Eric posing with dressage groom Lindsay

Ashley Holzer was there to soak up the excitement

Ashley Holzer was there to soak up the excitement

preparing for the medal presentations

preparing for the medal presentations

the flags.....

the flags.....

....and the medal girls

....and the medal girls

on their way to collect their silver hardware

on their way to collect their silver hardware

waving to the fans....

waving to the fans....

Princess Haya was one of the presenters

Princess Haya was one of the presenters

on the podium!

on the podium!

Princess Haya and the Silver medal team

Princess Haya and the Silver medal team

woohoo!

woohoo!

the 2008 Olympic medallists

the 2008 Olympic medallists

the silver medal victory gallop

the silver medal victory gallop

dressage chef Ali gets caught up in the excitement

dressage chef Ali gets caught up in the excitement

Sara Houstoun and Larry Evoy - owners of Ole

Sara Houstoun and Larry Evoy - owners of Ole

hanging up your jacket after a great job

hanging up your jacket after a great job

sorry Ali....I had to....makes me laugh too much!

sorry Ali....I had to....makes me laugh too much!

Brenley Cone and Tiffany

Brenley Cone and Tiffany

A very happy Mac and Brenley Cone with the silver medal

A very happy Mac and Brenley Cone with the silver medal

Eric and Tiffany

Eric and Tiffany

Jenn Ward and Eric

Jenn Ward and Eric

Dominique (groom for Ole)

Dominique (groom for Ole)

Jerome, Hickstead and Eric

Jerome, Hickstead and Eric

Jumping Team vet Sylvie with Dressage Team vet Jenn

Jumping Team vet Sylvie with Dressage Team vet Jenn

what a night! (Photo by Shawn Hamilton of ClixPhoto.com)

what a night! (Photo by Shawn Hamilton of ClixPhoto.com)

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Comments on: "Team Silver for the Jumpers!" (1)

  1. Catherine said:

    Yay Team Canada!!! Way to go jumpers-and what a brilliant result for Eric Lamaze-the papers here are also jumping up and down! Congratulations and thanks to all in HK!

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