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

Another Olympic day full of brilliant, if not sometimes punishing, Brazilian sunshine.

Definitely more spectators today, but still tons of empty seats in the main stadium. Reminds me of Beijing 2008 Olympics where you were spoiled for choice as to where to sit because the seats were largely empty for Eventing Dressage.

Colleen Loach & Qorry Blue d’Argrouges’ Olympic Debut

Quebec’s Colleen Loach and Qorry Blue d’Argrouges kicked things off for Canada today. Every Olympian has a great story of their journey to the Olympics, and Colleen is no exception. I first met  Colleen at the London 2012 Olympics where she was a groom for Canadian Eventer Peter Barry. Fast forward 4 years, and now it’s Colleen’s turn in the limelight with Peter being her support (Peter is the owner of Qorry Blue d’Argrouges). How cool is that!

Unfortunately the pair experienced a costly break in their trot work early in the test, but in true Olympic style they finished strong.

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It almost looks like Qorry is acknowledging all the applause for him!
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Support from the Kiss & Cry box.
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Yay! We did it! No longer Olympic Greenies
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Rebecca Howard & Riddle Master

Rio is the second Olympics for Rebecca and Riddle Master as their debut was 4 years ago in London. The pair are now veterans on the international scene with a long list of impressive accomplishments under their belt in addition to the Olympics, including some of the toughest courses in the world:  Badminton, Burghley and Luhmühlen just to mention a few. And to boot, Rebecca is a previous Equine Canada “Equestrian of the Year” recipient, with Riddle Master receiving “Horse of the Year”.

You can just make out Team Canada support in the background.
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Reminiscent of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games….not many spectators 😦
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Mad props to Rebecca’s groom for the polished turnout and maple leaf quarter marks!
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Another Olympic dressage test in the books
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En route to post-test steward check.
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Now onto the fun stuff – Cross Country!

If the reports back from the riders are anything to go by, tomorrow should be an exciting day and will likely see some shuffling of the leaderboard before the day is done.

There’s been lots of talk about Pierre Michelet’s cross-country track. Michelet also designed the cross-country course for 2014 World Equestrian Games, which saw even top ranked riders not finish. Great Britain’s William Fox-Pitt described it as “a decent course, the biggest Olympic course I’ve walked……..it’s a true Michelet course, four corners and four skinnies, always committing you so that if you are not right on line then you will have a run-out, always encouraging you to attack it. The distances are all on the long side, it’s the most difficult Olympic Games I’ve seen but that’s how it should be. It will be a pretty good feeling if I go clear!”

Phillip Dutton of the USA remarked that it’s the toughest cross-country course he’s seen since the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Kathryn Robinson, who has experienced Michelet’s courses at Pau (France), shared her thoughts with Horse-Canada.com.  “It’s definitely a tough course with a lot of questions from the very beginning to the very end. It’s going to be a tough day on Monday, but I am looking forward to it. I’ve got all day tomorrow (Sunday) and I think I’ll just keep walking it, and walking it, and walking it, to see if it looks any better!”

“Blue Eyes” (A Little Romance) already looking ahead to cross-country day – photo by Sandra Andresen, groom extraordinaire for Blue Eyes!
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Walk the Course!

Horse & Hound have done a terrific fence-by-fence virtual course walk.
View here

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Watch Online!

Cross-country starts at 10:00am Rio time (9:00am EST).

CBC continues to offer amazing quality live streaming at
http://olympics.cbc.ca/online-listing/

Live Results

https://www.rio2016.com/en/equestrian-schedule-and-results

Teamwork

And ending with something fun that exemplifies the sense of camaraderie that always permeates a major games. This is courtesy of Canadian FEI Steward Jan Stephens who is on duty in Rio.

“When I dropped my glasses and they became loose/- the farrier came to my rescue and tightened them with a nail! Everything is possible here!”

Teamwork

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