Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Horseperson Heaven


Gina Miles and McKinlaigh, shown at a previous event, are U.S. competitors who won an individual silver medal today. Yes, they are jumping out of and into water, but no, it is not very deep.

I discovered today that NBC is live-streaming the Olympics at NBCOlympics.com. This is incredibly good news . . . not to mention that I actually have some time to watch these days. Of course, I went right to the equestrian offerings and was glued to the computer all morning.

The 3-day eventing competition is over and no serious injuries were recorded, thank goodness. A few years back I saw one of these events in person and it was truly terrifying. Even the most skilled riders and best-conditioned horses in the world can have horrible, even fatal, accidents during the cross-country phase of this triathlon for horses. The sport is working very hard to become safer and even more humane, but it is still very dangerous to jump such big, solid obstacles at galloping speed.

Now we move on to dressage (no jumping involved unless the horse is really naughty and leaves the arena unexpectedly) and show jumping (where all the jumps knock down).

All this athleticism on display is cutting into my productivity, but what the heck? The Summer Games only come around every four years. In 2004, C.S. was in Athens covering them, while I was just starting law school and suffering through a major hurricane every 7 to 10 days. What a memorable summer that was! It seems like a lifetime ago.

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