Olympics Individual Endurance Highlights, Atlanta 1996
The Individual Endurance competition of the Equestrian
portion of the Atlanta Olympics drew 35 entries from 19 countries. The
most demanding jumps were right in the middle of the course, and included #8 and #13.
#8 foiled many riders with a huge ditch in front of the jump that required
an incredible effort from the horses. #13 is the "Old Town Ponds" jump that
stopped Jill Henneberg and Nirvana of the USA during the team competition. Most
competitors chose the long route through #13 - here France's Didier Willefert
and Seducteur Biolay slip
and slide down the bank into the water.
Another demanding jump was at #9. The approach was
a very steep descent into a "hollow". A combination of 4 elements required
quick turns and a very clever horse to get through it. Indrajit Lamba and
Karishma from India scrambled through this obstacle
as if they were scaling a rocky cliff. We don't have information on the breed of the Indian
horse, but he appeared to be an Anglo-Arab.
It was exciting to see riders and horses from so many different countries
competing in the cross country phase at the Olympics. The atmosphere was similar
to the Kentucky CCI***, including the same familiar announcer on the loudspeaker;
but walking around the course were people speaking many different languages. Perhaps
some of them came to watch the riders from Japan, including Shigeyuki Hosono and his
horse As Du Perche.
Enrique Sarasola and Rebaby from Spain were also cheered
on through the "Rabun Hollow" obstacle.
The leader after cross-country, and the eventual gold medalist with a score of 56.8
was Blythe Tait and Ready Teddy
of New Zealand (left). USA's Kerry Millikin and Out And
About (right) were tied for third after a strong cross-country, and they held
on for the bronze medal with a final score of 73.7. The silver medalist was Sally Clark
of New Zealand with Squirrel Hill.
Her cross-country ride was the "best ride of her life" according to the Atlanta
Constitution newspaper, and she continued the fairy tale with a perfect stadium
round the following day, finishing with a score of 60.4.