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London Calling

Three Californians head 12 Equestrian Team USA riders ready to go for Olympic gold

From the Horsetrader - July 19th, 2012 - Show & Event News

LONDON — As the world’s best horses and riders assemble at Greenwich Park for the 2012 Olympic Games, here is some information you didn’t know about Equestrian Team USA. (And, some infomration you’d like to know — the schedules of events and the NBC programming schedule).

* Tiana Coudray of Ojai won Team Gold at the 2008 FEI North American Young Rider Eventing Championships on her 2012 Olympic mount Ringwood Magister. This pair was second out of more than 100 horses at last fall’s Fidelity Investments Blenheim International CCI3*. They also won the Jersey Fresh CCI3* in 2010.

* Jan Ebeling of Moorpark rides Rafalca, who has kicked off a pop-culture sensation on the Colbert Report – the attention largely due to one of her owners, Ann Romney (wife of Mitt Romney, Republican Presidential candidate). Romney owns the horse in conjunction with Beth Meyers and Amy Ebeling. They have represented the U.S. three times at The FEI World Cup Final.

Jennifer M. Keeler photo

Jan Ebeling & Rafalca

* Steffen Peters was fourth individually at the 2008 Olympic Games on Ravel, who was then an unknown entity. Four years, two World Championship Bronze medals, and a Rolex/FEI World Cup title later – Peters will try to add to those accolades with the Four Winds Farm’s legend.

* The youngest equestrian athlete to ever represent the U.S. is Reed Kessler, who turns 18 on July 9. Kessler will ride Cylana, the horse with which she won the 2012 USEF Selection Trials. She rides on the team with Beezie Madden and McLain Ward who together have been members of the last two Gold medal winning Olympic Jumping Teams. Rich Fellers, the reigning Rolex/FEI World Cup Champion, rounds out the quartet on the striking 16-year-old veteran Flexible.

* Mollie and Harry Chapman’s Flexible is by the same sire as the Mr. Medicott Syndicate’s Mr. Medicott – but the diminutive Cruising stallion defies his size in every jump. He and Fellers have won every class but one (in which they were second) since their World Cup run.

Susan J. Stickle photo

Rich Fellers & Flexible

* The most senior is Karen O’Connor, who rode in the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul and will be representing her country for the fifth time in the Olympic Games at the age of 54. She will ride the uber experienced Irish-bred, German import, Mr. Medicott, who was a stalwart of the German team before he arrived in the U.S. at the end of last year. O’Connor shared Team Silver and Team Bronze with her husband David in 1996 and 2000 respectively. Jan Ebeling, Rich Fellers, and Tina Konyot all have also crossed the half-century mark.

* Boyd Martin, who arrived from Australia in 2006, is the child of two winter Olympians. He rebounded from a horrific year in 2011 in which he lost his barn and seven horses in a barn fire. His mount, Otis Barbotiere, was one of the horses that survived that devastating event.

MORE OLYMPIC FACTS:

1. Rafalca and Twizzel are by the same sire, Hanoverian stallion Argentinus. Twizzel is out of an Australian Thoroughbred mare, hence is nicknamed ‘Ossi’.

2. Mr. Medicott and Flexible are by the same sire, Irish Sport Horse Cruising. Both are bright chestnuts with big blazes but there is more than a hand different in their height.

3. There are only TWO grey horses: Ringwood Magister and Antares F who is nearly white.

4. Mystery Whisper was produced to the CCI4* level in Australia by Heath Ryan. Dutton won Olympic Team Gold in 1996 with Heath’s brother Matt.

5. Ravel has his own wine, made from grapes grown in his owners’ vineyard.

6. Neither Cylana nor Kessler had shown above 1.45m, when Kessler got the mare last year, but they have made the move to prime time with ease.

7. Beezie Madden and McLain Ward were in the same jump-off for Individual Bronze at the 2008 Olympics, they found a shortcut on course through the decorations that proved to be the winning route for Madden. Ward had the very last fence down.

8. Madden is a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan.

9. Tina Konyot’s family was in the circus, her father was a renowned horse trainer, and her mother was known as “Queen of the High Wire.”

10. Coral Reef Via Volo is the smallest horse on the team at 15.2 hands, while Ravel is the biggest at over 17 hands.

2012 USA Dressage Team
Jan Ebeling (Moorpark, Calif.) on Amy Ebeling, Beth Meyers, and Ann Romney’s Rafalca
Tina Konyot (Palm City, Fla.) on her own and John Byrialsen’s Calecto V
Steffen Peters (San Diego, Calif.) on Four Winds Farm’s Ravel

2012 USA Eventing Team
Will Coleman (Gordonsville, Va.) on Jim Wildasin’s Twizzel
Tiana Coudray (Ojai, Calif.) on Jatial, Inc.’s Ringwood Magister
Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) on Jim and Arden Wildasin’s Mystery Whisper
Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) on the Otis Barbotiere Syndicate’s Otis Barbotiere
Karen O’Connor (Ocala, Fla.) on the Mr. Medicott Syndicate’s Mr. Medicott

2012 USA Jumping Team
Rich Fellers (Sherwood, Ore.) on Mollie and Harry Chapman’s Flexible
Reed Kessler (Lexington, Ky.) on her own Cylana
Beezie Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) on Coral Reef Ranch’s Coral Reef Via Volo
McLain Ward (Brewster N.Y.) on Grant Road Partners’ Antares F

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