London 2012 Olympic Games

Eventing Team GB in the press today

Rather than partying hard to celebrate their success, the team have been making the most out of all the media opportunities presented to them after taking team silver on home turf.

By our calculations we have had over 750 cuttings from the press today alone; here are a few choice links & clips of the coverage so far:

TV & Radio

This morning the team have already appeared on the BBC & ITV breakfast shows having been interviewed in last nights BBC Olympic programmes by Gabby Logan and Matthew Pincent, following an earlier chat with Gary Lineker and an emotional Clare Balding.

Watch the interviews again:


Yet to come today:

The team will be interviewed from approximately 12.30 – on Sky

Then again from 13.00 – 14.00 from ITN studios (again the schedule is yet TBC)








In the papers

Here are a few choice cuts in addition to a fantastic Equestrian guide in today’s Times:

Front cover splash and great online feature from the Telegraph:

Also in the Telegraph – a comment on the four legged contingents:

‘Mary King proves equestrian queen’ again in the Telegraph

A sport round up plus comment from Zara in the Independent:

Mary comments on her sixth Olympics in the Daily Star:

Lovely video of some of the GB team members’ other halves relishing in their spouse’s glory!

Olympics Online

Silver for team GB & mini-clip from ITV

Mike Tindall comments

BBC Olympic Equestrian: Princess Royal awards GB medals:

Mike E-S’s Greenwich comment

BE’s chief executive commented from todays’s action packed day in Greenwich Park:

“Well done the Brits!! Terrific day all round for the team; not easy on home ground with the weight of expectation. Great to see so many of the world’s best here enjoying such a terrific atmosphere.

Time played its part as expected around the hills and twists and turns of Greenwich. Some surprises, some hard luck stories, some near misses. Its so close at the top and I am not sure who to put money on tomorrow for the individual medals.

One would like to think a team medal is on the cards but the individual is so close and impossible to call. Team GB lying 2nd is right there and tomorrow is all about pressure. Those with the cool heads and fresh, neat horses will prevail. No question that today was tiring for the horses physically and I suspect mentally.

It was an interesting day one way and another but it was so good to see the top guys from around the world at work. Experience told as always and probably no surprises, when the chips are down the tough get going. Crowd support was superb, the whole team has worked so hard to get to this position let’s hope they are rewarded tomorrow. But, still a lot to do and all to play for.

Some nations disappointed, others elated but that’s what it’s like at the top at the major championships.

Well done and thank you to everyone here including all the volunteers for all that they have done and put in, fingers crossed for tomorrow..!”

Cross country day highlights – the BE blog

Cross country day was a real day of thrills and spills at Greenwich, as riders battled to keep within the tight 10.3 time frame, and manage the twisty, undulating course that Sue Benson had created.

Ireland’s Michael Ryan was an early casualty, falling at the Saxon Village and being eliminated – Michael was one of many riders eliminated over a course that threw up lots of ‘asks’ for the horses.

British pathfinder Nicola Wilson made good time through the first half of the course, chasing the current best time from Aussie Christopher Burton, of 46.1, with just a few seconds to make up. She finished 12 seconds under the time on 51.70 on her dressage score, to rapturous applause. The noisy crowd kept her in good spirits, creating a lovely atmosphere. “He’s an amazing horse – he really gave time the wow factor,” said an emotional Nicola afterwards.

Although the course looked at first glance not to be too challenging, appearances were deceiving. The twists and turns were quickly exhausting for horses not quite fit enough, while many riders found it hard to make the time. Should they press on to make it inside the time, and risk trips or falls at combinations, or take it slowly as some riders did, to keep some energy in the tank to get over the fences and accelerate away safely?

There were some big asks on the course, with steep downward lines into skinnies or awkward fences. One of the scariest was the line down to the first water complex, the River Bank, from fence seven, The Moon, with its breathtaking views to Canary Wharf. The water complex didn’t look too challenging in itself, but the route into it required some careful riding. The line back up the undulating Park to the Royal Greenwich Borough fence was also a challenge, being incredibly steep and hilly.

Riders were not unanimous in their agreement of how challenging the course was – Germany’s fourth placed Michael Jung said it was “a difficult four star challenge, for sure,”, while third placed Mark Todd for New Zealand nonchalantly declared it a three star course, “as all Olympics are.”

Nicola Wilson’s team mates Mary King (40.90 penalties), Zara Phillips (46.10), William Fox Pitt (44.10) and Tina Cook (42) took advantage of Nicola’s pathfinding round, and all rode amazingly – the support was off the radar, with the crowds cheering and whooping for the Brits. Despite the fact many riders encountered slips and falls on the slippery grass, which didn’t have much coverage or thickness and had become wet yesterday, the British riders made it home safely.

Nicola, Tina and Zara all made it back inside the very tight allocated time, while Mary picked up less than two time-faults, and William picked up 9.2 penalties.

The end result on XC day saw the Brits climb to second place overall, with Tina and Mary taking fifth and sixth place individually – a really strong position.

An emotional Tina, on 42 penalties, couldn’t contain her tears as her family met her at the finish line. “I am lucky to have him [Miners Frolic] she said. “I knew I needed to go fast around the corners – I don’t usually go very fast, but once a year is OK,” she joked. “The Brits have had a lot of fun today.”

The leading ten nations are currently –

Germany, Great Britain, Sweden, New Zealand, USA, Australia, France, Ireland and Belgium.

Day Two so far; the BE Blog

A rainy start for day two of the eventing dressage

Today at Greenwch Park on day two of the eventing dressage, the changeable British weather takes centre stage, as the umbrella retailers here rub their hands together with glee!

Brit Zara Phillips rode a solid, polished test while the sun was still shining, to score 46.10 – a score which yesterday morning would have placed her in second place; but today, with the judges seemingly showing more generous marks overall, this put her in ninth place after her test. The crowd roared as Zara finished her last movement. “His first change was disappointing,” perfectionist Zara said of High Kingdom after dismounting, “but they got better. We both just want to get out to the cross country now; it’s going to be really hard work and the time is going to be so quick.”

 Thunderbolts and lightning

Tina Cook was unlucky enough to be drawn to ride as the rain lashed down, finishing just minutes before a crack of thunder and lightning. However she rode a super test to achieve 42, which she must have been pleased with; Miners Frolic performed some neat changes and looked very straight and balanced, appearing to be on top form.

It seems as if the Australians will put up a strong fight for the medals this week – Lucinda Fredericks has already ridden today, scoring 40 with Flying Finish to lie fifth, telling BE “It was a good test, not a great test”, and saying she was looking forward to the cross country.

Her team mate Andrew Hoy, riding Rutherglen, put in a super performance on Saturday, posting 41.70 to place him seventh, at the time of writing; Sam Griffiths and Christopher Burton also showed polished tests – this is one unified team, despite predictions to the contrary.

Meanwhile, the Germans are predictably hard to beat, with Ingrid Klimke currently in first and Dirk Schrade currently in third place.

Ingrid’s 39.3 today was well deserved and her classy, fluid test looked immaculate. Butts Abraxxas could have been contesting the pure dressage competition! But there’s still all to play for here and the Brits are certainly holding their own in the top three nations.

 Fine form

The crowds are in fine form here in the Park, despite the weather; the atmosphere is still friendly and amicably patriotic, and the water fountains seem to be working well today! Although it has to be said, spectators are better off bringing their own water, just in case the fountains expire.

The current top rankings at time of writing are Ingrid Klimke for Germany in first; followed by Swede Sara Algotsson Osholt; Dirk Schrade for Germany takes current third place; Lucinda Fredericks for Australia is fifth, and Mary King lies sixth, Zara Phillips is 14th and Nicola Wilson in 27th.

London 2012 Olympic Games

British Team Dressage times: 28-29 July

Eventing Dressage times;

Saturday – Nicola 11.20, Mary 14.30,

Sunday – Zara 10.16, Tina 12.54, William 16.12

Times for all competitors are available here.
Click here to view the latest BBC schedule for Olympic TV coverage this weekend and here for BBC red button coverage information.

2012 Olympic Games- London

Less than 24 hours to go – the first of our Greenwich blogs!

A relaxing atmosphere at the sunny stables Is it tension or excitement in the air? It’s hard to tell. Either way, horse sport fans across Britain are biting their nails in preparation for the forthcoming events, and praying the Team GB’s horses will stay sound and deliver the goods. Just a day ahead of the first horse inspection for the eventing element of the Games, the first horses are now settled into their leafy Greenwich stables. Tim Hadaway, former Director of both Blair Castle International Horse Trials and Bramham International Horse Trials, is Sport Competition Manager for the equestrian events at London 2012. He says the Games will be an amazing experience for everyone involved, and is delighted that the recently-erected stabling area at the Park has been well received by riders and grooms alike. “The stables, constructed by Woodhouse Show and Event Specialists, are excellent.

“There’s capacity for up to 200 horses, but many stables are being used for tack and storage, currently – there is one storage area for every three horses,” Tim told BE. “They are state of the art, with wash room areas, cooling fans and an on-site veterinary clinic.” The first 75 horses (of 219 Olympic equines overall) are now ensconced at Greenwich, having successfully been through the Equestrian Staging Facility at Greenwich University. Equine health and equipment checks (including by sniffer dogs!) were performed before the horses could travel onto Greenwich Park in vehicles that were sealed to prevent tampering, before having an FEI vet examination, which all current horses at the site have passed. “We will never have more than 200 horses on the site at once, although there’s technically capacity for this number at the stables. In fact, the most we will have on site is 145, when the dressage and show jumping elements are both being held next week,” Tim said.

Inspiring patriotism The temporary stabling is built on an American Barn system, raised off the ground , and looks colourful, welcoming and bright; it has sweeping, airy roofing, and national flags hung up to inspire patriotism! There are also lots of shady areas close to the stables under the extensive trees in Greenwich Park – perfect for the preparations, in what could be exceedingly hot weather. Currently, the atmosphere at the stables is very relaxed; busy, but quiet. Friday 27th July will see the first horse inspection, when the horses are inspected by a vet and presented to the Ground Jury.

It’s now 24 hours and counting – so come on, Team GB!

Eventing Team GB.The story so far..

Having arrived on Tuesday the 24th July, the British horses have now settled in well; see the below pictures for some behind the scenes pictures of the horses arriving.

Equestrian Team Leader Will Connell last night told us that: “The horses have arrived looking great and in good health. They’ve all trained well this morning and we’re now looking forward to a great competition – with so many nations in the hunt for medals we know it’s going to be tight.”

The first Veterinary inspection takes place tomorrow inside the grounds of Greenwich Park from 11:00 – 13:00. The athlete running order for each country will be announced  on Friday afternoon. Times will then  be available for the dressage phase (taking place from 10:00 until 16:45) on both Saturday and Sunday before the athletes will head across country on Monday  (12:30 – 17:30).

The order to go for the Eventing teams has now been drawn; Great Britain have been drawn 17th, in the field of 22.

The order in full is: Ecuador, USA, Australia, France, South Africa, Poland, Germany, Ireland, Canada, Belgium, Netherlands, Belarus, Japan, Brazil, Italy, Austria, GB, Sweden, Jamaica, New Zealand, Russia and Thailand.

Will Connell, Equestrian Team Leader comments on the draw: “Yes we’re pleased with the draw but this doesn’t win medals, it’s still all to be decided on the field of play”



Horse and Hound photographers took a trip around the course once it opened yesterday – click here to view the Greenwich cross country course.

Your Olympic Eventing essentials!

Greenwich Arena ViewEventing Timetable:

Friday 27th July, trot up (11:00 – 13:00) Dressage times will follow later on in the day.

Saturday 28th July, Eventing Dressage day 1 (10:00 -16:45)

Sunday 29th July, Eventing Dressage day 2 (10:00 -16:45)

Monday 30th July, Eventing Cross Country day (12:30 – 17:40)

Tuesday 31st July, Eventing Show Jumping day and Eventing Medal Ceremony (R.1 10:30-13:10; R2 14:30-15.35)

Visitor information

Results: – British Eventing will also be posting regular updates on the BE website and social networks.

Horse and Hound are also running a Live service 

TV Coverage:


Dressage – there will be BBC Red Button coverage of dressage on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th July from (10:00 – 16:15)

Cross Country – BBC1 coverage from 11:30

Showjumping –BBC coverage at 11:30 and 14:00
The BBC have extensive Red Button and Radio scheduling information for the Games available here .

The above are subject to change – please keep checking the schedule for changes

Every day there will be a round-up show on BBC1 featuring highlights of each sport that day at 10.40pm.


Horse and Hound have produced a full line up of  TV coverage here

Horse and Country will also host a daily chat – for more info click here:


Official websites:

Team GB rider official websites:

Official blogs:

British Eventing will be doing a daily blog including photo galleries here every day during the Eventing at Greenwich

British Equestrian Performance Director Will Connell is blogging daily from behind the scenes in the Olympic Village and Greenwich

Andy Hunt – Chef de Mission for Team GB


Team GB have created a desk top and mobile app

London 2012 app; download a suitable version for your phone here

The BBC’s Olympic app provides up to 24 streams of live coverage, detailed schedule and results pages, and daily news stories.

Download the app available for Android and iPhone here

Who to follow on Twitter? Here are a few of our choice Olympic twitter contacts:

Official sport updates:







International riders

Mark Todd @MTEventing, Caroline Powell @carolinepowell (NZ)

Nina Ligon @NinaLigon (Thailand)

Joseph Murphy @Jmurphyeventing (Ireland)

Andrew Heffernan @andy_heffernan (Netherlands)

Andreas Ostholt @andreasostholt (Germany)

From the press:

@balders2 for the Press Association





Official hashtags




Follow Olympic Eventing on Facebook:

The 4 legged members of Eventing Team GB arrived at Greenwich yesterday

The first horses have arrived at Greenwich Park, setting for the Olympic equestrian events at London 2012.

24th July 2012 – First Olympic horses arrive at Greenwich Park

The equine athletes’ trunks of equipment must undergo the equivalent of the airport-style “mag and bag” checks done on every person attending the Olympic Games. This has been done for the first 75 of 219 Olympic horses that have been through the specially constructed Equine Staging Facility (ESF) at Greenwich University over the past two days and all are now settled into their temporary new home by this evening.

The equine athletes have to undergo an even stricter screening process than the one that the human athletes go through before entering Olympic venues. On arrival at the ESF, horses are unloaded from their transport trucks and taken to temporary stabling, where an initial health check is carried out by a veterinary team to make sure that the horses have no signs of infectious disease or injury. This is standard bio-security procedure at all international events, and is the first layer of protection for the competition horses, and for the event itself.

Simultaneously, the horse transport trucks are checked inside and out using sniffer dogs. The sniffer dogs are also used to check the cargo. The cargo is then unloaded and scanned before being loaded onto separate trucks for delivery direct to the stables, with the grooms’ luggage also being delivered straight to their on-site accommodation.

The truck driver and passengers go through the normal screening processes, and they are allowed two pieces of hand baggage per person, all of which has to be scanned. Once the interior of the horse transporter has been screened, which takes around 20 minutes, the horses are reloaded, and the ramps and doors are then security sealed with tape from the outside. This is just a security measure, and the ramp and the doors can be opened in an emergency.
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