Olympic Cauldron’s Tuesday News & Notes from Pennfield

Interior view of the London Olympic Stadium via Wikimedia Commons.

Wouldn’t it be awesome to watch Mary King light the London Olympic cauldron? William Fox-Pitt, eventing wizard and teammate extraordinaire, thinks so too. “She is in my team, and I am biased, but this will be her sixth Olympic Games, which is incredible.”

With the London Games, King will match javelin thrower Tessa Sanderson’s record for British athletes’ Olympic appearances, and at 51, she’ll also be the “oldest home female competitor.” [Sporting Life]

In a list of Olympic cauldron lighters since 1936, it appears only one equestrian, dressage rider Hans Wilke of Sweden, has been bestowed the honor, reserved for athletes of “significant achievements and milestones.” Accordingly, Chinese gymnast Li Ning, lighter of the 2008 Beijing Olympic cauldron, was flown around the opening ceremony via suspension wire. [Wiki List]

Go Mary for Cauldron Lighter!

Q&A with Dr. Brendan Furlong on the eve of his fifth, final year as an Olympic veterinarian:  “Our job is to give the USEF selectors as much information as we can about the usefulness of a horse on a team in terms of soundness and the likeliness of it to finish the competition. You can have the five best horses in the world and if three are relatively unsound it decreases the chances to finish a team.” [Furlong & Assoc. Newsletter]

Speedy Recovery to Tamra Smith, who broke her leg in a fall on Rebecca Farm’s CIC* cross-country course this weekend. [COTH]

Get Your Boyd On: “100% Cotton and Boyd Martin approved. Available in Classic Black or American Cool White.” [oh boy(d)!]

Muted Tones: After competitor Mark Smith’s horse wore a pink Breast Cancer Campaign-themed bridle to a recent show, British Eventing has implemented a new rule stating that “bridles (for all phases) must be made of leather or webbing and be predominantly black, brown, grey or navy, and may not be decorated with tassels or other additions.” [Horse & Hound]

Must Read: Team GB dressage star Carl Hester has two Lulu dogs, an affinity for wine spritzers and a favored Hugo Boss suit. [COTH]

Brightling CIC** cross-country action courtesy of Uptown Eventing. [UE]

Word of Advice: When Steffen Peters goes for goal, don’t attempt to catch that ball, because it’ll break your hand. [Debbie McDonald Reports from London]

Neat Photo Essay: Opening day of Portland Meadows’ summer meet. [Oregon Live]

Best of the Blogs: Lindsey Taylor, Boyd’s groom, for SmartPak:  Although the work and training of the horses has been intense, we have found ways to enjoy the local culture and the people of Gloucestershire. The local pub has offered to cook made-to-order meals for our team and the bartenders have given us tours of the village and surrounding area. Boyd, in typical fashion, makes friends wherever he goes, even getting a ride to the barn on the neighbor’s Harley one morning.” [SmartPak]


“Following injury to one of the original reserves on the Australian team for London 2012, Sam has been asked to go into the Olympic Training Camp at the Unicorn Centre from Tuesday 17th July until the Games. Sam will be taking Happy Times and training with the rest of the team as though he is going to the Games. We will keep you in touch….!” [Griffiths Eventing Team FB]


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