Top equestrians to watch in Rio
Dressage rider Laura Graves will make her Olympic debut in Rio alongside Verdades. Becoming an Olympian is a challenge for most, but Graves’ road to Rio was particularly rocky. When Graves first purchased Verdades, nicknamed Diddy, he proved to be unruly and often refused to train. In an incident during training, Graves was thrown from the horse and broke her back. However, the Florida-native refused to give up on Diddy. Graves hard work paid off in 2014 when she burst onto the international dressage scene as one of the top U.S. competitors. Graves and Verdades are currently ranked tenth in individual dressage, according to the FEI World Rankings.
Double gold medalist Michael Jung will make his second Olympic appearance at the Rio Games. Jung, who won both team and individual eventing gold in London, is returning to the Games with his mount, Sam. Should the duo successfully win back-to-back individual Olympic gold, they would be the third eventing combination with the distinction.
Beezie Madden is set to make her fourth Olympic appearance in Rio. The New York-based show jumper holds two team gold and one individual show jumping bronze. Madden is the oldest female U.S. Olympian. The oldest U.S. Olympian is Madden’s teammate, eventer Phillip Dutton.
Australian show jumper Scott Keach will make his second Olympic appearance in Rio after a 28 year gap in competition. Keach made his debut in the eventing competition at the 1988 Seoul Games. He took a break from the sport but decided to try show jumping in 2009.
Lucy Davis will make her Olympic show jumping debut at the Rio Games. At 22-years-old, Davis is the youngest member of the U.S. equestrian team. She began riding when she was five and began competing internationally in 2009. Davis will compete in the individual and team show jumping competition in Rio.