Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Uruguay Compete in Equestrian

Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Uruguay Compete in Equestrian

By Dialogo
July 23, 2011

The perfect harmony of the rider or rider with the animal – which takes at least two years to develop – is indispensable in forming a winning combination in the jumping category in the Equestrian event. But at these jumping events of the 5th Military World Games, riders from 12 countries had at most 40 minutes to establish that relationship.

To compete in the four jump events the four obstacle courses of 1.20m on Friday (July 22) and Saturday, each team had three horses designated to them by lottery system. In total, the organization rented 41 animals.

The athletes were treated to a short “test drive” of 20 minutes the day before the initial event, but only with their first horse. For the following races they only had 20 minutes total to familiarize themselves with the horse.

“This is a test that lets us know who the best rider is, through his own ability, and without much help from the horse,” explained Captain Bruno Burity, who is one of the organizers of the Equestrian competition at Rio 2011.

With a strong presence from South America – Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador – the test will be the team jumping category and individual medals. On Sunday 24, the four riders with the best score during the four team categories will compete. The final race may very well have riders from same country competing for gold.

Jumping with a horse you’re not familiar with is a challenge for even the most experienced riders such as the case with Major Alfonso Anguita from Chile, who has accumulated medals in military riding competitions for over 29 years.

“I expected more from my horse. He did not respect the jumps,” Anguita said.

The 20 minutes of riding at Koltaire Des Puys the day before for was all the riding Lt. Fernando Romero of Ecuador needed to realize that there was something different with his horse during the warm-ups on July 22.

“He was not the same like he was the previous day so he didn’t respond well” said Romero.

The exchange of reigns delayed Romero by 20 minutes but it was crucial to the performance.

It was also a life insurance policy,” joked Romero.