Paris Olympics: What to know and who to watch during the equestrian competition

A roadmap to follow for the equestrian competitions of dressage, eventing and jumping during the Paris Games:

Athletes to Watch

—Laura Collett, Britain: Collett almost died in a fall while competing in 2013. She was resuscitated five times and suffered a fractured shoulder, two broken ribs, a punctured lung, a lacerated liver, and kidney damage. Eight years after being placed in an induced coma, Collett rode to glory as an Olympic champion in team eventing.

—Kent Farrington, United States: Farrington is a former world No. 1 in jumping and looks to clinch his first Olympic gold medal after winning silver in team jumping at the Rio Games in 2016.

—Amre Hamcho, Syria: Hamcho is the second Syrian to compete in an Olympics jumping competition, joining his brother. Twelve years after watching Ahmad at the London Games, Amre proudly flies the Syrian flag as he rides Vagabon Des Forets.

—Ben Maher, Britain: Maher is looking to defend his gold medal in individual jumping and secure a third Olympic title overall, having won gold in team jumping in London. Maher is currently second in the jumping rankings behind Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann.

—Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, Germany: The defending champion and top-ranked competitor in individual dressage. A double Olympic champion at the Tokyo Games, the 38-year-old Von Bredow-Werndl hopes to repeat that feat with another gold in team dressage, likely once again riding with seven-time Olympic gold medalist Isabell Werth.

Storylines to Follow

—Who can challenge the dominance of Germany and Britain after they won a combined nine medals, including five golds, in Tokyo? Can Australia, Sweden or the United States step up after combining for six medals but only one gold? Boyd Martin is ranked third in eventing and could prove crucial to American hopes for gold.

—Equestrian is unique in that it’s a mixed sport where men and women compete against each other. Julia Krajewski beat two men in Tokyo to win the individual evening. Also, the average age is higher than other competitive sports. Werth is turning 55 but is still going strong after winning her first Olympic gold in 1992. So keep an eye on the older competitors and compare them with the younger riders.

—Boots, helmet and a bright orange G-string? Equestrian riders are usually impeccably dressed. So the 51-year-old Shane Rose raised eyebrows when he wore what’s known as a “mankini” for a fancy dress competition this year. He ended up apologizing. Now Rose is focused on a fourth Olympic medal.

Key Dates

Equestrian is an 11-day event featuring three disciplines and six events, with medals given in individual and team categories. Action begins on July 27 in the resplendent gardens of Château de Versailles, the royal palace where Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette once held lavish banquets. The first medals are decided July 29 in team and individual eventing. The team jumping final is Aug. 2, and the next two days decide medals in team and individual dressage. The individual jumping final concludes competition on Aug. 6.

Reigning champions

—Dressage Individual: Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, Germany.

—Dressage Team: Germany.

—Eventing Individual: Julia Krajewski, Germany.

—Eventing Team: Britain.

—Jumping Individual: Ben Maher, Britain.

—Jumping Team: Sweden.


AP Summer Olympics:

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