You loved them on the live stream from Rio. But even better, in the coming weeks you'll have opportunities to see many of your Olympic idols from all three disciplines in person, perhaps at a location very near you.
Generally, they won't be riding the same horses they took to the Games, but there are exceptions.
McLain Ward and HH Azur, the mount on which he secured the show jumping team silver medal, will be at Spruce Meadows in Calgary in Alberta, Canada, to try for the lion's share of the $2 million grand prix, the world's richest, on Sept. 11. You'll find plenty of Olympians from other countries at Spruce Meadows too.
Sept. 18 is also the day that McLain's Rio teammate, Beezie Madden, will be competing Breitling in the HITS $1 million grand prix in Saugerties, N.Y. Colombian Olympian Daniel Bluman will also be among the participants.
McLain and Beezie will be at the American Gold Cup in North Salem, N.Y., Sept. 18 for the Longines FEI World Cup™ New York qualifier, as everyone looks toward next spring's Longines FEI World Cup™ finals in Omaha, Nebraska.
On Sept. 23-24, McLain and another Rio teammate, Kent Farrington, are competing at the Central Park Horse Show in Manhattan. That weekend, Beezie will be at the New Albany Grand Prix in Ohio, Sept. 26 and McLain expects to join her there as well, since the show jumping in Central Park ends on a Friday.
The fourth team silver medalist, Lucy Davis, is appearing at the Longines Masters in Long Beach, Calif. Sept. 29-Oct. 2.
The Olympians will head for the fall indoor circuit when the weather turns cooler. Beezie is planning on the Pennsylvania National, the Washington International and the National in Lexington, Ky., during succeeding weekends into November. Each of those shows will host one or more of the U.S. Olympians, and likely some from other countries as well. McLain will be taking a bit of a rest after New Albany before rejoining the tour in Washington.
Canadian Olympians can be seen at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto that closes out the circuit, and it's a regular stop for McLain as well. Like Washington and the National, Toronto is offering Longines FEI World Cup™ qualifiers.
Most of the bronze medal U.S. dressage team from Rio is taking the autumn off. Steffen Peters was tempted to bring a horse to Central Park for its dressage segments, but felt the travel would be “logistically difficult” and too much after his mounts flew from Belgium to Brazil, then back to Europe and finally to the U.S.
“We decided to give Legolas a nice break,” said Steffen, who said that horse will pick up again in January. He plans to go to the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington Florida at the beginning of next year to try qualifying for the FEI World Cup™ finals, along with the other team members.
Canadian Olympian Megan Lane appears likely to compete at Dressage at Devon, which runs Sept. 27-Oct. 2 and features breeding and performance divisions. Former Olympians who will be there include Canada's Jacquie Brooks, while fan favorites Mikala Gundersen and Tuny Page also are competing at the Devon, Pa. showgrounds.
Olympic eventer Phillip Dutton isn't wasting any time kicking back and polishing his individual bronze medal. After competing in Britain at the Land Rover Burghley four-star at the beginning of September, he is heading for the Plantation Field International event Sept. 15-18 in Coatesville, Pa., where teammates Boyd Martin and Lauren Kieffer also may be seen. The Fair Hill International in Maryland Oct. 13-16 will draw those riders too, and a few Olympians from other countries as well. Be sure to check the roster for the Galway Downs three-star in California during November. Some Olympic riders may be headed there too.