Dressage News Notes - The Olympics Have Arrived!

The 2012 London Olympic Games are here! On Friday, July 27, 2012 the Opening Ceremonies will take place in London at the Olympic Stadium. All eyes will be on Great Britain as the world competes for honor and glory of an Olympic medal! The first of the horses from over 40 countries have arrived at Greenwich Park and check out the security procedures. Debbie McDonald has been in touch with updates about the activities of our Olympic Dressage Team. Steffen Peters was recently featured on NBC7 - take a tour of his southern California facility. In another insightful story we get to go inside the world of Laura Bechtolsheimer.

Anky van Grunsven will make history when she rides into the Olympics but will she medal? News from the home front is highlighted as the 2012 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships is a wrap - see who came out on top!

Despite the heat, the show season rolls on with several competitions across the nation (for the die hards!) Lets kick off this week's list in the north with the LIDCTA Summer Classic at HGL Farm in Brookhaven, NY, the Dressage on the Seacoast at UNH and II in Durham, NH and the Puckerbrush Farm Dressage I, II and III in Newburg, ME. The south is a bit quiet with the lone competition being the Raleigh Summer Dressage I and II in Raleigh, NC. Heading to the mid west there is the Summer Dressage at Copper Creek I and II in Williamston, MI and the Silverwood Dressage July II in Camp Lake, WI. In the middle of the country there is the Sage Creek III and IV in Heber City, UT, the Autumn Hill Dressage Festival III and IV in Longmont, CO. Texas will host the Lemonade Daze I and II in Irving, TX. Out on the west coast we have the Donida Farm Dressage Festival #1 and #2 in Auburn, WA, the Mid Summer Dressage at El Sueno Equestrian Center in Somis, CA, the Coastal Classic II in Santa Cruz, CA and the Golden State Warm-Up Dressage in Elk Grove, CA.

dressagedirect.com has published an Olympic preview that is a comprehensive look at the dressage competition in 2012 London Games. They put it best with the beginning of the article - "There was a time when the world of international Dressage was all too predictable, but how much that has changed." So much has changed with world dominace of Germany and the Netherlands being challenged on a serious note. Check out this guide into the competitors, ground jury and more...

The first of the horses have arrived in Greenwich Park! It is always so interesting to gain insight into how such a world class (and tightly secured) event as an Olympic Games keeps things on track and in order. This article tells how each of the horses coming in from 40 countries is screened and processed in order to gain entry into the stabling area at Greenwich Park. Read on and you will never think TSA at the airport is all that strict after all!

Equisearch.com posted another Debbie McDonald update from Great Britain. It seems there are connection issues and a blown adapter preventing recharging of phones and computers! Check out what the team is up to leading to the kick off of equestrian competition. Today is the last training day before the Team will head over for the Opening Ceremonies on Friday! Check out Debbie's blog here!

Check this out! Take a 2 and a half minute view into Olympian Steffen Peter's ranch Arroyo Del Mar in Carmel Valley, CA. The facility is gorgeous and it is fun to see how everyone and everything looks so happy! No wonder Steffen's horses look so relaxed and show a willingness to perform at the top of the sport! Check out the video at NBC7!

The Telegraph online has an interview this week with Laura Bectolsheimer focusing, of course, on her Olympic goals of earning a first ever medal in dressage for Great Britain. The article goes more in detail about Laura's beginnings in dressage and how she came about getting Mistral Hojris (Alf). It seems several top riders had tried him before her father purchased Alf. Their loss is Great Britain's gain! Read about what she does in her free time and see how she sizes up the competition.

Defending Individual champion Anky van Grunsven is already set to make Olympic history by becoming the first dressage rider to compete in 7 Olympic Games! Currently she shares the record with Germany’s Isabell Werth and Reiner Klimke but Anky is the only Dressage rider ever to take three back-to-back Olympic titles – at Sydney in 2000, Athens in 2004 and Hong Kong in 2008. Read about Anky's thought on the Games and does she miss reining? You bet! Check out the story at Eurodressage.com

On the home front - The 2012 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North was a huge success in Kentucky! The competition featured 261 young athletes in the 3 Olympic disciplines of Dressage, Eventing, Show Jumping, and the World Equestrian Games disciplines of Endurance and Reining. Brandi Roenick reigned supreme and proved unbeatable this year with Weltino's Majic earning individual gold, team gold and the Young Rider Freestyle Championships! Check out the rest of the results of the rest of the Young Rider and Junior divisions! Check out the coverage at DressageDaily.com.