Eirin Bruheim and Team Finish Sixth at Youth Olympic Games - Individual Rounds Begin Sunday


 

Singapore - At the conclusion of round two, Eirin Bruheim (Houston, TX) and her teammates ended the Team Jumping competition in sixth place at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. The group, comprised of five riders from North and Central America, as well as the Caribbean Islands, finished with 32 penalties for the two-round event at the Singapore Turf Club Riding Centre.

"The only problem today was that my horse is a little shy of crowds, so he gets really nervous and he didn't really like the reins," Bruheim said. "It was kind of a rough day."

Bruheim and Lenny Hays, a 12-year-old Thoroughbred, had a round two score of 21 penalties. Overall, she and her team were unable move up the standings following Wednesday's first round.

"Eirin found her horse's big stride and balance challenging, even with a change of equipment from the first round," coach Sally Ike said. "She rode well, in spite of her score. Now the individual competition begins on Sunday with everyone starting equal, so it's a whole new ball game."

Joining Bruheim on the team were Dominique Shone from Vancouver, BC, Canada, Kelsey Bayley from Barbados, Alejandra Ortiz from Panama, and Juan Diego Saenz Morel from Guatemala. Shone jumped clear in round two after only four faults in the first round.

It proved to be an exciting day of jumping in the ring as three teams were tied for first after the two rounds: Europe, Australasia (riders from Australia and Asia) and Africa. In the end, the strong team from Europe prevailed in the jump-off, with Switzerland's Martin Fuchs, son of well-known rider Thomas Fuchs, jumping clear and posting the fastest jump-off time (45.30) to win gold without needing the score of the final rider. Australasia captured the silver medal and Africa took home bronze.

Bruheim, who turned 18 in February, recently graduated from Kaplan College Preparatory online school, which allowed her the ability to train and complete high school. She traveled to Singapore from her family's Nordic Lights Farm near Houston, Texas. In 2010, she has qualified for the North American Young Riders Championships at the Adequan FEI North American Junior/Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North, as well as The Prix des States, Junior Jumper Championships with her top horse Cicero 75.

Individual competition begins with the first of two rounds on Sunday, August 22. The final round takes place Tuesday, August 24. Both individual rounds begin at 9:30 a.m. local.

The equestrian event at the Youth Olympic Games is being contested on 38 borrowed horses which have been in training for the past year in Queensland, Australia, and were brought to Singapore five weeks ago. On Aug. 13, the equestrian jumping athletes drew their mounts, marking the first time that a horse draw has been conducted in Olympic history.

About Team USA
The U.S. Team in Singapore is comprised of 82 athletes in 18 sports, the maximum number of qualified U.S. athletes. Team USA is competing in aquatics (swimming and diving), archery, badminton, basketball, boxing, equestrian, fencing, gymnastics, judo, modern pentathlon, sailing, table tennis, taekwondo, track & field, triathlon, volleyball, weightlifting and wrestling. 

About the 2010 Youth Olympic Games
Singapore is hosting the inaugural Youth Olympic Games from Aug. 14-26, 2010, as young athletes age 14-18 compete in 26 sports and take part in the Culture and Education Program. Approximately 3,600 athletes from around the world will participate, and all 205 National Olympic Committees will be represented. The Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games aim to inspire youth to embrace, embody and express the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect. More information can be found at www.singapore2010.sg.

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