Country Life Every Week - - In The Garden -

Au­gust 6–9 (eventing); Au­gust 10–12 and 15 (dres­sage); Au­gust 14–19 (showjump­ing) Dead cert Ger­many for eventing team gold for the third time run­ning; short of freak bad luck, noth­ing will stop this well-pre­pared jug­ger­naut and they could dom­i­nate all three dis­ci­plines, as they did in Seoul in 1988 Best of Bri­tish Reign­ing Olympic, World and Euro­pean dres­sage cham­pi­ons Char­lotte Du­jardin and her ‘danc­ing horse’ Vale­gro ( bot­tom); even­ter Wil­liam Fox-pitt ( be­low), mirac­u­lously back in ac­tion after a se­ri­ous head in­jury. Showjumper John Whi­taker ( right), 61 on Fri­day, is com­pet­ing in his sixth Olympics and his brother, Michael, in his fifth Corinthian con­tender Showjumper Nick Skel­ton, con­test­ing his sev­enth Games aged 58, came out of re­tire­ment in 2002, after breaking his neck and de­spite wonky hips, knees and back. ‘Real jobs’ are noth­ing new among even­ters: the 2008 gold medal­list Hin­rich Romeike (Ger­man) is a den­tist, Ir­ish rider Clare Ab­bott is a maths teacher and Brazil­ian Mar­cia Jorge is an anaes­thetist Beat that In 1988, leg­endary New Zealan­der Mark Todd (who’s at his sev­enth Olympics, aged 60) won back-to-back eventing gold on his lit­tle black horse Charisma, which, at 16, had been writ­ten off by crit­ics Golden mo­ment A dead heat be­tween Bri­tain’s un­ex­pected showjump­ing gold in Lon­don and Vale­gro can­ter­ing mer­rily along to Land of Hope and Glory en route to tak­ing this coun­try’s first Olympic dres­sage ti­tle, an oc­cur­rence once thought as likely as fly­ing to the Moon Need to know Test Match Special’s Ag­gers (Jonathan Agnew) will make his eques­trian com­men­tat­ing de­but in Rio for the BBC

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