Buying a ride to the Olympics
Does it strike anyone else as hypocritical - or at the least unjust - that dressage riders can purchase a confirmed GP horse 7 months before the Olympics and try to qualify. Granted, buying an international GP horse doesn’t guarantee success, but it is a shortcut being used more and more often.
Aren’t the Olympics the consummate test for achievement. And, in dressage, isn’t achievement not only being able to ride a test, but to showcase the achievement a rider has worked years to attain--- training his or her Olympic partner: Steffen Peters, Tina Konyot, Heather Blitz, Catherine Haddad to name just a few current American stars. Wouldn’t it be shameful if one of these- who has spent years working with their partner to the epitome of the sport- misses out because someone else bought a better ride. Somehow buying the vehicle to win just doesn’t sit right. Not to mention that some of the finest, most skillful riders – who have given so much to the sport - seem to lose the mounts they've trained from ground up to those who can’t or didn’t train their own. Money is, as usual, the game….. but should it affect these Games?