washingtonpost.com  > Sports > Leagues and Sports > Olympics > 2004 > Sport-by-Sport > Equestrian

U.S. Gets Equestrian Bronze

Saturday, August 28, 2004; Page D16

American rider Chris Kappler won bronze in show jumping, relieved not just to win a medal but to learn his horse -- which broke down on the course -- was not seriously hurt.

Kappler's horse, Royal Kaliber, was taken from the arena in a trailer and examined at the onsite veterinarian clinic. Officials later said the horse, which suffered a strain injury to a front leg tendon, would be fine.


Chris Kappler takes home bronze, along with a healthy horse in Royal Kaliber. (Susan Walsh -- AP)


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"I felt very close to a silver because he was jumping great," said Kappler, who was somber on the medals stand while awaiting word on his mount. "Then he seemed to land and take a funny step. He took another funny step after the next jump and I knew I had to pull up."

Ireland's Cian O'Connor had a rail down in the first round with Waterford Crystal and was one of only two riders to jump clean in the second to win the gold. Brazil's Rodrigo Pessoa won silver by default after Kappler pulled up.

"It's never nice to defeat an opponent in this way," he said. "Our horses are precious to us. Chris is a super rider, and the horse is very great. I had a poor first round and really got my act together in the second round."

Kappler's bronze is added to the rest of the U.S. equestrian haul: silver in team jumping and individual eventing, bronze in team dressage and team eventing.


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