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1. Severo Jurado Lopez and his gelding Lorenzo gained the hearts of spectators across the globe with his freestyle to Santana’s “Smooth.” The prancing chestnut horse performed beautifully, like he was channeling Santana himself – and equestrian fans fell in love almost instantaneously. Even non-equestrians couldn’t get enough of the smoothest horse around, and we can’t blame them!
Image: FEI/Dirk Caremans
2. Charlotte Dujardin’s fiancé Dean Wyatt Goulding was supporting his favourite rider from the crowd, but as soon as she won gold he had other things on his mind. As the cameras panned across to him, we were treated to his t shirt which read “Can we get married now?”
Image: Radio 5 Live
Image: Jae C Hong/Associated Press
5. Chilean event rider Carlos Lobos Muñoz and his horse Ranco jumping clear in a very challenging cross country event and Ingrid Klimke’s lovely support and comradery:
6. Nick Skelton winning Olympic gold at the ripe old age of 58, at his seventh Olmypics, and after suffering a broken neck – doctors said he would never ride again.
Image: FEI/Richard Juilliart
7. Charlotte’s emotional tribute to Valegro after winning individual gold for the second time in a row. ‘It was like he held my hand,’ she said of her trusty mount.
9. Former hairdresser Laura Graves won team bronze and placed fifth individually on her Olympic debut. She’s owned her horse Diddy since he was six months old, and to say they had a “trying” relationship in the early years would be an understatement – so much so that Laura wanted to sell him as a teenager, except nobody could ride him. She burst onto the scene at the World Equestrian Games in 2014, where she placed fourth having only been competing at that level for less than a year.
Image: FEI/RIchard Juilliart
10. Host nation Brazil put in some beautiful performances, particularly in show jumping and eventing, and the support the spectators showed them was truly amazing to witness. Having never really made waves at the higher levels (with the exception of the Pessoas, of course!), the Brazilian eventing and jumping teams impressed fans across the world with the jumping team finishing fifth overall.
The best part was that a Brazilian rider only needed to enter the arena to be welcomed with raucous cheering and applause. If they went clear, the crowd pretty much brought the house down. One particular stand out was showjumper Pedro Veniss with his gorgeous stallion: