Equestrian

<b>Key dates: </b>Aug. 6, team jumping finals; Aug. 7, team dressage finals; Aug. 31, team eventing finals.<br>
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<b>Venue: </b>Greenwich Park<br>
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<b>Big story: </b>The U.S. show jumping team faces tough competition from France and <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PLGEO000003" title="Germany" href="/topic/international/germany-PLGEO000003.topic">Germany</a> as it looks to win its third-straight Olympic gold. To continue the streak, the U.S. will rely on a historic mix of youth and experience. There is a 35-year gap between between the team's youngest member, teen phenom <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PESPT00015983" title="Reed Kessler" href="/topic/sports/equestrian/reed-kessler-PESPT00015983.topic">Reed Kessler</a>, and veteran rider <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PESPT00015984" title="Rich Fellers" href="/topic/sports/equestrian/rich-fellers-PESPT00015984.topic">Rich Fellers</a>, 53. Kessler -- who turned 18 just three weeks before the age cutoff date to qualify for the Olympics -- will be the youngest show jumper ever to compete in the Games.<br>
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<b>Top U.S. prospects: </b><a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PESPT00015985" title="Steffen Peters" href="/topic/sports/equestrian/steffen-peters-PESPT00015985.topic">Steffen Peters</a> finished fourth in the individual dressage competition in Beijing on his then-unknown mount Ravel and has gone on to win two world championship bronze medals and a world cup title in the past four years. <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PESPT00015990" title="Boyd Martin" href="/topic/sports/equestrian/boyd-martin-PESPT00015990.topic">Boyd Martin</a> (above) arrives in London for the eventing competition following a devastating 2011 in which he lost his barn and six <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="T50023005" title="Horse (animal)" href="/topic/science/scientific-research/horse-%28animal%29-T50023005.topic">horses</a> in a fire. His mount, Otis Barbotiere, is one of the horses that survived the blaze. At 54, <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PESPT00015991" title="Karen O'Connor" href="/topic/sports/equestrian/karen-oconnor-PESPT00015991.topic">Karen O'Connor</a> is the oldest U.S. Olympian and will be participating in her fifth Games in the eventing competition.<br>
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<b>Others to watch: </b>A trio of European standouts will be under intense pressure to perform in London. <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PEHST000617" title="Elizabeth II" href="/topic/politics/government/heads-of-state/elizabeth-ii-PEHST000617.topic">Queen Elizabeth</a>'s oldest granddaughter, Zara Phillips, will find herself in the spotlight during the eventing team competition as the home country looks to bolster its medal count. Meanwhile, Dutch rider Anky van Grunsven -- the three-time Olympic champion in individual dressage, is out to prove that her coaching and promotional commitments haven't hurt her performance. German Michael Jung, the reigning world and European champion, is considered the favorite for the individual gold in the three-day.<br>
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<b>Little-known fact: </b>Ravel, ridden by Peters, has his own wine made from grapes in his owners' vineyard.

( Pablo Alcala/MCT Photo )

Key dates: Aug. 6, team jumping finals; Aug. 7, team dressage finals; Aug. 31, team eventing finals.

Venue: Greenwich Park

Big story: The U.S. show jumping team faces tough competition from France and Germany as it looks to win its third-straight Olympic gold. To continue the streak, the U.S. will rely on a historic mix of youth and experience. There is a 35-year gap between between the team's youngest member, teen phenom Reed Kessler, and veteran rider Rich Fellers, 53. Kessler -- who turned 18 just three weeks before the age cutoff date to qualify for the Olympics -- will be the youngest show jumper ever to compete in the Games.

Top U.S. prospects: Steffen Peters finished fourth in the individual dressage competition in Beijing on his then-unknown mount Ravel and has gone on to win two world championship bronze medals and a world cup title in the past four years. Boyd Martin (above) arrives in London for the eventing competition following a devastating 2011 in which he lost his barn and six horses in a fire. His mount, Otis Barbotiere, is one of the horses that survived the blaze. At 54, Karen O'Connor is the oldest U.S. Olympian and will be participating in her fifth Games in the eventing competition.

Others to watch: A trio of European standouts will be under intense pressure to perform in London. Queen Elizabeth's oldest granddaughter, Zara Phillips, will find herself in the spotlight during the eventing team competition as the home country looks to bolster its medal count. Meanwhile, Dutch rider Anky van Grunsven -- the three-time Olympic champion in individual dressage, is out to prove that her coaching and promotional commitments haven't hurt her performance. German Michael Jung, the reigning world and European champion, is considered the favorite for the individual gold in the three-day.

Little-known fact: Ravel, ridden by Peters, has his own wine made from grapes in his owners' vineyard.

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