Olympic Dressage mentee follows in footsteps of mentor 16 years after Sydney games
The world of Equestrian is underground to most outsiders, and unlike the other Olympic sports, it doesn’t draw nearly as much attention.
Dressage is a collection of individual and team events based on the training of a horse and its relationship with the rider.
In the 2000 Sydney Games, the U.S. Dressage team gained their fifth total bronze medal in the team event.
In Rio, the U.S. Dressage team achieved bronze for the seventh time, its first time medaling since 2004.
Allison Brock, 2016 U.S. Olympic Dressage team member, is following in the footsteps of her mentor, Susan Blink, U.S. Olympic Dressage team member from 2000.
Brock accompanied Blink at the Sydney Games as a working student, i.e., one who keeps the horses groomed and maintained while learning from their mentor.
When Blick retired in 2004, Brock was offered her sponsorship with Fritz and Claudine Kundrun. The goal of sponsorship is to develop a rider to his or her maximum potential at a professional level.
Along with her sponsorship, Brock became the head trainer at Deer-Meadow Farms, where her horse, Rosevelt “Rosie,” and she became a team.
“It was exhilarating. You feel this connection with your horse, you know,” said Brock. “Like Rosie and I are like an old married couple at this point.”
Brock and Rosie had been working together for five years when Brock made an announcement in 2014 that her goal was to compete at the highest level possible: the Olympic Games.
“I made a public statement then [in 2014] that my goal was the Rio Olympics, which made me go, ‘Maybe you’re being a little ballsy saying that, but you kinda have to look at things like that,’” said Brock.
Blink and her horse, Flim Flam, passed their mascot down to Brock. Sah, a green dinosaur stuffed animal, is the new mascot for Allison Brock and Rosie. After traveling to Sydney in 2000, Sah is now at his second Olympic games in Rio.
The green dinosaur brought enough luck for the team to take the bronze medal in Sydney and again in Rio for the team event. On Monday, Brock placed 15th in the individual event.