rhinestone-style

Kansas rider holds Olympic dream

Theresa McCaffrey

A Kansas rider is looking to be selected for the US national dressage team for the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

Emily Wagner has been riding since a very young age thanks to taking inspiration from her mother and now the 25-year-old hopes to take her skills to the grandest stage of them all. Upper Michigans Source reports that Ms Wagner has been excelling within the discipline and has already become a national champion wowing judges across the US.

She now is looking ahead to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in three years time and hopes that she makes the cut and gets the call-up to join the US team for the Games, even if she thinks dressage is a little boring! Ms Wagner told the news provider that it can be slightly dull for riders, especially the younger generation.

However, her passion for the sport has inspired her to train new riders despite them wanting to jump and run faster. By teaching children and teenagers the discipline it can build a strong relationship between themselves and the horse.

Ms Wagner explained the process of dressage, telling the news provider: "You know, I can’t speak horse, but my horse can understand that when I shift my weight from the centre of the saddle to a little to the left of the saddle that I want it to follow my weight to the left of the saddle. So, they’re super sensitive in that sense.”

The dressage events at the London 2012 Olympic Games proved to be a huge hit with spectators as thousands piled into the finals in Greenwich Park. It was an event that was dominated by Great Britain with the country winning both the individual and team tournaments.

Charlotte Dujardin took home the gold medal for the individual dressage with Dutch rider Adelinde Cornelissen claiming silver while fellow Brits Laura Bechtolsheimer winning bronze. Great Britain also fended off competition from Germany and the Netherlands to win the team event.

The US will be wanting to improve on their sixth place finish in the group event as well as the 17th position, claimed by Steffen Peters, in the individual dressage when they head to Rio de Janeiro in 2016.