byNina Fedrizzi| Aug 4, 2017
A little over a year ago this week, a torch was dropped, a cauldron set ablaze, and just like that, the world came together once again to celebrate 16 days of incomparable international competition in a way that only happens during the Summer Olympic Games.
Throughout its tenure as the XXXI Olympiad host city, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil faced a barrage of skepticism and continued controversy, though few would deny that by its end, equestrian competition had not only been successful, but had witnessed some of its greatest moments to date (Nick Skelton and Big Star, anyone?). In her closing thoughts on the Rio 2016 Games, Noelle Floyd Senior Editor Erin Gilmore described it like this:
"Along with its spectacular beauty, Rio de Janeiro has a spectacular set of social ills to address. But however flawed an endeavor it seemed to be, Brazil pulled off the Summer Olympics in brilliant fashion. For the sport of show jumping, Rio was a showcase of exceptional moments that displayed that passion of the world’s best horses and riders."
In the slideshow above, we're taking a look back at Rio 2016 and sharing some of our favorite photos—from the highs and lows of stadium competition to cross-country thrills and all the emotional, #twohearts moments in between.
-Photography by Erin Gilmore & Shannon Brinkman.
Charlotte Dujardin's groom Alan Davies and Valegro enjoying a golden moment together.
Marcio Carvalho Jorge on cross-country for Team Brazil.
Landing gear up in the show jumping individual final.
Individual Gold Medalist Nick Skelton of Great Britain and Individual Bronze Medalist Eric Lamaze of Canada walked together to the podium, arm in arm, in advance of the Olympic medal ceremony.
Leah Olive and Lauren Kieffer in front of a giant American flag within the stabling area of #Rio2016.
Laura Graves could not contain her affection for Verdades.
Jur Vrieling and Zirocco Blue have a refusal at the triple combination, one of two in the First Individual Qualifier/First Team Round.
Tiffany Foster and stallion Tripple X III are rearing to go during the team inspection.
American eventer Boyd Martin.
Canada’s Yann Candele manages to jump clear over the final fence during a dramatic start to show jumping competition.
Kristina Broring Sprehe & Desperados FRH.
Phillip Dutton's groom Emma Ford and Mighty Nice have a moment during the prize giving ceremony.
Carlos Parra celebrates with Summon Up the Blood.
Luciana Diniz hugs supermare Fit For Fun after a clear round in Rio.
The legendary Valegro poses for the cameras during a schooling session.
Kent Farrington & Voyeur.
Pénélope Leprevost celebrates Team France's success atop the Olympic rings.
Lots of love between Ireland's Jonty Evans and Cooley Rorkes Drift.
US team silver medalist Lucy Davis.
Eventer William Fox Pitt & Chilli Morning competing in dressage.
Peder Fredricson & All In jumping to an Individual silver medal.
Allison Brock & Roosevelt.
Individual bronze medalist Phillip Dutton & Mighty Nice storming the cross-county.
Rolf-Goran Bengtsson thanks Unita in Rio.
The image that says it all: Nick Skelton shares a moment with Big Star before being awarded his first Individual gold medal after seven Olympic Games.