London 2012 Olympics: Tina Konyot finished 27th in the individual dressage grand prix event

LONDON — Tina Konyot, a 50-year old Martin County High School graduate, and her horse, Calecto V, finished 27th in the individual dressage grand prix event of the Olympics at Greenwich Park.

She scored a 70.456. American Steffen Peters placed 6th with 77.705 points; Jan Eberling, riding the horse partly owned by Ann Romney placed 30th; and Adrienne Lyle placed 35th.

Team U.S.A. placed 5th in the team dressage competition. The top 7 teams advance to the Grand Prix Special on Aug. 7.

Konyot, who rides and trains horses at her family farm in Palm City during the winter months, arrived in England early last month and trained each day leading up to competition.

"It is physical training — just riding every day," Konyot wrote in an email from the U.S. Equestrian Team's training facility in Suffolk, England. "As team members, we are together for approximately five hours a day in the mornings and a little more in the afternoons."

Over the course of Thursday and Friday, all 50 horse-rider pairs performed a grand prix test.

The top seven teams and the top 11 individual riders after the grand prix go through to the grand prix special on Aug. 7. This decides the team medals.

The grand prix special also serves as a qualifier for the Aug. 9 freestyle where the leading 18 horse-rider pairings - a maximum of three per country - contend for individual Olympic glory.

Konyot is the daughter of famed horse trainer Alex Konyot, and her family has been renown in the equestrian community for five generations.

She first set her sights on riding in the Olympics after attending the 1976 Games in Montreal. She qualified for the Olympics by finishing second at the U.S. Olympic Dressage Selections Trials last month. She also competed in the trials in 2000 and 2004, but did not make the cut.

Konyot is hoping to become the first American female ever to win a medal in individual dressage. The lone American man to win a medal in the event was Hiram Tuttle, who claimed a bronze in 1932. The sport is dominated by Western European riders.

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