Tiny Gina Miles and her big horse McKinlaigh have brought the U.S. its only equestrian medal so far. The atmosphere here is not that firestorm of media frenzy around the gymnasts and swimmers. Partly because the equestrian events are taking place in Hong Kong...almost out of the country. Also because the horse world is, well, kinda stiff-upper-lip and self-contained. The threat of broken necks is stuffed away under the tweed and polite patters of applause.
I caught the individual eventing finals -- jumping -- on NBC live video this morning. It was night, with floodlights on. The Germans, always a threat in horse sport, took both team and individual gold. But Gina and McKinlaigh held on for the individual silver, with a clean round and 2nd fewest penalties.
The victory ceremony was heavier on the pageantry than events elsewhere in China. Because, well, with horses you can have pageantry. There were red carpets, marching bands, ladies in satin gowns and a victory lap with horses going at full gallop. All of it lit up by Gina's big grin.