1st day Eventing Dressage. An opportunity to glimpse the significant ripple made in a sport by one of its most distinguished out gay horsemen, namely Blyth Tait of New Zealand. Blyth has been out for many years and is held in high regard nationally in his country, much like Robert Dover here in the U.S. The first time Outsports mentioned Blyth was during Athens 2004, where he competed in eventing. This time he is managing the NZL eventing team. His presence at Beijing underlines the importance of out sportspeople in key roles off the field.
Equestrian events of the Beijing Games are being held in Hong Kong, at Shatin -- the state-of-the-art racetrack and horse-sport facility familiar to any punter who follows international racing. First to ride was NZL's Mark Todd and the grey Gandalf. Eventing dressage is very basic, no high-style stuff -- designed to develop the horse's flexibility, athleticism and responsiveness for the tough crosscountry jumping part of the sport. After Todd and Gandalf finished their go, they were both drenched in sweat -- the weather is very hot and humid -- and I glimpsed Blyth and his associates fussing with the horse to make sure he was comfortable.