Did anyone watch the Women’s Gymnastics Trials last month? I was watching and I was captivated. It was a show filled with acrobatic athleticism, raw emotions, immense pressure, and endless drama. It reminded me of why I love sports, and it got me very excited for the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. When the Games kick off on August 5th, one of Promontory’s own will be in Rio, but he won’t be walking in the Opening Ceremony.
Mark Alter has been a member of Promontory since 2007. Some of you might remember Mark and his business partner, trainer Ronnie Beard, from the successful Equestrian jumping clinic they hosted at Promontory. These gentlemen represent Promontory’s connection to the Olympic Games. Together with Carolyn Alter, Ronnie, and Michael Dorman of Wyndmont Farm, Mark owns Valinski S., a majestic Dutch Warmblood gelding who qualified for his first Olympic in Rio.
Valinski S. makes his way down to Rio on Aug 3rd. In the Southern Hemisphere, Valinski S. will be ridden by Australian Matt Williams, rocking green and gold instead of red, white, and blue in the show jumping ring. Beginning on August 14th, sixty horse and rider pairs are whittled down over five rounds and four days as they compete for both individual and team medals. Fun fact – Equestrian events are the only ones at the Olympic Games in which men and women compete against each other on a level playing field. Be sure to cheer for Mark, Matt, and Valinski S. in one of the biggest weeks of their lives.
If you don’t have any plans to fly south to catch the Games in person, you can always make your way down the hill to catch the junior version of an impressive partnership between athlete and equine. Promontory’s exceptional equestrian facility plays host to the 5th Annual “Beat the Heat” jumper show. The event takes place on August 27th, and it is free to spectators. A trip to the Equestrian center is a reminder of what makes Promontory the best place to be in Park City. The building itself, the riding rings, and the staff are second to none. The horses at Promontory are treated as members and they live in luxury. Everything from the lighting to the footing to the private lounge down at the Equestrian center represent the attention to detail that makes Promontory a special place for people and animals alike.