Eventer Camilla Kruger had a goal: represent her native Zimbabwe in the Olympics. The African nation of 15 million has never had an equestrian athlete qualify for the Olympic Games, until Kruger’s goal became a reality last spring.

With just a single ticket to Rio available for the entire continent, Kruger pulled through months of qualifying with her 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Biarritz II, better known as Sam the Man. Kruger, 29, has been bringing Sam up the ranks for the past three years from her yard in East Sussex, UK, where she stays busy preparing a number of horses, mostly ex-racehorses, for careers in eventing.

The deep-seated bond between Kruger and her animals is the subject of this short video created by SlingShot Productions, and if this does not make you want to get out and ride then I don’t know what will.

Now that her dream has been realized, Kruger remains both optimistic and realistic.

“I am very much looking forward to Rio with Biarritz,” she told The Standard. “He is a very talented horse and still so much more to give, so Rio will be fantastic exposure and experience for him. At these games, I am aiming for a consistent performance and top 15 finish. But I have big plans for the next Olympics.”

The Eventing competition kicks off this Saturday from Rio. Follow the link for a full list of ride times. 

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