70-year-old equestrian eyes Rio Olympics

Michael Poulin
USEF Archives
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A 70-year-old dressage rider is competing this year in hopes of becoming the second-oldest U.S. Olympian of all time*.

Michael Poulin, who earned bronze in team dressage in his only Olympic appearance at Barcelona 1992 (and is second from the left in the above team photo), plans to take part in Olympic qualifying competitions this winter, according to the Portland (Maine) Press Herald.

One previous U.S. Olympian was older than Poulin — 1904 archer Thomas Scott — *not including art competitions, according to Olympic historian Bill Mallon, MD, of OlympStats.com.

The U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF) confirmed Poulin declared an interest in being named to the Olympic team.

“I think the only thing that holds us back is the quality of our horse,” Poulin said in November, according to the newspaper. “It’s good, but not quite great enough to be competitive on the Olympic circuit.”

It will be tough for Poulin, who is reportedly battling Lyme Disease, to advance from qualifying competitions to be chosen among eight rider-horse combinations for European observation events. After that, the U.S. Olympic dressage team will be made up of four riders.

USEF dressage rankings include 17 rider-horse combinations on an “A list” and 15 rider-horse combinations on a “B list.” Poulin is on neither of those lists but is on the “remaining listed combinations” below them.

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