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Olympic Equestrians  
 
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Only a few months later, however, Toto's owner, Cees Visser, shocked the equestrian world by selling the horse to breeder Paul Schockemöhle of Germany, the archrival of the Netherlands in dressage.

Gal was disconsolate. At the Global Dressage Forum, reporter Sarah Jenkins observed that "Edward fought back tears" as he told her, "All I know is they picked him up yesterday and that that was really really hard." Gal was so distraught that "he couldn't bring himself to watch the video of his ride [aboard Toto] in the grand prix special" that had earned them a gold medal at the World Equestrian Games, she added.

Gal was able to get a ride on another fine horse, Undercover, as he worked toward making the Dutch Olympic team in 2012. His efforts were rewarded when he and his teammates took a bronze medal in the London games.

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Gal had hoped that his Olympic teammates would include his life partner, Hans Peter Minderhoud (b. 1973). Like Gal, he has a reputation as an excellent trainer, and he has won medals in dressage, including a gold for the Dutch team at the European Championships in 2007. Although Minderhoud did not secure a spot on the 2012 Olympic squad, he is considered one of the formidable equestrians in the country.

In a 2008 interview with Eurodressage magazine, Gal and Minderhoud stated that working together on a daily basis has yielded professional benefits for both of them. They also opined that the shared experience was good for them as a couple. Minderhoud stated that "competitions are a way of life and it is so much fun if you are with someone who precisely understands that and knows what you are doing, dedicating all your time to horses." Gal echoed his sentiments and quipped that an additional boon was that "we only need one hotel room now."

Asked how competing against each other affected their relationship, Minderhoud replied, "We both like to win, but you need this trait if you want to get somewhere. In the show ring, we are just competitors but we grant each other the success."

Peter Taylor

Peter Taylor (b. 1953) had a happy childhood on a farm in Northland, New Zealand. His passion for equestrian sport began at the age of eleven, when his father gave him a pony.

Two years later, however, Taylor's parents separated. Taylor remained close to his father, who died in 1995, but is estranged from his mother, whose mood swings and emotionally manipulative behavior caused their relationship to deteriorate.

Taylor took solace in the companionship of animals. "You can form a relationship with horses and dogs because you can trust them," he declared. "They don't carry baggage like people. They don't look you in the eye and lie to you."

As much as he loved riding, Taylor did not envision a career as an equestrian. He earned a degree in Hotel and Catering Management and then, at the age of only twenty-two, co-founded an Auckland restaurant, Le Brie, and became its head chef.

Taylor continued riding for pleasure, but his talent was such that he earned acceptance into New Zealand's National Equestrian Centre and was soon representing his country in international events. His hopes of riding for New Zealand in the 1980 Moscow Olympics were dashed, however, when his horse died from an accident shortly before the games.

Taylor carried on careers in both hospitality and equestrianism. His bar Surrender Dorothy was long a mainstay on Ponsonby Road, Auckland's prime dining destination. For a time he also operated a catering business in Sydney.

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