Equestrian Heading to Olympics With Team Israel Ready to ‘Represent Jewish Culture on a World Stage’
An equestrian who is making history by representing Israel in the 2021 Olympic Games talked about his trusting relationship with his horse ahead of their performance in Tokyo.
Teddy Vlock, 23, studies psychology at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut three days a week, and spends the rest of his time training at the Vlock Show Stables in Wellington, Florida. The athlete — who is also the co-founder of a real estate development company that focused on equestrian properties — is one of four riders on Israel’s Olympic show jumping team.
The individual competition will take place August 3-4 and the team competition on August 6-7 — with Israel making its first-ever Olympic appearance in the sport, after winning a qualifier in Moscow in 2019.
In a video released by Israel’s equestrian team on Tuesday, Vlock talked about preparing to compete in the Olympics with his horse Amsterdam 27, an 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding. The rider acquired Amsterdam 27 around seven months ago, and while Vlock said their time together has been short, he “instantly clicked” with the horse and they have had “amazing results in a short period of time.”
“I’m very proud and thankful for him,” Vlock said of his horse. “He gives me so much confidence jumping the biggest tracks in the world and mainly it’s because he really takes me to every fence, and I feel like I can control where I wanna be, but he’s ready to go. I know he’s gonna do his best at every single jump and it’s a really great feeling to jump big, big tracks knowing that it feels easy for him.”
Vlock has been riding for roughly nine years and said he was originally attracted to the sport of show jumping because of the “incredible amount of skill that I saw taken at a top level and also the love of being around animals everyday. Just being a general horse and animal lover attracted me to being around them every day.” He also said he’s excited to show his skills at the Olympics.
“It means a lot to me as someone who comes from a very, very Jewish family and culture,” he noted. “It’s great that I’m able to represent my culture on a world stage.”
Vlock wished every athlete on Team Israel good luck in the Games and said he believes that Israel will perform “amazing” in the Olympics.