André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Canada-born Jamaican equestrian Samantha Albert will get Jamaica's 2012 Olympics campaign under way today when she features in the individual eventing competition at the historic Greenwich Park - London's oldest Royal Park.
Albert, who became Jamaica's first equestrian Olympian when she represented the country at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, will be aboard 12-year-old gelding CARRAIG DUBH at 12 p.m. (6 a.m. Jamaica time), in the first of the three disciplines that the pair will have to complete.
She will return to Greenwich Park on Monday for the cross-country leg, before completing her schedule a day later in the jumping finale.
Albert will start tomorrow's run from number 14 on the order list, looking to improve on her showing aboard BEFORE I DO IT in Beijing, where she did not place.
It has been a difficult journey for Albert, who has had to rely heavily on fund-raising efforts to get her to this point, with a cost of approximately $3.5 million just to get a horse to the Olympic Games.
She received support from triple world-record holder Usain Bolt, who donated and signed three of his custom PUMA apparel for a fund-raising event held to help secure her passage to the games.
Born to a Jamaican mother and a English father, Albert fell in love with horses as a 13-year-old, when she was first introduced to riding by her father.
Albert, who has lived in England since 2000, said this will be her final appearance at an Olympic Games as she will be turning her attention to raising her two sons.
The spotlight of the London Olympic Games have so far been dominated by Bolt, but Albert is hoping to, like she did in Beijing, focus some of the attention on her event.
"In the 2008 Olympics, we were the first to compete, so all the athletes came after me.
Individual eventing is an equestrian event which requires several types of riding, combining three disciplines into one event.