70-year-old Japanese equestrian qualifies for 2012 Olympics

Alex Myers Contributor
Font Size:

You’re never too old to rock and roll. Or in 70-year-old Japanese equestrian Hiroshi Hoketsu’s case, you’re never too old to ride.

According to Time, after winning an international dressage competition in France last week, Hoketsu qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

“This time, I am very pleased to have qualified,” Hoketsu told the Associated Press.

He also competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, where he finished 35th in the individual competition and ninth in the dressage team event.

His 15-year-old horse, Whisper, was diagnosed with tendonitis and Hoketsu said he hopes it won’t interefere with the competition. Time reports that he planned on giving up altogether until a veterinarian helped stabalize Whisper’s condition.

It wasn’t until January that the pair was able to compete again.

Because of the horse’s condition, he thought that it would be impossible to make it to London so, he said, this is “a miracle.”

In the 1964 Olympics Hoketsu finished 40th in show jumping in his home city of Tokyo and in 2008 he was the oldest competitor at the Beijing games.

Follow Alexandra on Twitter

Alex Myers