Baby, she was born to ride.
Jessica Springsteen, daughter of musician and New Jersey icon Bruce Springsteen, earned a silver medal with the US equestrian jumping team at the 2021 Olympics after falling to Sweden in a nail-biting jump-off Saturday night in Tokyo.
It was the 29-year-old’s first Olympic medal in her debut and Team USA’s second straight silver. The Americans now have a record 10 medals in the event.
Riding Don Juan Van de Donkhoeve, a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion, Springsteen incurred four of Team USA’s eight faults in the final to take them to a jump-off with Sweden.
All six riders had clear rounds, but Sweden’s total time of 122.90 seconds staved off the Americans by a mere 1.3 seconds to take gold.
“I was disappointed to have the four faults,” Springsteen told reporters, per The Guardian. “I kind of took for granted a little bit, I wasn’t really expecting that to be one of my challenges. So I’m disappointed in that regard. But I thought my horse jumped the rest of the course absolutely beautifully and, I was just thinking of that left-hand turn there I want it to be neat on my time so, I think that’s why I had it down but all in all, he was amazing this entire week so, I’m so happy him.”
Peder Fredricson, the final Swedish rider, posted a time of 39.01 seconds to secure the country’s record fourth gold medal and first since 1924.
Earlier this week, Springsteen failed to qualify for the finals in the Individual Jumping event after her horse clipped a rail. But riding alongside teammates Laura Kraut and McLain Ward in jump-off Saturday, Springsteen was able to wipe away some of that disappointment. Springsteen, Kraut and Ward each moved cleanly through the shortened jump-off course in a combined time of 124.2 seconds.
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Springsteen, who is also the daughter of Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Patti Scialfa, grew up on the family’s horse farm in Colts Neck, New Jersey.
E Street Band guitar player Stevie Van Zandt tweeted up a storm during Springsteen’s run at silver.
“Is everybody watching this? It’s incredible! Jesse will be Gold or Silver! It’s a play off (jump off) between USA and Sweden,” Van Zandt wrote in a tweet.
Later, the guitar player wrote: “It’s her first freakin Olympics! Absolutely incredible! She’s put in years of hard work of course, but still!”
Springsteen is currently the highest-placed woman in the International Federation for Equestrian Sports world rankings (14th). After serving as an alternate for the 2012 London Olympics, Springsteen failed to make the cut for Rio in 2016.