July 06, 2021
Bruce Springsteen's return to in-person performances may have been trumped as the biggest event for the Springsteen family this summer.
The Boss and wife Patti Scialfa's only daughter, Jessica Springsteen, will make her Olympic debut this summer after she was named to the four-person U.S. Equestrian team that will compete in Tokyo, Japan on Monday.
The 29-year-old Springsteen, who ranks No. 3 on the U.S. rider list and No. 27 in the world, will ride Don Juan van de Donkhoeve — a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion, according to the United States Olympic Committee. The horse is owned by Stone Hill Farm, the Colts Neck, Monmouth County property where the musician resides.
Springsteen was an alternate rider for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team in London, but failed to make the cut for the 2016 team that competed in Rio de Janeiro, according to NBC Sports. The U.S. won silver in team jumping in Rio and has medaled in six of the last nine Olympics.
Springsteen began riding horses when she was 4 years old on the family's farm in New Jersey.
"I started riding when I was really little," Springsteen told People Magazine. "My mom had always wanted to ride so when we moved to New Jersey she started taking lessons. Our home is right across the road from one of the top junior training barns – and I went right into that when I was a teenager."
"I started competing and doing the jumpers, then I turned professional. It all really happened pretty naturally."
Springsteen became a strong equestrian during her junior years, when she won the 2008 ASPCA Maclay Finals and the 2009 Winter Equestrian Festival Excellence in Equitation Championship, according to the U.S. Equestrian Federation. She also was a member of the Zone 2 Young Riders team that won silver at the 2010 North American Youth Championships and she took bronze in the same event's individual competition.
When Springsteen saddles up at the Olympics later this summer, it will not be her first time riding for the U.S. in international competition. Springsteen has represented her home country on a number of FEI Nations Cup teams, including the winning squads in both Palm Beach and Wellington, Fla. last year.
Springsteen all but secured her first Olympic bid las month when she won the K 4* Grand Prix Hubside Jumping Tour event in France, where her time of 36.16 seconds was a competition-best, according to NJ.com. She rode a mare named Tinkerbell in the event.
Springsteen graduated from Duke University in 2014 with a degree in psychology. She has earned more than $2 million in international competition.
Springsteen's Olympic debut comes amid a big summer for her famous father, who has resumed in-person performances for the first time amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bruce’s Tony Award-winning show "Springsteen on Broadway" returned to New York City last month. The second stint of his Broadway residency is scheduled through Sept. 4 at the St. James Theatre.
Springsteen is scheduled to take a month-long break from his Broadway show from July 17-Aug. 17, which will coincide perfectly with his daughter's Olympic competition.
The Summer Olympics begin July 23 and will continue through Aug. 8 in Tokyo. The equestrian competition takes place Aug. 2-7, but the singer and songwriter likely won't be able to attend due to COVID-19 restrictions that prohibit international spectators. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the games to be postponed by a year.
Springsteen is also scheduled to perform at New York's Central Park Homecoming Concert later this summer to help celebrate the city's reopening amid the public health crisis. No date has been set yet for the concert.