The Horse Dancing to Santana's 'Smooth' Makes It Real at the Olympics

Severo Jesus Jurado Lopez of Spain
David Rogers/Getty Images

Severo Jesus Jurado Lopez of Spain riding Lorenzo competes in the Dressage Individual Grand Prix Freestyle on Day 10 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Olympic Equestrian Centre on Aug. 15, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

For most Olympics fanatics, dressage doesn't have the same sex appeal as, say, the 100m sprint or, hell, even team synchronized swimming. But for horse-heads, Monday's (Aug. 15) individual dressage competition was a must-see, and Spain's Severo Jurado Lopez put on exactly the kind of show they were looking for.

As Jurado Lopez's horse Lorenzo trotted, pirouetted and danced more nimbly than any 1,300-pound beast should, the crowd was treated to a bit more than the usual staid horsey show soundtrack.

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Jurado Lopez guided his partner around to a few verses of a sound-alike version of Santana and Rob Thomas' 1999 No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit "Smooth" -- you know, the one with the line about the "Spanish Harlem Mona Lisa" -- before ending the routine with an interpolation of Bon Jovi's "It's My Life." 

As reported by SB Nation, that infusion of rock and roll attitude wasn't enough to put Jurado Lopez on the medal stand. Sadly, he ended up in fifth on a day when it was, yes, "a hot one" (97 degrees, in fact), but the rider's choice of music made him a crowd favorite. "I choose the music I like," Jurado Lopez told the site. "I feel good, I like the music, and it’s a good music to go to all international people." As for why he chose the Jersey-boy anthem from Bon Jovi, which ends on the line "it's now or never," Jurado Lopez said it fit the setting. 

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"We spend a lot of time in our lives in this sport, and we only have five minutes in there... so it's a nice sentiment," he said. SB Nation noted that the crowd was doing a lot of polite clapping during most of the day's routines, thanks to such predictable soundtracks as a Beach Boys medley, "Age of Aquarius," and the Moody Blues' "Nights in White Satin." But, the site reported, "they clapped to Bon Jovi's beat and lustily booed when the judges gave Jurado Lopez a score that put him off the podium." 

He, um, took it in stride, though. "In a way, it was good when they booed," he said of the rare break in decorum at the event. "It's a good feeling when you have a lot of people all thinking the same."

Side note: Music choice is actually part of the scoring in dressage, judging the horse on how well its choreography fits the song choice.