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It also provided a basis to compare training standards between the calvalries of different countries.Although women had been allowed to ride in equestrian events since 1952, it wasn't until Helena du Pont competed for the United States at the 1964 Tokyo Games that Eventing saw its first woman representing her country.Developed to test and prepare cavalry horses, Eventing has a long and colourful history.Initially, the purpose was to create a competition in which officers and horses could be tested for any challenges that could occur on or off duty.A comparison between the sculpture and that of Marcus Aurelius' equestrian statue shows how closely Donatello looked to classical art and its themes.In this depiction of Marcus Aurelius, the emperor dwarfs his horse, dominating it by size.The latter is portrayed as a real man, his armor a badge of status; this ruler, however, appears almost deflated, lost in the carefully sculpted drapery that covers him.
The horse’s front left hoof rests on an orb, a cannon ball, which symbolizes military advances, representing his power of the Venician army.
Gattamelata is portrayed as a warrior figure, carrying a baton symbolising his military leadership and with a lengthy sword.
While Gattamelata died in his 70s, Donatello depicts him at the height of his power, further emphasizing his might and abilities.
The attention to the horse’s musculature and movement and the realistic depiction of the emperor (forgiving his size) are mirrored in Gattamelata.
Also similar is the feeling of grandeur, authority, and power both portraits exude.