WIEGELE AND LOOSER HEAD VAULTING RANKINGS AFTER FREESTYLE by Louise Parkes
Lexington, 7 October – The Alltech Arena at the Horse Park in Kentucky, USA was packed to capacity today for the first round of the Male and Female Freestyle Vaulting Championships at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. And a superb performance from Germany’s Simone Wiegele clinched pole position in the Female division while Switzerland’s Patric Looser now heads the Male Freestyle leaderboard. Scores from yesterday’s Compulsory Test and today’s Freestyle decide the current standings.
The crowd really got involved with every test, hardly able to contain their enthusiasm until the end when, time after time, they burst into waves of spontaneous applause as the 20 Male, and 33 Female vaulters put on quite a show.
REIGNING GERMAN CHAMPION
Wiegele, an industrial clerk from North Rhine-Westphalia who won the FEI Vaulting World Championship in 2006 and who is reigning German Champion, reversed the placings after yesterday’s Female Compulsory Test when scoring 8.650 to take the lead ahead of Great Britain’s Joanne Eccles today. Another of the German contingent, Antje Hill, lies third going into tomorrow’s technical test.
Wiegele’s performance was smooth and elegant, yet the 24 year old displayed the strength required of the world’s best vaulters. Eccles test was technically excellent and also showed her power and body-control. Wiegele said ” “I made two mistakes, and if I hadn’t made them it would have been even better. This is my first World Equestrian Games and I will never forget the atmosphere. The audience is absolutely great. The Games are super well organized. I always know exactly when everything is happening which is very good for competitors.”
SET THE ARENA ALIGHT
In the Male Freestyle, the Republic of South Africa’s Kegan Smith set the arena alight with a flamboyant display that stood out from the rest. He travelled to the USA four weeks ago, and based himself in Colorado as he put in his final preparations ahead of the big event. And with his 18.2 hh horse, Smokin Joe, he ensured he couldn’t be missed today as he performed to the theme tune of the Mel Brooke’s movie “Men in Tights”, dressed as Robin Hood.
At the sharp end of the leaderboard, Patric Looser took the lead with a new routine that was very technically correct. He is now ahead of French vaulter Nicolas Andreani, while 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games Champion Kai Vorberg is third and fellow-German and first-day leader Gero Meyer is in fourth place.
FEI TV – As well as live competition coverage throughout the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, FEI TV will make all competitions available post-event via VoD, plus an exclusive daily 30-minute VoD highlights show from the Kentucky Horse Park featuring the best of the day’s action, interviews, previews and reviews. There will also be lots of behind the scenes footage available. Check out www.feitv.org.
Facts and Figures:
33 competed in the Female Individual Freestyle today.
20 competed in the Male Individual Freestyle today.
Today’s scores are the combined results from the first two days of competition.
Ling Yang (CHN), first Chinese vaulter to compete at the FEI World Equestrian Games: “Everything is unbelievable. It’s the best experience ever in my lifetime. I’ve met so many very friendly people.”
Audio Link: FEI President HRH Princess Haya talks to Rupert Lloyd-Bell about the excitement of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky and how this first Games outside Europe has cemented the long term future of the World Equestrian Games.
HRH Princess Haya: http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/WEG_Princess_haya.mp3
ALLTECH FEI WORLD EQUESTRIAN GAMES – VAULTING CHAMPIONSHIP
Individual Standings after first two rounds:
Female Individual: 1, Simone Wiegele GER 8.344; 2, Joanne Eccles GBR 8.274; 3, Antje Hill GER 8.121.
Male Individual: 1, Patric Looser (SUI) 8.524; 2, Nicolas Andreani FRA 8.405; 3, Kai Vorberg GER 8.366.
Full results and startlists at www.alltechfeigames.com.
Founded by Dr Pearse Lyons, Alltech is a global animal health and nutrition company with 30 years’ experience in developing natural products that are scientifically proven to enhance animal health and performance. With more than 2300 employees in 120 countries, the company has developed a strong regional presence in Europe, North America, Latin America, the Middle-East, Africa and Asia. For downloadable press resources and further information, visit http://vip.alltech.com/pressbox.
The Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), founded in 1921, is the international body governing equestrian sport recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and includes 133 National Federations.
Equestrian sport has been on the Olympic programme since 1912 with three disciplines – Jumping, Dressage and Eventing. It is one of the very few Olympic sports in which men and women compete on equal terms. It is also the only sport which involves two athletes – horse and rider. The FEI has relentlessly concerned itself with the welfare of the horse, which is paramount and must never be subordinated to competitive or commercial influences. For further information, visit www.fei.org.
The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games is the World Championship of equestrian sport and runs for 16 days, from Saturday 25 September to Sunday 10 October. It includes eight separate disciplines – Reining, Endurance, Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Jumping, Vaulting and Para-Dressage – and this is the first time for the Games to be held outside Europe.
FEI Director Press Relations
Tel: +41 787 506 142