All posts by Associate Editor

Double Gold for Team GB and a Ticket to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Eventing fans at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 were treated to one of the thrilling afternoons of sport as four days of compelling competition came down to the very final show jumping fence.

Ultimately, it was Great Britain’s Rosalind Canter, riding Allstar B, who proved to be the star of a spectacular show with her double clear round proving critical in securing her individual gold and giving Great Britain the world title to go with their 2017 European crown.

Ireland, led by individual silver medallist Padraig McCarthy, broke records all over the place. The country’s team silver was their first team medal at a world championships since the inaugural event in 1966, while McCarthy’s individual success was the nation’s first since John Watson – father of current team member Sam Watson – finished second 40 years ago.

“There were quite a few tears which really isn’t very normal for me. It’s absolutely incredible,” said Canter, who entered the arena with Team GB just 0.20 points ahead of Ireland, after poles down for both Tom McEwen and Piggy French. “In the back of my mind I did know (the team situation) but I was just focused on my horse and my warm-up. You have to try and block that out.”

Canter, who won European team gold with Great Britain in 2017, was quick to praise legendary eventing coach Chris Bartle, emphasising how the 66 year old has made her “less intense” since he joined the team at the end of 2016.

Ireland, who started the day a significant 8.20 points behind the British, was in rampant form throughout, highlighted by the confident McCarthy on Mr Chunky.

“In a previous life I used to be a show jumper, so it gave me a lot of confidence,” McCarthy said, before confirming medals have long been on his mind. “I have dreamt about it for the last six months, at least. With a horse like this you have to dream big.”

With joy for some came heartache for others. Germany’s Ingrid Klimke seemed destined to add the ultimate sparkle to her glittering career with a first ever individual world championship gold right up until the moment she and mount SAP Hale Bob OLD flicked the last fence and handed the glory to Canter.

“If somebody had told me before I would come here and get individual bronze I would have been very happy,” said the WEG 2014 team gold medallist. “It was very close, last fence, last rail, for sure the first moment I was disappointed, but it was the only mistake that we did on the whole weekend.”

Reigning Olympic team champions France took team bronze, although their celebrations were tinged with regret as Lieutenant Colonel Thibaut Vallette and Astier Nicolas, lying fourth and fifth respectively after the cross country, both knocked a pole down to ruin hopes of climbing onto the individual podium.

Team Japan produced a stunning display to finish fourth overall, suggesting that the home nation could be one to watch come the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

With hosts Japan already guaranteed a place at the 2020 Games, Germany and Australia booked their tickets by finishing fifth and sixth respectively before New Zealand, buoyed by Burghley 2018 winner Tim Price’s eighth place overall, snatched the final qualification spot.

Click here for full results.

By Luke Norman

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

‘Land of Fire’ Azerbaijan Announced as Display Act for Olympia

‘Organisers of the UK’s largest indoor show, Olympia, The London International Horse Show, are delighted to announce that Karabakh riders from Azerbaijan will perform their display, ‘Land of Fire,’ at the ever-popular equestrian event, taking place from 17-23 December 2018. ‘Land of Fire’ was created by the Azerbaijan Equestrian Federation to showcase the unique abilities of the country’s native Karabakh horse. The display was first performed in front of HM The Queen at the BAFTA award-winning Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebrations, where it captured the imagination and hearts of the audience.

At Olympia, ticket holders can expect fast-paced movements and artistry as the horse and rider combinations display their exceptional bond. This year’s act will not only incorporate action-packed riding but is also set to include an exhilarating acrobatic, Cossack style element, exclusively put together for Olympia 2018.  A unique dance ensemble the ‘Sarhadchi’ will be intertwined, performing traditional dances alongside the talented horses.

Simon Brooks-Ward, Show Director, commented: “We are thrilled to have ‘Land of Fire’ Azerbaijan on board for Olympia this December. Their performance will be adding something really special to the line-up with a few added twists for spectators to look out for.”

The other international act to take the stage at Olympia Horse Show will be La Garde Républicaine and its famous cavalry regiment, one of the most talked about branches of the French Gendarmerie. La Garde Républicaine will be showcasing their renowned ‘Reprise des Douzes,’ meaning ‘the resumption of twelve,’ a spectacular ensemble of twelve chestnut horses performing to music.

Further to the stellar line-up of displays, the UK’s leading Show will once again host the world’s leading riders across a range of international competitions, including three FEI World Cup™ competitions in Dressage, Show Jumping, and Carriage Driving. Crowds can also expect to catch Olympia classics such as the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National, the Kennel Club Dog Agility, and the Christmas Finale supported by The Hilton London Olympia.

For more information on how to purchase tickets, please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0844 995 0995.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Telford gtelford@revolutionworld.com +44(0)7717 776928

Eventing’s Major Medal Contenders Pass Final Horse Inspection Despite Moments of Tension

Sarah Ennis with Horseware Stellor Rebound (© Sportfoto.com).

The British team, overnight leaders after cross country, all sailed through the rain-soaked horse inspection, as did individual leaders, German Ingrid Klimke’s SAP Hale Bob OLD and Briton Rosalind Canter’s Allstar B.

But Irish hearts were in their mouths as both Horseware Stellor Rebound, the mount of third-placed Sarah Ennis, and teammate Sam Watson’s ride were asked to represent. Ultimately both Irish horses and the rest of the 70 horses presented were deemed fit to compete in the final Jumping phase.

The tension was palpable among the fans, owners, media, and other riders when Ennis brought Horseware Stellor Rebound back for re-inspection. Following a long consultation, however, Anne-Mette Binder (DEN), Jane Hamlin (USA), and Andrew Bennie (NZL) nodded their assent and, accompanied by loud cheering, the Irish medal hope was declared good to go.

Irish nerves had already been tested in the non-stop rain when Sam Watson’s 14-year-old Horseware Ardagh Highlight was sent to the holding box. To the relief of Team Ireland, who currently sits in silver medal position, the bay was swiftly given the green light when re-presented.

Three other horses were sent to the holding box. Dutch horses Rumour Has It N.O.P. (Merel Blom) and team mate Jane Z (Renske Kroeze) along with Magnum’s Martini (Brazil’s Nilson Moreira Da Silva) were all passed on re-inspection.

New Zealand’s four athletes lit up the soggy afternoon parade by opting to ignore the pelting rain and wear their Sunday best. For Sir Mark Todd a suit and smart black shoes were the only option.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t pack any wellies. I thought it was going to be fine,” laughed the two-time WEG team champion.

Britain’s quartet has a two-fence advantage over the Irish in the team competition, who have no breathing space over the French, with the Japanese a further two fences adrift in fourth. But it’s much tighter at the top in the individual standings, with less than a fence covering the top seven horses.

By Luke Norman

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Fonck and What A Wave Conquer Scoreboard and Gold Medal in Individual Reining

Bernard Fonck and What A Wave (FEI/Liz Gregg)

Reining competition closed the week at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 with great performances and big scores as some of the world’s best riders battled it out for the FEI medals at the Johnson Controls Individual Reining Competition finals. When the curtain fell upon the TIEC Indoor Arena, the dream team made up of Bernard Fonck (BEL) and What A Wave once again made history by claiming the gold medal for Belgium with a perfect execution of pattern #12.

The Belgian rider has won close to $1,800,000 in reining competition and his mount, an 11-year-old American Quarter Horse stallion owned by Gina De Pauw and Steve Vannietvelt, who has left his mark in many an international arena with Fonck in the saddle, scored a 227 for the win claiming the highest step of the podium. “This is the first time in history that a European rider leaves the World Equestrian Games with the individual gold medal and I could not be any prouder,” said Fonck. “What A Wave is the sweetest horse I have ever had the pleasure of riding. I am very fortunate to have had more than one ‘once in a lifetime’ horse, and he is at the top of this list. Every time we show, he gives me all he has and every time it gets better and better. When I came here I knew that we could probably make it to the top five positions, but I would have never imagined that we would claim the gold.”

Team USA’s Dan Huss and his double-registered American Quarter Horse and American Paint Horse mare Ms Dreamy, owned by Frederick Christen, set the crowd on fire as they burst into the arena setting the dirt flying and spinning fast to mark a 226.5. The duo clinched the silver medal and they too made history: The talented 8-year-old horse is the first mare to earn an individual medal in reining at the FEI World Equestrian Games™.

“Mares are a little more sensitive, so you have to be very good as far as technique and horsemanship are concerned,” said the 58-year-old professional. “They are not so forgiving but, if you understand them, your better mares will step up and compete with the boys. [Ms Dreamy has] probably taught me more than I’ve taught her, and it’s been a great experience.”

A run off determined who would take home the bronze medal as both Cade McCutcheon (USA), riding Custom Made Gun, and Joao Felipe Lacerda (BRA) aboard Gunner Dun It Again scored a 225 during the finals. They returned to the arena to battle it out and both horse-rider combinations once again thrilled the crowd.

Lacerda and Gunner Dun It Again, a 7-year-old American Quarter Horse stallion owned by Paulo Francisco Tripoloni, laid down a powerful performance paid back by the judges with their highest score of the Games: a 227. “I am so proud of my mount,” he said. “He has a heart as big as this arena and is one of the most powerful horses I’ve ever ridden. He was great for me from day one and I am truly blessed to have had this opportunity.”

Fighting until the bitter end was 18-year-old Cade McCutcheon aboard Custom Made Gun, the flashy 7-year-old double registered AQHA/APHA palomino stallion owned by his grandparents, Tim and Colleen McQuay. Having topped the first individual qualifier with an outstanding 229 score, the pair was last to go in the seeded Individual finals. Once it was time to ride back into the arena, they performed to a 228 score and firmly captured the bronze medal.

“I was a little disappointed with myself after my first ride so I let him catch his breath and, when we went back in, I tried to perform a cleaner run,” said the young rider. “He was incredibly good for me and I am thrilled to have represented my country and to have won the team gold and individual bronze medals. I could not have done this without my team, my coach and my family and I still cannot believe that I made it to the podium. It will take a while before it sinks in!”

Amazingly enough, both Gunner Dun It Again and Custom Made Gun were both bred by McCutcheon’s grandparents and they are both by the legendary stallion Gunner (AQHA Colonels Shining Gun) and out of two mares by yet another stallion that has made history, Hollywood Dun It. Both stallions are owned by the McQuays.

Reining competition at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 will go down in the history books as the event that showcased some of the world’s most talented reining horses guided by the some of the world’s elite western horsemen.

Click here for full results.

By Simona Diale

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Klimke in Control after Cross Country as Irish Eventers Come to Party

Ingrid Klimke and SAP Hale Bob OLD. (FEI/Christophe Taniere)

Germany’s Ingrid Klimke kept her nerve to grab the lead as the Irish and French lit up a dramatic, adrenaline-fuelled day of eventing at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG).

Klimke, second overnight, made it look easy as she and mount SAP Hale Bob OLD flew round the 5,700m course in 10:00 minutes, bang on the optimal time. Great Britain’s Rosalind Canter kept a relatively familiar look to the leaderboard as she and Allstar B improved from third to second, following a swift, flawless round. But the real drama came behind.

Ireland have never won a team medal at the WEG, but with two riders sitting in the top seven, that could all be about to change. Sarah Ennis (IRL) leads the way with a score of 26.30 points, enough to put her into the bronze medal position with just the show jumping to come.

“I can’t believe we are actually here,” Ennis said, with Ireland sitting second in the team standings. “He (Horseware Stellor Rebound) finds it very easy and he’s very fast. I think there might be a few drinks tonight.”

Two Frenchmen, Lieutenant Colonel Thibaut Vallette and Astier Nicolas, sit fourth and fifth behind Ennis, hauling the French up into third overall. Great Britain currently look favourites for team gold, thanks in no small part to another fine performance from Canter.

“It was quite a rollercoaster out there,” said the 32-year-old. “I knew I had to be fast and that’s out of my comfort zone.”

Fast she was, but Klimke, carrying a penalty score of just 23.30 over from the dressage stage, was untouchable on the fiery SAP Hale Bob OLD.

“He was just so full of himself today,” the European 2017 individual gold medallist said. “He was very fast in the beginning; he really wanted to run.”

Not so for teammate Julia Krajewski, runaway leader after the dressage. The devastated 29-year-old and her mount Chipmunk FRH ran into problems at the difficult fence 14 and faded to 47th overall.

As a result, Germany slipped back to sixth in the team standings, the final qualification place for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Disappointing days for the likes of Blyth Tait, and Boyd Martin saw New Zealand and the USA drop out of that all-important top six.

Due to the bad weather expected in Tryon, competition will conclude on Monday, something leader Klimke is certainly relaxed about.

“I think the horses will like it,” she said. “Another day of vacation.”

Click here for full results.

By Luke Norman

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Helgstrand Dressage Freestyle Cancelled

Following the announcement of the intention to hold the Helgstrand Dressage Freestyle competition on Monday morning due to extreme rainfall forecast for Sunday’s original time slot of 8.30am, further discussions have been taking place to review the options available to reschedule.

Despite the best efforts of the whole Tryon 2018 team and the Officials, who have been working on plans for rescheduling, including meetings with the Chefs de Mission and Chefs d’Equipe, the logistics of putting all necessary elements into place in time have proved insurmountable. As a result, and very regrettably, the Dressage Freestyle will now be cancelled.

“This was not an easy decision, but we have explored every option, including trying to reschedule the horse departures, and even looking at moving the competition into the indoor with a change of footing, but the logistics of making all this happen are just not possible,” Tryon 2018 Organising Committee President Michael Stone said.

“We know this is desperately disappointing for the 15 athletes who had qualified their horses for the Freestyle, and of course for all the spectators who had bought tickets, but the weather has simply left us with no choice. Horse welfare has to be the top priority and flying the horses out on the same day as competition doesn’t work, so sadly the decision to cancel the Freestyle had to be taken.

“Although we are devastated that this decision has had to be taken, we’ve had two absolutely world-class competitions here at Tryon, including yesterday’s Grand Prix Special, and to see Germany’s Isabell Werth and Bella Rose taking double gold and Team USA claiming silver was a real treat for Dressage fans.”

The decision does not affect the Olympic qualification process, as this was completed on Thursday. The teams that have earned their ticket to Tokyo 2020 are Germany, USA, Great Britain, Sweden, Netherlands and Spain.

A separate notification will be sent to ticket holders.

This decision has been taken in accordance with Article 109.12 of the FEI General Regulations which states:

“Subject to the unanimous agreement of the President of the Ground Jury, Technical Delegate and President of the Veterinary Committee in consultation with the Organiser, a Competition (either before or during) can be postponed and/or cancelled, not only due to force majeure, catastrophic occurrences, extreme weather conditions but also for non-compliance with FEI Rules and in specific situations where the welfare or safety of the Horses, Athletes, Officials or the public is compromised.

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Second Time’s a Charm for Isabell Werth in Helgstrand Dressage FEI Grand Prix Special

Isabell Werth and Bella Rose. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Tryon, NC USA – September 14, 2018 – The score board in U.S. Trust Arena was ablaze when Germany’s multi-medalist Isabell Werth captivated hearts again, winning her second Gold medal at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 aboard Bella Rose. The duo bested US-stalwart Laura Graves and Verdades who captured Silver and defending champion Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) and Mount St John Freestyle to Bronze.

Werth and fiery chestnut mare Bella Rose came out as the last rider of 30, presenting a flawless test. The pair scored 86.246%, including several 10s from the judges’ panel of seven.

“Three were out with more than 80 already so I knew we had to give it our best. When Bella started to trot I felt she wanted to go and do it and the half passes could not have been better,” said Werth.

Graves had put everything into her ride, presenting the 16-year-old Verdades with utmost precision in each step, despite gusts of wind picking up during her ride.

“It feels amazing. Two days in a row we really delivered for our country. The heat is a test of a horses’ character.”

Equally sensational was Charlotte Dujardin’s ride to Bronze, piloting her mare Mount St John Freestyle to 81.489%. The nine-year-young mare showed picture-perfect passage that is usually only acquired at a more advanced age.

“Her passage was incredible. We continue to work on it and will give Isabell a run for her money.”

Germany’s Sönke Rothenberger missed the podium by 0.44 points after mistakes in the one-tempi changes.

“I am disappointed. The horse would have deserved a medal because of its overall quality, but of course, we should not make mistakes.”

Germany Takes Pole Position for World Eventing Gold in Mars, Inc. Eventing Competition on Final Day of Dressage

Germany’s quest to retain the Team and Individual Eventing world titles gathered pace in record breaking fashion on another thrilling action-packed day at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 on Friday in Tryon Stadium.

German challenger Julia Krajewski not only held her overnight lead with Chipmunk FRH after the second day of dressage, but her closest challenger emerged as team-mate and reigning European champion Ingrid Klimke.

Klimke delivered a trademark display that oozed star quality on SAP Hale Bob OLD, posting a score 23.3 penalties to trail Krajewski by just 3.4 penalties heading into Saturday’s cross-country phase of the Mars, Inc. Eventing competition.

Great Britain’s Ros Canter and Allstar B complete the top three on 24.6, while Germany hold a convincing lead in the team competition, with their score of 73.4 breaking the previous best FEI World Equestrian Games™ record for a team dressage score set by Great Britain in Jerez, Spain in 2002.

They lead the British quartet by more than seven penalties, while the United States are close behind in third, followed by France, Australia and New Zealand.

Germany are chasing a third world team crown in the last four FEI World Equestrian Games™, and they are also well-placed for another Individual Gold medal following Sandra Auffarth’s 2014 success in France.

“I am very happy,” Klimke said. “He did such a wonderful test, he was so calm and concentrated. He was perfect. He was ready and waiting to get in there. He is 14 now and very mature. He did a beautiful job and for me it was a pleasure.”

Assessing the Cross-Country challenge, Krajewski said, “There are quite a few fences where you have to have your line right and be very concentrated.”

For Canter, her dressage performance maintained consistently impressive form on the 13-year-old stallion Allstar B, and she unquestionably poses a serious threat to German domination with her colleagues Piggy French, Tom McEwen and Gemma Tattersall.

“No matter what the atmosphere, he never changes,” Canter said. “I gave him a day off on Thursday because he worked so well the day before. He has just got that temperament where he puts 100% in for me every time, and it’s more the pressure for me that I want to do him proud and everyone else who has helped get me here.”

Although Krajewski has a clear lead, just 3.9 penalties separate the riders placed from second to ninth, and it is certain that the leaderboard will change considerably across the North Carolina terrain on Saturday.

That group features riders from six different countries, including French Olympian Thibaut Vallette, Sweden’s Sara Algotsson Ostholt, New Zealand’s world number two Tim Price and leading Irish challenger Sarah Ennis, who lies sixth.

World Eventing Stars Ready to Meet Cross-Country Challenge

Concentration and stamina look set to be the key requirements when Eventing athletes takes to the Cross-Country course on the White Oak track of TIEC during the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 on Saturday, September 15.

More than 80 horse and rider combinations will tackle the course designed by Captain Mark Phillips and it is likely to prove pivotal in terms of shaping the final leaderboard when Mars, Inc. Eventing Team and Individual medals are decided at Tryon International Equestrian Center. Mars, Inc. Eventing is now scheduled to conclude on Monday, September 17, due to inclement weather expected on Sunday, September 16.

New Zealand’s twice Olympic champion Sir Mark Todd is ready for a test that poses “plenty of questions.”

With a close and exciting dressage phase completed in Tryon Stadium on Friday, attention now switches to what promises to be a blockbusting day of world-class sport.

“It looks a good course,” said Great Britain’s Ros Canter, who holds third place individually after dressage.

“The challenge is going to be the humidity and the potential weather conditions. As last team member to go, I don’t know what weather will be thrown at us yet. I will try to stick to the plan and hope I can deliver for the team.”

World number two rider New Zealander Tim Price, recent winner of the Burghley Horse Trials in the United Kingdom, added: “The cross country is demanding. None of us know what the (completion) time is going to be like because with a tight time it heightens the difficulty everywhere else because everyone else is trying to go and do a good speed.”

“It will be what it will be. We are pretty gutsy, the Kiwis, and hopefully we will make a good plan together and go and execute,” he continued.

Price’s teammate Todd said, “Is it going to be hot? Is it going to be torrential rain? We have just got to make a plan and ride to the conditions. The course looks really good. There are some more straightforward fences, but some of the combinations ask plenty of questions.”

Team USA member William Coleman, meanwhile, described the testing closing hill on the course as akin to a metaphorical climb up Mount Everest.

“It’s pretty intense in the middle part,” Coleman said. “From the third to the seventh minute it is like an onslaught, and then you finish that and then climb Mount Everest up to the main arena. It will be a stamina test and I think the middle bit will be especially testing.”

British rider Tom McEwen cautioned, “I don’t think the course should be underestimated. It is possibly not the biggest course we’ve jumped, but saying that, it is technical, it is strong, and you have got to keep your wits about you. There are plenty of strong questions out there.”

For more information on the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 and to view start lists and results, please visit www.Tryon2018.com.

Klimke Leads Germany to Record-Breaking Total

Ingrid Klimke with SAP Hale Bob OLD (FEI/Christophe Taniere)

Ingrid Klimke underlined Germany’s extraordinary dominance in dressage as she and mount SAP Hale Bob OLD leapt to within touching distance of compatriot Julia Krajewski at the top of the leaderboard as the first stage of the Mars eventing dressage came to an end at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG).

A beautifully controlled ride in front of a packed house secured the 2017 European individual and reigning Olympic team champion a score of 23.30. It places her second and gives Germany vice-like control of the battle for team gold.

“He was so relaxed, so calm, so concentrated that I could really ride him and was not sitting on a bomb or anything,” Klimke said of 14-year-old SAP Hale Bob OLD, before she attempted to explain just how Germany has mastered the art of dressage.

“You have to be really very precise in your training and do everything very accurately and repeat and repeat.” — Ingrid Klimke (Team Germany)

The nation’s combined score of 73.40 going into the cross country is the highest mark ever recorded at this stage of a FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG). Great Britain in second are a significant 7.40 points behind.

The Longines FEI European Championships 2017 team champions were buoyed by a great ride from 32-year-old Rosalind Canter who was so confident in her horse Allstar B that she “gave him the day off yesterday.

“It’s really just my job to make sure I get a mistake-free test from him because he is just so amazing, he never changes,” said Canter, who sits third with a score of 24.60.

France’s Lieutenant Colonel Thibaut Vallette led the rest in a charge as a host of big names gathered behind the top three. Just 2.2 points separates the military man in fourth and Great Britain’s Piggy French in 15th.

It is similarly tight in the team stakes with the USA, who boast three riders inside the top 18, sitting third, less than a point ahead of France in fourth. Ireland secured their best ever start to a WEG – their team total of 87.5 enough to place them seventh and firmly in the hunt for a priceless qualification place for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

All eyes now turn to the Captain Mark Phillips (GBR) designed cross country course. Rider of the day, Ingrid Klimke, neatly summed up the excitement and anticipation coursing through Tryon 2018.

“There are beautiful jumps out there,” Klimke said. “We can’t wait to get out.”

Click here for results.

By Luke Norman

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Remarkable Day of Sport at the FEI World Equestrian Games

Reining Reigns Supreme as the Johnson Controls Individual Reining Competition Finalists Are Determined

The Johnson Controls Reining Team Competition and first Individual Qualifier at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 offered an amazingly high level of competition. The athletic ability of the great reining horses competing was superbly highlighted by riders representing 20 National Federations. Team USA clinched the gold, led by the talented 18-year-old Cade McCutcheon who posted a 229-top score on Custom Made Gun. It was silver for Team Belgium and bronze for Germany. In the first Individual Qualifier, the top 15 placed horse-rider combinations officially claimed their spot in the finals which will be held on Saturday, September 15. Once the competition was over, an impressive 221 score, or higher, was needed to qualify.

Julia Krajewski Shines in the Sun as Eventers Wow the Crowds

German Eventer Julia Krajewski treated the sun-drenched spectators to one of the great dressage rides of all time as she finished a thrilling first day 7.2 points clear of the field.

The German and her mount Chipmunk FRH have been in scintillating form in the dressage arena this season and the duo lived up to their billing as one of the favourites for gold with a mark of 19.90 – the third best dressage score ever recorded at a WEG.

Home hero Boyd Martin fed off the packed stands to saunter his way to second place, with a score of 27.10, while Great Britain’s Piggy French lies third, just 0.70 points behind.

Watch live on FEI TV.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Germany Wins Team Gold in Helgstrand Dressage Competition

Isabell Werth and Bella Rose. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Tryon, NC USA – September 13, 2018 – It was anything less than routine when Germany took the Team Gold medal, adding number 12 to their collection in Helgstrand Dressage competition at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 on Thursday, September 13 in U.S. Trust Arena. Team veteran Isabell Werth’s tears ran freely after her stellar performance with Bella Rose, which brought the team score up to 242.950 points to secure their stance at the top of the podium.

Sönke Rothenberger (23) and Cosmo, both at their first WEG, had added 81.444 to the scores of Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and Dorothee Schneider. Those two had set the foundation for the Gold medal on Wednesday during the FEI Grand Prix competition.

Team USA finished second on 233.136 points, securing their second WEG Team Silver thanks to a top performance from Laura Graves and Verdades. The pair rode in last and turned in 81.630 points, the second best result of the competition.

“I was a bit under the weather today, but it is amazing what adrenaline can do. There was a lot of pressure on me today,” Graves said.

Great Britain secured bronze on 229.628 keeping the Swedish team at bay by just 0.172 points. Defending champion Charlotte Dujardin and veteran Carl Hester both had brought two very young horses and Dujardin’s nine-year-old Mount St John Freestyle seems set to fill in the big hoof prints left by golden horse Valegro, coming fifth individually in the mare’s sixth’s FEI Grand Prix appearance.

“For the last six or seven years I think that people thought that British Dressage was just Valegro and that was it.

“I think this has proven that we do still have depth in British Dressage, which was the main point of coming here,” Carl Hester said.

Dressage queen Isabell Werth, at her seventh WEG, changed between crying and beaming even long after the last halt in front of the judges had earned her the top score of 84.829.

“This was my answer to all those who did not understand how I could leave the world’s number one horse at home for this one. Most horse people here know how close I am to Bella and to bring her back after the long recovery after WEG 2014 is extra special. We always knew it could be a risk, but it is like that with every horse.”

German Eventing Star Julia Krajewski Sets Scorching Pace in Tryon Sunshine

Germany’s Julia Krajewski produced a staggering performance in the North Carolina sunshine as Mars, Inc. Eventing began at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 Tryon on Thursday.

Krajewski, a renowned superstar performer in the dressage phase with Chipmunk FRH, did not disappoint the electric atmosphere in Tryon Stadium that lapped up every moment of what at times looked like an exhibition performance.

The rider herself admitted she was close to tears, such was the horse’s brilliance in scoring just 19.9 penalties, as defending champions Germany made an immediate statement of intent in their quest to capture the Mars, Inc. Eventing crown.

There were some strong dressage displays on day one of the competition, with the likes of USA’s Boyd Martin, Great Britain’s Piggy French, Australian Christopher Burton and France’s Donatien Schuly all posting sub-30 scores.

But, the German was in a different league, and she said, “Maybe something really good was going to happen today and he felt awesome during the test.

“He has done good dressage tests before, but to produce it in such an atmosphere on this day, the people went crazy.

“It is not a personal best – he has had scores of 19 something before – but it is not just push a button and get 19. With a horse like him that can really do it, it is all about the detail.

“I am so proud. I had to stop the tears when I finished the test. It is an amazing feeling.”

Boyd Martin rose to the challenge impressively on home soil with Tsetserleg to post a 27.1 score and lie second overnight, just ahead of Piggy French and Quarrycrest Echo on 27.8.

“I am very happy with him,” he said of the 11-year-old gelding. “It is only the second time he has done that test. He’s a good boy and just gets in there and does it.”

French led the British challenge on day one as they bid to reclaim a title won impressively in Kentucky eight years ago.

“He is a really cool horse,” French said. “He’s still not the most experienced and there is still more to come from him, but he has got an amazing brain and so you can be quite brave. I always give it a good go.”

Eventing icons Blyth Tait and Andrew Hoy, meanwhile, showed they had lost none of their world-class quality by holding top 10 placings overnight after New Zealander Tait – twice an Eventing World Champion – and Australian Hoy, a three-time Olympic Gold medalist, shone on Dassett Courage and Vassily de Lassos, respectively.

“I was thrilled to bits with him, to be honest,” Tait said. “My team mates told me to be brave, but when you are going out first for the team you want to post a solid score, and he did that.”

And Hoy added, “He (Vassily de Lassos) could not have done one step better. He is not the finished product, he is a long way from it, but his test was a personal best. I jokingly said on Wednesday night that I was going to ride for a sub-30 score!”

Final Qualifying Places Filled in Race for Individual Johnson Controls Reining Medals

The full picture is now complete for the Johnson Controls Reining Individual Final at FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 Tryon.

Thursday’s second Individual Qualifier saw six remaining places to be filled, joining the other athletes who had progressed from the first qualifier.

It was Austria’s Martin Muhlstatter, riding Blo Gun, that took the top spot with a score of 223 points and was followed by Italy’s Pierluigi Chioldo and Gun at the Gate, with French challenger Axel Pesek also progressing on Uncle Sparky.

“She’s an amazing mare,” said Pierluigi, of his horse. “She was in the pasture, but she started being ridden again for WEG. She’s ten and she’s great.”

The three other spots were taken by two more Italian riders – Mirko Midili on Arc Sparkle Magnetic and Mirjam Stillo with Ruff Spook – plus Uruguay’s Brigido Gabriel Diano Riccetto, riding Magnum Starlights.

For more information on the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 and to view start lists and results, please visit www.Tryon2018.com.