Category Archives: World Equestrian Games

“Generation Z” Athletes Aiming to Shine at FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018

Photo: Liz Gregg/FEI.

Lausanne (SUI), 17 August 2018 — Over 100 “Generation Z” athletes – born between the mid-1990s and early 2000s – have been named on the nominated entry list for next month’s FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, the pinnacle of equestrian sport, in North Carolina (USA).

Amongst these athletes are three 10-year-old vaulters who, alongside their fellow “Gen Zs” from 27 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America and the Middle East, are bidding to represent their nation at the FEI World Equestrian Games™.

A total of 71 countries are included in the nominated entries, a massive increase on the 58 that contested the medals at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Kentucky 2010 when the multi-discipline event was first held outside Europe.

The full nominated entries (listed by discipline) for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, from which the final entries will be selected next month, is here: https://inside.fei.org/fei/fei-weg/2018.

The next and final stages in the Games entry process are the deadlines for definite entries: 3 September for the first week’s competition in Dressage, Eventing, Endurance and Reining, and 10 September for the second week’s events in Driving, Para-Dressage, Jumping and Vaulting.

With an anticipated 800 athletes and over 820 horses from six of the world’s seven continents scheduled to attend, the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 will be one of the biggest sporting events on US soil this year, and will be held at the Tryon International Equestrian Center, set against the stunning backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Year of youth

Young equestrian athletes are really taking centre stage in 2018. Just one month after the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, 30 nations will send equestrians aged between 15-18 years to the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games held from 6 to 18 October 2018.

#BeOne

Equestrian fans, athletes and teams from across the globe are coming together to celebrate the sport as one and as part of the FEI campaign for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 – #BeOne.

To buy tickets for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, go to https://tryon2018.com/tickets/event-tickets and for more information on the Games, visit www.Tryon2018.com and www.fei.org/events/fei-world-equestrian-games-tryon.

Media contact:

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

World Equine Expo to Feature Renowned Exhibitioners, Authors, Film and Art Festivals

Guy McLean ©Katy Driver.

TRYON, NC, USA – August 2, 2018 – The World Equine Expo™, hosted September 11-23, 2018 alongside the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG) at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), is set to host an array of diverse programming that includes renowned exhibitions, demonstrations, authors and speakers. The Equus Film Festival and an extensive Art Festival will accompany more than 200 vendors in a family-friendly, immersive and interactive experience for all World Equine Expo™ attendees. Access to the World Equine Expo™ and all programming is included with any WEG competition ticket, but Grounds Passes, which offer access to the general public facility grounds, can be purchased individually at www.Tryon2018.com.

Equestrian Exhibitions

This unprecedented celebration of human-equine interaction will allow WEG and World Equine Expo™ attendees to experience nationally and internationally renowned clinicians and performers such as Guy McLean, Double Dan Horsemanship, and Monty Roberts, among many others. From informative and interactive to jaw-dropping and innovative, the exhibitions, entertainment, and experiential components of the World Equine Expo™ are a key component of the programming curriculum, and these equestrian exhibitions will be highlighted in Ring 1 alongside the Vendor Village at the heart of TIEC property.

Guy McLean, an Australian horseman and entertainer is known around the globe for his liberty performance teams, which feature Australian Stock Horses and will provide inspiring and educational exhibitions appealing to the young and old alike.

Monty Roberts, known worldwide for his “Join-Up” technique will be present two exclusive exhibitions, including working with an “unworkable” horse and collaborating with a U.S. veteran and an unschooled horse to teach each how to listen, respond, and ultimately heal each other. Roberts has trained horses for celebrities and world-changers including Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the legendary Spanish Riding School and will bring his expertise to the Expo on September 19-20.

The World Equine Expo™ will also feature the World Breeding Federation of Sport Horses (WBFSH) Developing Jumpers Exhibition, presented by Spy Coast Farm, focusing on the evaluation of developing jumpers to educate the public on the criteria for judging young jumpers, including the height of fences and technical abilities five and six-year-old horses are required to demonstrate. This demonstration will serve to draw attention to Young Horse Championships, such as the World Breeding Jumping Championships. While the format will be similar in principle, it will vary from the annual competition in Lanaken, Belgium. Twenty-two horses will compete in jumping exhibitions from on September 20th and 21st at the World Equine Expo™.

Michael Gascon of Gascon Horsemanship has finessed his expertise with gaited horses, as well as his demonstrations and clinics on topics including Paso Soccer, 30 Minute Wild Horse Starting, Horsemanship 101, Obstacles, Solving Problem horses, and much more. Gascon will be joining the World Equine Expo™ with his incredible equine Paso Fino partners.

Showcasing unique classical Dressage skills and bridle-less riding expertise, J. P. Giacomini will be perform over 24 separate demonstrations throughout the course of two weeks at the World Equine Expo™ with his four talented Andalusian and Lusitano homebred stallions. Giacomini will be covering topics from classical Dressage at the Grand Prix level to lunging for balance, contact and bridle-less riding, preparing for a classical piaffe, work in-hand for biomechanics development, Endotapping™ and much more.

Kim Van Kampen, a founding partner of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) and a longstanding partner of the Wellington Equestrian Partners (WEP), will bring eight horses to perform quadrilles on the September 13 and 14, at midday throughout Dressage competition days during Week One of the WEG. A quadrille is a riding team comprised of four dressage riders who will compete together to music. Quadrilles are easily compared to a drill team and originated from the Spanish Riding School.

Mustang Leadership Partners, LLC will be present on-site during the World Equine Expo™ as title sponsor of the Equus Film Festival and will provide a unique demonstration programming schedule. Mustang Leadership Partners, LLC provides girls and young women with an opportunity to develop, practice, and improve relationship skills, responsibility, social accountability, self-awareness and self-confidence through interactions with Mustangs.

Equus Film Festival & Art Festival

The Equus Film Festival, presented by Mustang Leadership Partners, LLC, will showcase eight discipline-dedicated films and host meet-and-greets with directors and producers to an extensive celebration of equestrian art. The Equus Film Festival will air films from 12:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. every hour with special screenings of popular films airing each evening between 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. The Art Festival will also feature galleries of local and international artists exploring all facets of horse and human interaction.

The Coca-Cola® Stage

At the Coca-Cola® Stage, a key focal point of the World Equine Expo™, attendees can experience readings and signings with New York Times Best Selling authors, learn from innovators making waves across the equestrian industry, and be entertained by brilliant performances and musical acts. The Coca-Cola® Stage programming will run at 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m. daily.

Mary Alice Monroe’s award-winning novels have been named to many prestigious lists, including the New York Times, USA Today and SIBA. She has received numerous awards, including several Readers’ Choice Awards; the 2014 SC Book Festival Award for Excellence in Writing; the 2015 SW Florida Book Festival Distinguished Author Award; and the RT Lifetime Achievement Award. Most recently, Monroe was named by the South Carolina Academy of Authors as a member of the Literary Hall of Fame. Monroe will speak about the inspiration for her upcoming novel, The Summer Guests, set in the Tryon and Wellington equestrian communities, and the power of story to connect people and the animal world. Guests will receive a gift of the first three chapters of The Summer Guests. A portion of the proceeds from pre-orders during WEG will benefit Brooke USA, sister organization to Brooke, the Official Charity of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018.

George H. Morris, former Chef d’Equipe of the U.S. Show Jumping Team, renowned rider, coach, clinician, and author, will present an inside look at the international equestrian industry from the 1950s to present day, including a special emphasis on the rich equestrian legacy of the Tryon region. Join Morris throughout both weeks of the World Equine Expo™ as he shares stories about significant equestrian events, answers questions about riding, competition and horsemanship then and now.

Week one attendees will have the chance to learn from United States Dressage Federation Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medalist Jessica Jo (J. J.) Tate, as she presents “What the Heck is Horse Ballet” and explains the ins-and-outs of the intricate and beautiful discipline of Dressage. Tate has competed at the top level of the sport around the world, and her presentation will be both entertaining and educational, whether attendees are completely new to Dressage or a seasoned competitor.

Veterinarian and zoologist Dr. David Jones is an adventurer and world traveler with a passion for wildlife and equines who will present “Tales of Tails and Toenails from This Year’s ‘Equine Industry Vision Award-Winner.'” The former director of the North Carolina Zoological Park and CEO of the Zoological Society of London, Jones has spent his 45-year career in the wildlife and zoo management fields, chasing his passion across 50 countries. He is also the chairman of the world’s largest international equine welfare charity, Brooke, the official charity of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018. David currently chairs Brooke USA and is the founder and chairman of “Wild Welfare,” which seeks to improve animal welfare in zoos needing assistance in their husbandry and management. His stories from around the world can be heard from September 19-21.

CEO of Journeys Equestrian Travels Debbie Dos Santos will recount her equine experiences across the globe through her boutique, luxury travel design company that provides experiential travel, private yacht charters and villas for individuals, groups, corporate and business loyalty programs. Debbie’s Equestrian Travels are designed for the all things equestrian such as bespoke itineraries, world equestrian events and preferred properties. Attendees can catch Debbie Dos Santos between September 19-21.

Petra Ingram, CEO of Brooke, the world’s largest international equine welfare charity, will speak on the connection and love between horse and riders and educate about Brooke’s efforts to lift both horses and humans out of poverty in developing nations around the world.

British Olympic Gold Medalist in Eventing and Lady-In-Waiting to HRH The Princess Royal Jane Holderness-Roddam will discuss her amazing career in Eventing, including competing at the age of six at Madison Square Garden and share her stories of the abiding relationship between the Royals and horses, from the rural paddocks of England to the grounds of Buckingham Palace.

Leslie Munsell, Founder of Beauty for Real, has been described as a makeup maverick, innovator, trend forecaster, educator and entrepreneur. With 25 years’ experience as a celebrity makeup artist, Leslie has worked with the biggest talents in the advertising and fashion worlds. Now, in her crowning role as the creator of Beauty for Real cosmetics, Munsell will demonstrate the use of her cruelty-free cosmetics. As a lifelong Dressage rider, Munsell will also explain why her cosmetics are perfectly formulated for equestrians and how proceeds improve the welfare of horses, donkeys, and mules around the world through Brooke USA. Munsell will be on-site for both weeks of the World Equine Expo™.

To learn more about the World Equine Expo™ and preview schedules, click here.

US Equestrian Names Dressage Team for World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian has named four athlete-and-horse combinations to The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team for the FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) Tryon 2018, which will take place September 11-23, in Mill Spring, N.C.

After competing in designated Observation Events throughout the summer, the following athlete-and-horse combinations have been selected to represent U.S. dressage at the WEG under the leadership of Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover (in alphabetical order):

Laura Graves (Geneva, Fla.) and Verdades, a 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding she owns with Curt Maes

Adrienne Lyle (Ketchum, Idaho) and Salvino, Betsy Juliano LLC’s 11-year-old Hanoverian stallion

Kasey Perry-Glass (Wellington, Fla.) and Goerklintgaards Dublet, Diane Perry’s 15-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding

Steffen Peters (San Diego, Calif.) and Rosamunde, Four Winds Farm’s 11-year-old Rheinlander mare

The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team will compete beginning September 12 and 13, with the Grand Prix Team competition and Individual Qualifier. On September 14, teams will contest the Grand Prix Special, and the Grand Prix Freestyle on September 16.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

US Equestrian Announces Para-Dressage Team for World Equestrian Games 2018

Lexington, KY – US Equestrian has named four athlete-and-horse combinations to the U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team presented by Deloitte for the FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) Tryon 2018, which will take place September 11-23, 2018. Following the 2017-2018 selection period, the US Equestrian Board of Directors approved the following combinations for the FEI Nominated Entry List.

Rebecca Hart (Wellington, Fla.), Grade III, with El Corona Texel, Rowan O’Reilly’s nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding

Angela Peavy (Wellington, Fla.), Grade IV, with Royal Dark Chocolate, Rebecca Reno’s 10-year-old Oldenburg mare

Kate Shoemaker (Peoria, Ariz.), Grade IV, with Solitaer 40, the 11-year-old Hanoverian stallion she owns with Craig and Deena Shoemaker

Roxanne Trunnell (Rowlett, Texas), Grade I, and Kate Shoemaker’s Dolton, a six-year-old Hanoverian gelding

For more information about FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, visit Tryon2018.com.

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President: Hope Hand by e-mail: hope@uspea.org or by phone: (610)356-6481.

The FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018 Countdown Is Underway

There’s no event quite like it! The FEI World Equestrian Games™ is the pinnacle of equestrian sport and it is two months to go to the opening ceremony for Tryon 2018.

With an anticipated 1,000 athletes, 1,500 horses, and 500,000 spectators from more than 70 countries scheduled to attend, this edition will be one of the biggest sporting events on US soil this year and will attract an expected on-site audience of over 500,000.

The eighth edition of the Games is generating huge excitement at the prospect of the world’s best partnerships from across all the FEI disciplines uniting for a showcase of horse sport at the spectacular Tryon International Equestrian Center venue. With so many incredible stories to tell, both from past Games and a preview of those special moments to come, the two-month countdown marks the perfect occasion to launch the FEI campaign for the Games … #BeOne.

Equestrian fans, athletes, and teams from across the globe will come together to celebrate the sport – as one. We will #BeOne and stand proud as a global community united by sport and horsemanship as we honour the unrivalled bond between horse and human.

We ask equestrian fans to come together and show their love of the sport at one of the biggest events in the world. It’s the chance to celebrate everything that makes equestrianism one of the most loved sports worldwide.

It’s time to be passionate.

Be epic. Be free. Be united. Be fearless. Be spectacular. Be victorious. Be one.

“We are very pleased to launch our BeOne campaign today as the excitement really kicks off in the countdown to the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon this September,” said FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez. “When you look at equestrian sport, which is intense and emotive, our sport thrives on passion, not only from our athletes but our fans, this campaign will clearly showcase the diversity of our disciplines and will demonstrate that it really all comes down to one partnership & one sporting effort. A true celebration of the sport and as for the Games, there’s really is no event quite like it!”

To learn more about the #BeOne campaign, click here.

For more information on the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, go to: www.Tryon2018.com and www.fei.org/events/fei-world-equestrian-games-tryon.

Media contact:

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

USA Takes Top Three at World Equestrian Games FEI CRI 3* Reining Test Event

Dan Huss and Ms Dreamy. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

TRYON, NC, USA – May 13, 2018 – The all-American podium stood tall after the completion of two days of FEI CRI 3* competition hosted at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), in Tryon, North Carolina, alongside the first installment of the Carolina Classic at TIEC. The week served as the eighth and final Test Event ahead of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 coming to the venue this fall, from September 11-23.

FEI combinations took to the newly constructed Indoor Arena, located at the main entrance of TIEC, to test their skills against some of the discipline’s biggest names from Thursday, May 10-13. The first day of competition saw 22 competitors contest the USEF Selection Trial First Go on Thursday, May 10, before welcoming back 20 of the original entries. Ultimately, Jordan Larson (USA) and Dan Huss (USA) both walked away with the blue ribbon, tying on a composite score of 450.

Huss entered the second round sitting in first place after scoring 224 points aboard Frederick Christen’s Ms Dreamy, a 2010 Quarter Horse mare (Magnum Chic Dream x A Gal With A Gun). Larson improved upon his first-round score of 222.0 to share top honors riding ARC Gunnabeabigstar, a 2011 Quarter Horse stallion (Gunnatrashya x Wimpys Little Chic) owned by HDC Quarter Horses, to an impressive second-round score of 228. The young Cade McCutcheon (USA) followed just behind on a total score of 446 points aboard Custom Made Gun, a 2011 Quarter Horse stallion (Colonels Smoking Gun x Custom Made Dunit) owned by McQuay Stables, after receiving a 222.5 in the first round and a 223.5 in the final competition.

All three riders are hoping to return to represent the United States at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) in September and Huss commented that he’s been waiting for the right horse to come along in order to pursue contention.

“Basically for me, I was just waiting for the right horse,” he explained. “I usually share [Ms Dreamy] with a Non-Pro, but obviously the mare is too old to do the derbies, so Fredrick [Christen] said I could show her at the FEI level. It would mean a lot to me to represent the U.S. I came with the intention of winning here. I’m not a guy that has a big ego, but I wanted to win here and I want to win at the WEG. I have some room to improve yet and I’d have to beat my fellow teammates because they’re tough.”

Huss, of Scottsdale, AZ, complimented the TIEC show organizers for hosting the venue’s first reining event. “I think Tryon did a great job hosting their first reining competition. From what I understand they’re putting stalls in here in the Indoor Arena, so it’ll all be under one roof and I think it’ll be pretty nice.”

Larson, a seasoned WEG competitor based in Valley View, TX, echoed Huss’ sentiments about what a USA-hosted Games means, stating, “It’s awesome to have the WEG return to the US. It’s really cool to be able to represent our country here at home. It was awesome to go to France, but there’s even more pressure I think to represent well here, so we’ve got our work cut out to get ready for the next one and be even better.”

Commenting on his significant improvement in score between the first and second round, Larson had nothing but praise for his mount. “This horse is a good one,” he emphasized. “He’s been really good to me. It seems like he keeps getting better and better and when it counts he’s at his best. In the first round I tried to play it safe and he was kind of messing around with me a little bit, but when I call on him for everything he is great.”

The pressure of the USA team selections definitely weighed heavily on all competitor’s minds, Larson explained, saying, “There’s always a lot of pressure. We have really high expectations of ourselves and because we’re hoping to be on the team to represent the USA, the pressure goes up,” he admitted. “But, that’s what we thrive on, so we have fun doing it.”

Cade McCutcheon, whose 18th birthday is in a few short weeks, is also looking for the chance to represent his country, with his sights set on being the youngest reining competitor to ever compete in the history of the WEG.

The Aubrey, TX native ran the stallion Custom Made Gun, whom his family raised and his grandparents own, to third place after putting in a near perfect round. “It means a lot to come here with the likes of Jordan [Larson], Casey [Deary], my dad [Tom McCutcheon], Shawn [Flarida] – I’ve never had to do that. I’ve always been in the Non-Pro, which isn’t easy, but it’s easier than this. It meant a lot and it was a big honor to just show here, and a bigger honor to be where I’m at.”

Riding beside his father, WEG Gold Medalist Tom McCutcheon this week, the young talent commented, “It’s a cool deal being a third generation reining competitor. Not a lot of people can say that. I just hope I do as well as they did if I make it on the USA Team. It means a lot to me to be able to do this sport with my family. It makes it way more fun, and they have the experience that will help me get through the team and the individual phases.”

Further discussing his family legacy, McCutcheon also noted the incredible accomplishments of his multi-generational equestrian family. Despite being the youngest rider in the FEI CRI 3* this week, McCutcheon commented on the benefit of the experience as he looks towards a bright future.

“Maybe there’s a little more pressure coming from a reining family, but I don’t think very much. My parents don’t put any pressure on me, and it wouldn’t make a difference to them if I marked a 208 or a 220, as long as I’m having fun.”

For more information, visit www.Tryon2018.com.

Larson and Huss Tie for Gold, McCutcheon Bronze at WEG Reining Test Event

Larson and Arc Gunnabeabigstar (Photo by Waltenberry)

Mill Spring, N.C. – In an important step towards being named to the U.S. Reining Squad for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) Tryon 2018, U.S. reining athletes contested the WEG Reining Test Event and USEF Selection Trial this week at the Tryon International Equestrian Center on Thursday, May 10 and Saturday, May 12.

With scores compiled from both evening’s rounds, it was Jordan Larson and Dan Huss leading the way for a gold-medal tie and ending on a combined score of 450.0. Larson (Valley View, Texas) and Arc Gunnabeabigstar, a seven-year-old Quarter Horse stallion owned by HDC Quarter Horses USA, LLC, sat fourth after Thursday’s round with a score of 222.0. Huss (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Ms Dreamy, an eight-year-old Quarter Horse mare owned by Christen R. Frederick, won Thursday’s round on a score of 224.0.

Larson was part of the gold-medal U.S. Reining Team for WEG in Normandy, France in 2014 and is excited about the possibility of representing the U.S. again. “It was cool to go to France, but I think it is even more pressure to represent well here. We have our work cut out to get ready. That horse is a good one. [Arc Gunnabeabigstar] has been really good to me and it seems like he just keeps getting better. When it counts, he’s his best. When I ask him for everything, he’s his best.”

“For me, I was just waiting for a nice horse,” laughed Huss. “She is a Magnum daughter out of a Gunner mare. It would mean a lot to me [to represent the U.S. at WEG]. I’m not a guy with a big ego, but I came here to win this and I want to win the WEG. I have some room to improve. I have to beat my fellow teammates, because they are tough.”

A third-generation reiner and on the cusp of his 18th birthday, Cade McCutcheon claimed the bronze medal at the USEF Selection Trial. McCutcheon (Aubrey, Texas) and Custom Made Gun, a seven-year-old Quarter Horse stallion owned by Tim and Colleen McQuay, were tied for second after Thursday’s round. The combination held their own in the second round to end on a score of 446.0. Should McCutcheon’s place on the U.S. Reining Team for WEG be finalized, he would become the youngest U.S. athlete to represent reining at the Games.

“It means a lot to come here with the likes of Jordan [Larson] or Casey [Deary], my dad, and Shawn [Flarida],” said McCutcheon. “I’ve always been in the non-pro, which isn’t easy, but it’s a lot easier than this. It is a big honor to get to show here and a bigger honor to be where I am at. It means a lot to be able to do this sport with my family; it makes it way more fun. My parents don’t put any pressure on me. It wouldn’t make a difference to them if I marked a 208 or a 220, as long as I am having fun.”

Full results for the WEG Reining Test Event and USEF Selection Trial can be found here.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

TIEC Hosts Carolina Classic and World Equestrian Games Reining Test Event, May 8-13, 2018

The Carolina Classic at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) marks the first ever reining competition held at the venue, and the event is also serving as the selection trials for Team USA. All competitions will be held at the Indoor Arena, and all Carolina Classic competition is free and open for the public to attend. Concessions and vendors are available on hand.

The show’s expanded schedule also includes the Carolina Classic Open and Non-Pro Derbies and Atlantic Breeders Incentive Derby along with a double slate of National Reining Horse Association ancillary classes, American Quarter Horse Association classes and USA Reining classes.

Please visit www.tryon.com or call (828)-863-1000 for more information.

US Equestrian Names Short List for FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Dressage Team

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian has named the Short List for the FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) Tryon 2018 The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team. The Short List will compete in designated Observation Events throughout the summer.

The following horse-and-athlete combinations have been named to the Short List (in alphabetical order):

Shelly Francis (Loxahatchee, Fla.) with Patricia Stempel’s 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding Danilo

Laura Graves (Geneva, Fla.) with her and Curt Maes’s 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Verdades

Ashley Holzer (New York, N.Y.) with Diane Fellows’s 11-year-old Hanoverian mare Havanna 145

Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (Haymarket, Va.) with her and Mary Anne McPhail’s 14-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding Lonoir

Adrienne Lyle (Ketchum, Idaho) with Betsy Juliano’s 11-year-old Hanoverian stallion Salvino

Kasey Perry-Glass (Wellington, Fla.) with Diane Perry’s 15-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding Goerklintgaards Dublet

Steffen Peters (San Diego, Calif.) with Four Winds Farm’s 11-year-old Rheinlander mare Rosamunde and Four Winds Farm’s 10-year-old KWPN gelding Suppenkasper

Sabine Schut-Kery (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) with Alice Womble’s 12-year-old Hanoverian stallion Sanceo

Combinations will be required to compete in a minimum of two Observation Events. The Observation Event schedule, as well as the complete Selection Procedures, for the 2018 WEG The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team can be found here.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018 Test Events Conclude

Chester Weber and team during the Cones phase. ©Sue Stickle Photography & ©TIEC.

TRYON, NC, USA – April 23, 2018 – Chester Weber (USA) maintained his hold on the lead through the Cones phase of FEI CAI 2* Four-in-Hand competition as part of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG) Dressage, Driving, and Para-Dressage Test Events at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), guiding his team to victory after blazing cleanly through the Richard Nicoll (USA)-designed course. The all-American podium remained unchanged from day two: Weber landed on 159.38 points after three days, while Misdee Wrigley-Miller (USA) maintained second place after driving Bravour, Beau, Bolino D, and Calipso to a score of 173.34 on a clean run, and James Fairclough (USA) finished in third with Bento V, Citens, Dapper and Zenden on a final penalty score of 180.21.

Weber spoke highly of his day-three team, consisting of Amadeus, Asjemenou, Gouveneur, and Ultra, and explained that he added Gouvenuer into the team after testing potential WEG contender, Reno, in his place for the Marathon phase. “I drove the Dressage team again, which was my plan from the beginning and they were really nice,” he said. “I have a sort of inexperienced seven-year-old in the group [Gouvenuer], and I wanted to know what I had in him for a Cones leader and he actually did really well. I was really pleased with him.”

As he predicted, the Cones course had the essence of designer Nicoll and suited Weber’s driving style, but remained a true precision test for competing combinations.

“I thought the course was really nice. Richard [Nicoll] always tries to have a little bit of flow to the course, which was good and I thought it was fair in that way. We measure the course typically with a GPS watch, and there’s some margin of error there. When I measured it was 840 meters and they were saying it was more like a 750 – it was pretty obvious to me we were going to have to go really, really fast. I worked on trying to figure out how to get the time as good as I could, but it was still a big challenge.”

Speaking to the emotional connection he feels to Team USA and what representing the States in the fall would mean, Weber reflected on the shared history of his and teammate Fairclough’s careers, and said, “It means a lot to me to represent the United States. Ever since I was a young guy starting Driving, I always wanted to have a blazer with a [USA] patch on it and drive on the U.S. team. I think for all of the U.S. Four in-Hand team medals, Jimmy and I have been part of those teams. I think we hope to come here in the fall and try and secure a team medal for the U.S. It would mean a lot to me.”

Wrigley-Miller maintained her podium spot with a speedy round through the Cones phase and complimented the noticeable improvement in harmony for her team. “The team is really starting to gel and come together to work as a team and that was really what I noticed. They were all balanced together. I could really drive more forward, they felt great in my hands, and the obstacles drove so well,” she emphasized. “I just feel like we’ve been a work in progress and we made huge strides yesterday. I was really pleased with our Marathon, but I went back and watched the videos and thought, ‘I can go faster!’ So, I think the horses and I have good timing going forward.”

Wrigley-Miller was eager to contest the Marathon course and had good things to report: “From what I’ve heard, there will not be a lot of change in the obstacles – I think they’re beautifully built, and Richard [Nicoll] does such a great job of flagging them. He asks the right questions of horses and drivers. I think it’s going to be really great.”

While she made adjustments to the team between Dressage and Marathon, her horses remained as consistent as their results, and she used the same pairings for the final two days of competition.

“It was a good course,” she said of the final phase. “It was what I’ve come to expect from Richard – that you drive the lines. It’s Dressage training in Cones. The horses have to be supple and flexible and move forward with nice curves – it was a nice course. It had its little pieces that made us drivers think!”

For Fairclough, this week’s FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 Test Event was his first chance to drive obstacles and Cones since Live Oak International a month ago, and described how the weather at home had really thrown a kink in his ability to train, but had not dampened his competitiveness at TIEC.

“I didn’t spend the winter in Florida, so I went down for Live Oak International three weeks before, and Dressage was okay this week. I was pleased with the horses. It’s a long way to September before the FEI World Equestrian Games. For the Marathon yesterday, I hadn’t driven a hazard since I was at Live Oak because I went back home and had 13 days out of 27 with snow, so I wasn’t able to train that or Cones. Marathon was very nice. The horses were plenty fit, and I was happy with that. Cones today surprised me – I thought I’d be able to keep the pace up a little bit more, but I lost a lot of time at 10, 11, and 12. The footing has a [different feel] than grass, so it was difficult to make that time,” he added.

Like Weber and Wrigley-Miller, Fairclough is pleased with his experience at the venue, he said. “I think the facility is fantastic. It’s a work in progress, but it’s really nice when you get to do a Marathon on a golf course. I guess we got to use some of the hazards that will be used [in September], and the course was technical – tight if you wanted that option in a couple of them. I think the terrain may surprise some Europeans, but the valley where the obstacles are is very nice.”

Fairclough also hopes to return in the fall and emphasized the honor of representing Team USA. He said, “It’s wonderful to represent team USA and to have the Games here. The few times that we [Weber and I] have had the national anthem played for us, there’s nothing better. But, to be an ambassador for our country is really an honor. It’s a real thrill no matter what, when you do it.”

Perry-Glass Victorious in FEI CDI 3* Grand Prix Special

The FEI Grand Prix podium remained unchanged from Friday’s lineup, as the FEI CDI 3* Grand Prix Special presented by Adequan®, saw Kasey Perry-Glass (USA) dance with partner Goerklintgaards Dublet to an impressive score of 75.830%, taking the victory ahead of Adrienne Lyle (USA) and Horizon who finished in second on a score of 71.660%. Belinda Trussell (CAN) rode her own Tattoo 15 to third place honors with a score of 69.319%.

Perry-Glass and the 2003 Danish Warmblood gelding (Diamond Hit x Ferro) owned by Diane Perry put in a more relaxed effort without losing the energy of Friday’s winning ride. “My test, I felt, was a lot more thought out. After the Grand Prix, I was just really challenging myself to go in there and focus on what we do in the warm-up and get it in the show ring. That was my highlight. He’s so talented as it is, that he does everything really well, but I think the passage tour was really good, as well as his changes.”

Regarding “Dublet’s” reaction to the arena after a weekend of acclimation, she continued, “He’s still a spring chicken in there – he didn’t lose any motivation or any kind of spark. He was actually more relaxed, but with energy. That’s what all of his pre-show training was for, getting his mind really good, the aqua-tread, and all the work we do outside the arena. I feel like it’s really translated to his stamina and how he holds his energy.”

The pair is just coming back into competition after an eight-month break, and while the late start to competition schedule had Perry-Glass feeling uncertain before, she said the payoff was worth it, for both her horse and herself.

“With any athlete, I think you kind of need time to wind down to re-adjust and get your head right. I think for the last three years we’ve just been going and it was a well-needed break for us, for me too, and it just helps him come back stronger. Yeah, we’re starting our shows a little bit later than everyone else, but I think that he’s showing that he can be right up there with the others and I’m happy we did it. At some points we were questioning whether it was the right thing to do, to wait so long, but for us it really worked.”

Lyle and Elizabeth Juliano’s 2003 Oldenburg mare (Hot Line x Don Schufro) proved their consistency with another second-place finish and for Lyle, Horizon’s consistency is especially encouraging to see. She elaborated, “I was thrilled with her and how reliable she’s getting. To have a clean test in the third Special she’s ever done in her life – one of them being a national show and with her first CDI not even two months ago, for her to come into a new venue and prove that she can put in clean and consistent performances in this environment is a big deal for her. I’m very proud of her.”

Lyle also had Harmony’s Duval, another young horse, break into Grand Prix competition, and noted that she’s thrilled to see a long-term relationship with “Duval” truly succeed. “I’m really happy with him. I’ve had him since before he was saddle broke and we’ve done everything from Training level on up with him, so it was a really fun weekend all around to have such great rides on Horizon and then be able to finally get Duval into the Grand Prix ring after years and years of work,” she said.

Trussell and her own “Tattoo,” a 2003 Westfalen gelding (Tuareg x Ramiro’s Son), also remained consistent to place third on a score of 69.319% despite a bobble in one of the gelding’s usual highlight movements, she explained.

“I think the biggest change I see for him [since Florida] is that he’s getting a lot stronger in his passage work; he’s such an exuberant mover and to be able to access that and put it in the right direction [is improving]. I think that this show I had the best passage work that I’ve had yet in the ring itself. His highlight is his changes and today we had a mistake in the twos, which is not good, because I need those points, but those are also becoming more reliable and consistent, so that feels great.”

As an experienced competitor at FEI World Equestrian Games™, including appearances in Jerez, Spain, Lexington, KY, and most recently in Normandy, France, Trussell described her excitement for the Games to return to North America. “This venue was just fabulous to come here for the Test Event and to experience it and be a part of this. It was such a great stepping stone for us in preparation for WEG,” she said. “It’s so nice, as a North American athlete, to have this event in North America because we almost always have to go to Europe. It’s not so far, the horses don’t have to get on an airplane, for family it’s easier to come, and to have this quality of venue in North America is huge. I am so grateful for this facility, grateful for the United States to put this together and it’s wonderful,” she concluded.

The atmosphere was exuberant at the in-gate, especially for the large support wearing red, white and blue – the American entourage was in full force and both Lyle and Perry-Glass expressed gratitude for the strength of the USA contingent.

“We have an incredible support staff from all of USEF,” said Lyle. “They’re absolutely amazing and take care of any question you may have. You can call them in the middle of the night and they’re here to help you! It really helps to have such great backing, then beyond that, we have an incredible camaraderie between us as teammates,” she continued. “Laura [Graves] is here watching and cheering on, and we’re all really good friends. We say that all the time, but it’s not just for show – we all are really good friends. It’s really exciting to see everyone be so successful. It only elevates your own riding and your own training when you can be around people like that, and I feel very blessed that we are that way.”

Perry-Glass agreed. “You look down the ranking list, and even people that are not on the ranking list or that are on the B squad, it’s amazing to see that you’re so close to them.” She also noted the importance of this strong team unit as a team sport.

“There’s only one class that’s individual. Growing up in team sports, you have to have that camaraderie and be to be a team player. I think it elevates everyone’s sportsmanship and I think it makes you perform better. Plus, you can lean on them when you have questions or concerns or ideas, and especially in stressful situations.”

FEI CPEDI 3* Freestyles Wrap Up Weekend

In the CPEDI 3* Grade I Freestyle Test, Roxanne Trunnell (USA) and Kate Shoemaker’s Dolton stayed perfect to finish first with a 73.278%, while Laurietta Oakleaf (USA) rode her own Niekele Fan Busenitz to second receiving a score of 69.311%, and Winona Hartvikson (CAN) and Ultimo, a 2001 gelding (Invasor III x Teodoro) owned by herself and Jane Macdonald, earned third place honors with a 68.556%.

Trunnell, who represented the United States at the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games™, as well as at the 2016 Paralympic Games, piloted a newer mount, and the pair was awarded overall champions of the show after three successful rides for the USA.

The Grade II Freestyle saw Jason Surnoski (CAN) and Phoenix score a 66.878% overtake fellow Canadian Sharon Buffitt and her own Elektra II, who scored 66.233%.

“I was very pleased with Phoenix,” commented Surnoski. “He did everything I asked for and I was just enjoying it. We’ve been working on trying to get him more up in his frame because he tends to kind of come down on me, so all week we’ve been trying to do that. I found that in this test in particular he kept it. I just enjoyed the ride.”

Surnoski began competing in the FEI CPEDIs two years ago, but has only had this particular ride for six months. “He’s a funny character, He loves attention and he loves his treats – the more treats he gets, the more he begs – and he just enjoys his job. It’s my first CPEDI with him and he’s nineteen, so he passed everything I could ask of him. Now it’s onward and upward.”

“It’s been a very difficult transition because he has a lot of movement when he’s going properly, and I’ve ridden many horses that don’t have that particular movement. This guy has a lot when he’s going well. So, even today I had a little bit of difficulty controlling it with my body, but I think I did a good job considering I bumped up my percentage each test,” added Surnoski.

Having declared for WEG, Surnoski will travel to Ottawa next month to contest another FEI CPEDI competition. With a strong desire to make the team at the forefront of his mind, he concluded, “I love that WEG will be here because it’s close to home. I’m from Toronto, so it’s like a fourteen-hour drive, depending on traffic, so it’s doable, and I’m hoping I can qualify and be here for it!”

The Grade III Freestyle saw a change in top placing, as Lauren Barwick (CAN) and her own Engelbrecht, a 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Vivaldi x Rimini 41) rode to blue and a score of 72.233%. The Grade IV Freestyle once again awarded Angela Peavy (USA) the victory, earning a score of 72.892% aboard Rebecca Reno’s 2008 Oldenburg mare (Doruto x Don Larino) Royal Dark Chocolate. Grade V Freestyle rider Katie Jackson (USA) rode her new 2003 Oldenburg gelding (De Niro x Welt Hit II) mount Diesel to a score of 70.608%, achieving their third first place honor.

For more information, visit www.Tryon2018.com and www.fei.org/tryon-2018.