Category Archives: World Equestrian Games

Horse Radio Network Recaps Para-Dressage at WEG with Sydney Collier and Wes Dunham

Willi Wesley trots to a top finish in the Grade Ib team test with rider Sydney Collier. Photo copyright SusanJStickle.com.

Jupiter, FL – September 26, 2014 – Horse Radio Network’s once-a-month Para-Equestrian Show featured U.S. World Equestrian Games (WEG) Athlete Sydney Collier and her WEG coach Wes Dunham.

Lindsay McCall from the United States Para-Equestrian Association (USPEA) hosted the show with co-host Regina Cristo. To listen to episode #278, please visit: http://dressageradio.horseradionetwork.com/2014/09/25/dressage-radio-episode-278-para-dressage-wraps-2014-weg-with-sydney-collier-and-coach-wes/.

About Sydney Collier:

Sydney Collier of Ann Arbor, Michigan represented Grade Ib for the USA at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. This was her first World Equestrian Games at the young age of 16. Collier rode Victoria Dugan’s Willi Wesley, a 2000 Warmblood gelding. At age seven Sydney was diagnosed with Wyburn-Mason Syndrome after she began having blurry vision. Wyburn-Mason Syndrome is a rare, congenital disorder characterized by arteriovenous malformations in the central nervous system and retina. It affects only .14% of the world’s population and can cause brain hemorrhaging, stroke, paralysis, or death. In 2010 at the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, KY, Sydney and her family ran across young para-equestrian Jonathan Wentz. Wentz introduced Collier to trainer Kai Handt and veteran Paralympian Hope Hand who is President of the United States Para-Equestrian Association. Not long after the 2010 World Equestrian Games Collier began training as a Para-Dressage rider eventually pairing up with Paralympic Dressage coach Wes Dunham of Millbrook, NY. In 2012, young rider Collier had not yet reached her 16th birthday before the 2012 Paralympic Selection Trials but she did earn the opportunity to compete at the 2012 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships. The valuable experience of showing at the National Championships that year gave her the verification she needed to know that she was ready to aim for the 2014 WEG. Collier and her coach Wes Dunham have been working together over the past two years creating the perfect partnerships with multiple mounts. Collier began riding Wentworth (owned previously by Amy McIlwham) in 2013 and competed internationally with her horse that same year. In 2014 Collier added two new mounts to her line-up scoring top rankings in Grade Ib. Collier earned a spot on the U.S. WEG Team in June 2014 with horses NTEC Cuplee and Willi Wesley. Collier and Willi Wesley were successful at the 2014 Games. The WEG was Collier’s first overseas trip for Para-Dressage and a dream come true for the young athlete.

Wes Dunham and Willi Wesley at the 2014 CPEDI3* in Wellington, FL. Photo by Lindsay McCall
Wes Dunham and Willi Wesley at the 2014 CPEDI3* in Wellington, FL. Photo by Lindsay McCall

About Wes Dunham:

Born and raised in western New York, FEI rider and trainer Wes Dunham began his life-long love of horses at the age of 6. He competed in Western Pleasure classes before turning his attention to Eventing, Show Jumping and ultimately Dressage which he currently coaches and trains. While completing his Master’s in Education, Wes dedicated himself full-time to a career in the sport. Wes has been awarded his USDF Bronze and Silver medals, and is currently working towards his Gold. Most recently, he coached an FEI para-equestrian athlete and student on his own mare “Western Rose,” helping the pair to earn a spot on the U.S. Paralympic Team competing at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. Wes has been working with multiple Para-Dressage athletes including WEG U.S. Team member Sydney Collier and hunter/jumper rider Elizabeth Traband. As an FEI coach Wes has trained at the 2012 Paralympics and the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France. Wes trains in Millbrook, New York, at Woodstock Stables.

Once a month, the Dressage Radio Show becomes the Para-Equestrian Show Hosted by Lindsay McCall, of the United States Para-Equestrian Association, focusing on international FEI discipline Para-Dressage. Although Para-Dressage is the main event, listeners have the opportunity to learn more about the skillful U.S. Para-Driving Team, the Para-Reining discipline, Para-Vaulting, and the future of Para-Jumping. The para-equestrian dressage show will feature a line-up of guests including Olympians, Paralympians, trainers, coaches, professionals, amateur riders, young riders, and equine enthusiasts. The intention of the radio show is to educate, inform, and entertain listeners on the para-equestrian Dressage discipline.

To learn more about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or e-mail President Hope Hand at hope@uspea.org. You may also e-mail the host of the para-equestrian segment Lindsay McCall at Lindsay@uspea.org.

To learn more about the Horse Radio Network, visit www.horseradionetwork.com; to contact Glenn the Geek, go to http://www.horseradionetwork.com/contact/ or leave a voicemail at 270-803-0025.

About the Horse Radio Network:

The Horse Radio Network is the voice of the horse world with listeners in over 40 countries. Eight different entertaining shows cover all aspects of the horse world and you can listen any time on your computer, MP3 player or smart phone.

We believe that people own horses for fun and entertainment. Why else would you put up with the early morning feedings, stall cleaning, vet bills, long trips to shows, empty bank accounts and everything else that goes with being a horse owner?

Our goal with these shows is to help your chores go a little faster and to put a smile on your face! Learn more at www.horseradionetwork.com.

HORSES IN THE MORNING live M-F at 9am Eastern at www.horsesinthemorning.com.

To view an online version of this press release, please visit: http://uspea.org/category/recent-uspea-press-news/.

About United States Para-Equestrian Association:

The USPEA is a network of riders, judges, national federation board members, and equestrian enthusiasts. The association gives athletes the ability to get involved and expand their knowledge and experience in the Para-Equestrian sport. The USPEA encourages para-athletes to participate in all disciplines under the para-equestrian umbrella.

The USPEA is a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) which serves as the National Governing Body for the equestrian sport. This relationship between the USPEA and USEF is to encourage para-equestrian competitors, leisure riders, coaches, fans and enthusiasts to network and get involved with the entire equestrian sport.

Ultimately the goal of the USPEA is to foster growth in the para-equestrian discipline. From growth in the number of participants to growth as a team, and growth in the experience and knowledge of all involved. From local horse shows to international Olympic Games, the USPEA will provide para-equestrians the knowledge of what they need to succeed. The USPEA connects with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), and USEF which provides Para-Equestrians the top equestrian resources.

In June 2010, the USPEA earned its 501 (c)(3) status which has encouraged supporters to help supply funding to the Para-Equestrian Team as a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail: Wheeler966@aol.com or by phone: (610)356-6481.

Sara Morganti Voted Paralympic Athlete of the Month

Italy’s Sara Morganti has been voted the International Paralympic Committee’s best female Allianz Athlete of the Month for August following her incredible performance at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy (FRA) – she is pictured at these Games with her mare Royal Delight. (FEI/David Sinclair)

Lausanne (SUI), 18 September 2014 – Italy’s Sara Morganti has been voted the International Paralympic Committee’s best female Allianz Athlete of the Month for August following her incredible performance at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy (FRA).

The Tuscany-born Para-Equestrian Dressage rider scored an outstanding Freestyle Grade 1a gold medal with her mare Royal Delight ahead of British Paralympic and reigning world champion Sophie Christiansen and Singapore’s most-decorated Paralympic athlete Laurentia Tan.

Morganti, who also won Individual Grade 1a silver at the Games in Normandy, beat five champions to the top spot in the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) poll from the worlds of canoeing, athletics, swimming and sailing following a bumper month of global para-sport.

Since her international début at the first FEI European Para-Dressage Championships in 2009 in Kristiansand (NOR), where she won Freestyle bronze with chestnut stallion Dollaro de Villanova, Morganti has gone on with Royal Delight to secure Freestyle bronze at both the 2011 Championships in Moorsele (BEL) and the JYSK FEI European Para-Dressage Championships 2013 in Herning (DEN). Since coming fourth at the London 2012 Paralympic Games in Greenwich Park, where her cherished nine-year-old mare was the youngest horse to compete, she has been trying to edge past her highly experienced rivals.

With over 40 per cent of the votes, Morganti said: “I’m so happy that so many have voted for me – it’s incredible. The support of all these people will be an additional reason to focus on doing the best I can every single day. Before the Games in Normandy my dream was to qualify for Rio 2016, but after winning two medals there my dream is now to win a Paralympic medal. Obviously Royal Delight will have an extra portion of carrots for this new fantastic achievement!”

Pole position

Great Britain’s Jeannette Chippington (GBR), second in the IPC poll, was crowned a seven-time para-canoe world champion with two more titles at the 2014 ICF Canoe World Championships in Moscow (RUS), despite only taking up canoeing in 2012.

Teresa Perales (ESP), voted third, won a staggering four gold medals at the 2014 IPC Swimming Championships in Eindhoven (NED), with Manuela Schaer (SUI) and Margarita Goncharova (RUS), coming fourth and fifth after each achieving four golds at the 2014 IPC Athletics European Championships in Swansea (GBR). Liesl Tesch (AUS) placed sixth in the IPC poll after scoring her first-ever world title with her partner Daniel Fitzgibbon at the 2014 IFDS Combined Sailing World Championships in Halifax (CAN).

Lee Pearson, the ten-time Paralympic Games gold medallist in Grade 1b, who scored triple gold at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy (FRA), and helped to secure Great Britain’s team spot at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, was shortlisted for the best male Allianz Athlete of the Month for August, but was pipped to the post by the Ukraine’s Yevheniy Bohodayko who won seven gold medals at the 2014 IPC Swimming European Championships.

The nominations for the Allianz Athlete of the Month are compiled from submissions by National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) and International Federations (IFs), with voting open to the public. The Best Youngster category for the Allianz Athlete of the Month for August will soon be live at www.paralympic.org.

About the International Paralympic Committee

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. The IPC organizes the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games, and serves as the International Federation for nine sports, for which it supervises and co-ordinates the World Championships and other competitions. The IPC is committed to enabling Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellence and to develop sport opportunities for all persons with a disability from the beginner to elite level. In addition, the IPC aims to promote the Paralympic values, which include courage, determination, inspiration and equality.

Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014

The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy (FRA) on 23 August-7 September brings together 967 athletes and 1,113 horses from 74 nations for 15 days of world-class competition in Jumping, Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining.

Media contacts:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
ruth.grundy@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 45

Malina Gueorguiev
Manager Press Relations
malina.gueorguiev@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 33

Chester Weber Lands Individual Silver at World Equestrian Games

Chester Weber and his team on their way to Individual Silver at the WEG. (Photos courtesy of Marie de Ronde-Oudemans)

Speaks Candidly about Team Synergy with Chez Philip on FEI Channel

Caen, France (September 10, 2014) – What has likely been the most wonderful year of Chester Weber’s life just got even better as the Ocala, Florida horseman, who went into the Alltech World Equestrian Games in Normandy standing number one in the FEI World Four-in-Hand Rankings, emerged with his 3rd Individual Silver medal from an FEI World Championship and boosted Team USA to a fourth place finish with an overall score of 298.48.

The world renowned whip and team of KWPN geldings co-owned by Weber and Jane Forbes Clark, made their intention clear to claim a medal for the United States after a 32.21 score in Dressage, the first of three phases of competition, put them in first place ahead of reigning WEG champion Boyd Exell (Australia) and Theo Timmerman (The Netherlands).

Weber’s dominance in Dressage also clinched his second Dr. Franz-Josef Vetter Prize: “It is an honor to win this prize a second time. Vetter was a big supporter of the driving sport and is greatly missed.” Poignantly, it was during the 2008 FEI World Four-in-Hand Championship in Beesd, The Netherlands, when Vetter, then-president of the Ground Jury, cited Weber and his team’s explosive extensions among the first tests “a joy to watch. It was simply a pleasure to sit in the judges’ box and enjoy the spectacle.”

Weber then had excellent performances in both the marathon and the cones to place him just behind Excell on a final score of 128.6. The tight race between Weber and Exell was accentuated by the impressive performance put in by both, including a Weber’s spectacular cones phase. “I am so pleased with the horses, and I wouldn’t trade them for any others,” said Weber about his feelings about the World Equestrian Games. “I honestly think I have one of the best cones teams in the world, and I couldn’t ask for more. I was able to put the pressure on on the last day, and that is what this sport is all about. I couldn’t be happier with the horses and my entire team. The suppliers, sponsors, everyone did a fantastic job, and I am just proud to be a part of it.”

Weber2In an earlier interview for Episode 10 of the FEI Channel, Weber told host Chez Philip, “The horses are in good form. Jane Clark’s program is about championships. We and the team put a schedule together at the start of the season and hit our benchmarks ever since.”

But even Weber confessed that neither he nor his team are immune to the electric energy emanating from a stadium like the WEG: “The first time the bell rings in the dressage stadium, it’s nice to be able to just touch the lead horses a little with the whip and say, ‘Hey, I’m here with you.’”

Team Weber has proven unstoppable at home and abroad all year, with a string of achievements including becoming the first American to win the Four-in-Hand at CAIO4* Aachen (one of only 10 Americans to win there in its 90-year history), and accepting the victor’s trophy and congratulations at CAI3* Windsor from HRH Queen Elizabeth.

Follow Team Weber at http://www.chesterweber.com and via Facebook.

For more information contact:
Chester Weber
chester@chesterweber.com
1-352-895-1139

US Wraps Up Strong Performances with Three Medals in Week Two of WEG

The Bronze medal-winning Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team (SusanJStickle.com)

Caen, France – The U.S. contested three World Championships at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games across Normandy, France, from September 2-7, with several U.S. veterans demonstrating why they have had such durability in their respective sports. The U.S. finished the Games with seven total medals (two Gold, two Silver, and three Bronze).

The Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team entered d’Ornano Stadium for the final round of the FEI World Team Jumping Championships on Thursday, September 4, determined to earn a podium finish for the United States, and they did just that, securing the Bronze medal. On a day when luck often eluded the Americans over Frédéric Cottier’s 13-obstacle track, the team of world-class riders, bookended by two championship stalwarts, persevered to finish on total of 16.72.

The FEI World Individual Jumping Championship came to a conclusion on the final day of competition in the d’Ornano Stadium with the highly anticipated Final Four competition. The U.S. closed out the 2014 Games on a high note, as Beezie Madden claimed Individual Bronze. Additionally, her partner at these Championships, Cortes ‘C’, earned the Best Horse title following four rounds of impeccable jumping on Sunday afternoon.

Kimberly and Cassidy Palmer and Leon 364 (Shannon Brinkman Photo)
Kimberly and Cassidy Palmer and Leon 364 (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

In the Zenith, the vaulting portion of the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games included U.S. vaulters in the Individual Female, Individual Male, Pas de Deux, and Squad championships. On the fourth day of competition, World Championship titles were decided in front of a packed crowd. Sisters Kimberly and Cassidy Palmer and Mary McCormick led the U.S. endeavor, finishing fifth in the Pas de Deux and Individual Female Championships, respectively. The rest of the U.S. contingent had respectable performances among tough competition at a World Championship.

On the final day of the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, the FEI World Team and Individual for Four-in-Hands Driving Championship started the cones phase bright and early at La Prairie Racecourse to determine the medalists on Sunday. Clean rounds were hard to come by over Richard Nicoll’s 20-obstacle cones course, with only nine of the 43 drivers adding no penalties to their scores following the marathon phase. Chester Weber had an excellent final day of competition, driving his team to a faultless round and clinching the Individual Silver medal. He and teammates Lisa Stroud and Misdee Wrigley Miller performed well in the Team Championship, finishing in fourth place on a score of 298.48.

To learn more about the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, visit http://www.normandy2014.com/.

From the USEF Communications Department

Highlights Film from the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014

08 September 2014 – After 14 days of intense competition, the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy, France have drawn to a close.

To commemorate this landmark, please find below a link to a short news film, containing highlights from Show Jumping, Eventing and Dressage from the Games, made by Rolex, Official Timepiece and Partner to the Games.

This film is copyright free and can be embedded using the following codes:

YouTube link

YouTube embedding code

For further media information, please contact:

Rod Kohler
Revolution Sports + Entertainment
E: rod@revolutionsports.co.uk
T: +44(0)207 592 1207

FEI President Officially Closes Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014

FEI President HRH Princess Haya was visibly moved as she thanked Normandy and France for two weeks of incredible sport before declaring the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 officially closed. (Leanjo de Koster/FEI)

Normandy (FRA), 7 September 2014 – FEI President HRH Princess Haya officially closed the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy at the D’Ornano Stadium this evening, bringing to an end two weeks of incredible sport.

The final medals of the Games were presented by IOC Member, Tsunekazu Takeda, Vice-President of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and Member of the FEI Olympic Council, to Jeroen Dubbeldam of the Netherlands who took the Jumping title after a thrilling Top Four final.

The seventh FEI World Equestrian Games™ broke records across the board, with 74 participating nations, an increase of 25% on the last Games in 2010, a record 12 nations making their FEI World Equestrian Games™ debut, and record coverage of the Games across all media platforms.

Around 570,000 people came to the Games, more than 230,000 people visited the Games Village, and around 50,000 attended the Alltech Music Festival that ran on eight nights during the Games. A total of 3,000 volunteers provided support for the Organising Committee.

Almost 1,800 accredited media from 52 countries sent coverage of the Games around the world across all media platforms – broadcast, print, online and social media. Over 1,000 hours of broadcast coverage for the Games were beamed to more than 200 territories on television and globally via digital platforms to a global television audience of 500 million.

In addition to massive coverage in the traditional media, the Games were a huge success across all social media platforms, including the FEI’s YouTube Channel, which exceeded 5.5 million views during the Games.

The FEI also held its first ever FEI Observers Programme, with high-level delegations from Rio 2016 and Bromont 2018 visiting the Games, and the first ever FEI World Equestrian Games Experience for potential future bidders for the Games, with representatives from Japan, Australia, Ireland, UAE, Qatar, UK and Denmark.

During the final moments of the Games closing ceremony this evening, Laurent Beauvais, President of the Normandy 2014 Organising Committee, returned the FEI flag to Princess Haya, who in turn handed it on to Pauline Quinlan, Mayor of Bromont, the Canadian city that will host the Games in 2018. The Canadian anthem was played as the Canadian flag was paraded around the arena by members of the Bromont/Montreal 2018 Organising Committee.

In a poignant message to a packed stadium, still buzzing after the excitement of watching local hero Patrice Delaveau take individual silver, Princess Haya offered the thanks of the equestrian family to Normandy and to France for hosting the 2014 Games.

“This is the final time that I will stand before you at a World Equestrian Games as President of the FEI,” she said. “This is a hugely poignant moment in my life. And I will leave this stadium tonight truly knowing the measure of the gift that you have given the sport I love. Thanks to Normandy and thanks to France, I now know our beloved sport is where it should be.

“When the rest of the world looks at France, we see Freedom, Equality, and Harmony through brotherhood. (Liberté. Égalité. Fraternité.)

“You have given our athletes the freedom (Liberté) to compete fairly and without reserve, while putting the welfare of the horse at the heart of all that they do on this beautiful stage.

“You have witnessed the equality (Égalité) that only the horse can bring, to men and women, to young and old, to able bodied and the less able. And you have provided a stage to celebrate the bond between a horse and rider which represents one of the purest kinds of love, the bond of brotherhood (Fraternité).

“Thanks to you, the French people, our sport is now strong, proud, and you have given it the freedom to roam the world, as horses have since the beginning of time itself. This spirit of the beautiful region of Normandy, this spirit of France will forever live on in our hearts. Thank you, Normandy; thank you, France.”

At the end of her speech, a visibly emotional Princess Haya, with tears running down her face, gave the final words of the Games: “And now, it is my duty to declare the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy… closed.”

Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014

The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy (FRA) on 23 August – 7 September brings together close to 1,000 riders and 1,000 horses from 74 nations for 15 days of world-class competition in Jumping, Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining.

For more information, see: www.normandy2014.com.

History Hub

The FEI World Equestrian Games™ are held every four years in the middle of the Olympic and Paralympic cycle. They were first hosted in Stockholm (SWE) in 1990 and have since been staged in The Hague (NED) in 1994, Rome (ITA) in 1998, Jerez (ESP) in 2002, and Aachen (GER) in 2006. The first Games to be organised outside Europe were the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky (USA) 2010.

Visit the FEI History Hub here.

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
Grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
ruth.grundy@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 45

Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 Organising Committee:

Amélie Patrux
Press Officer
presse@normandie2014.com

Madden Earns Individual Bronze at WEG, Cortes ‘C’ Named Best Horse of Final Four

Beezie Madden and Cortes ‘C’ (SusanJStickle.com)

Caen, France – The FEI World Individual Jumping Championship came to a conclusion on the final day of the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in the d’Ornano Stadium with the highly anticipated Final Four competition. The U.S. closed out the 2014 Games on a high note as Beezie Madden claimed Individual Bronze. Additionally, her partner at these Championships, Cortes ‘C’, earned the Best Horse title following four rounds of impeccable jumping on Sunday afternoon.

“I thought it was a great day and a very exciting Final Four,” said Madden. “I’m very happy to come out with a Bronze medal.”

Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and Abigail Wexner’s 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding were joined in the competition, which determined Individual medals, by The Netherlands’ Jeroen Dubbeldam with Zenith SFN, France’s Patrice Delaveau with Orient Express HDC, and Sweden’s Rolf-Göran Bengtsson with Casall ASK. In the final, all four started on a clean slate and jumped an eight-obstacle, Frédéric Cottier-designed track with their own horses, as well as with all three of their competitors’ horses.

Dubbledam clinched Individual Gold and the World Championship title after producing clear rounds with all four horses to finish on a score of zero, narrowly edging Delaveau, who also left all the rails in place over four rounds, but a single time fault on Casall ASK meant the crowd favorite collected Silver. Madden finished the day on a score of 12 to earn Bronze, with Bengtsson finishing fourth on 14 faults.

Madden began the Final Four jumping an immaculate clear on Cortes ‘C’ to build momentum for her remaining three rides. Next up for the two-time Olympic Team medalist was Casall ASK. Madden looked on track to produce her second clear of the afternoon with the Holsteiner stallion until faulting at the middle element of the triple, fence 5B, to finish the round on four faults. On her third ride of the day with Zenith SFN, she once again saw the hopes of a faultless effort disappear at the triple when the pole at the C-element came down.

Entering the ring on Orient Express HDC, Madden knew that she had a rail and a single time fault in hand to claim Bronze. The five point margin was cut by four for the second time of the day at the middle element of the triple combination. The team veteran used all her experience for the remainder of the round to leave the remaining rails in the cups and finish within the time allowed.

“Since the triple was my nemesis, I was happy it was over. I thought just settle down and breathe, and the horse was great,” said Madden of her Bronze medal-clinching ride on Orient Express HDC.

Madden was also extremely proud of Cortes ‘C’s performance throughout the week at the Championships that saw him jump four out of five clear rounds in the Team Championship and Individual Qualifiers, in addition to being the only horse to produce four clears on Sunday.

“I’m so, so proud of my horse. I’ve always thought he was a championship horse and I think he proved that today,” Madden said.

By Helen Murray

To learn more about the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, visit: http://www.normandy2014.com/2014-games/the-disciplines/1/jumping.

Follow the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team here.

Weber Claims Individual Silver, U.S. Driving Team Fourth at WEG

Chester Weber, Individual Silver Medalist (© Hippo Foto Team – Dirk Caremans)

Caen, France – On the final day of the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, the FEI World Team and Individual for Four-in-Hands Driving Championship started the cones phase bright and early at La Prairie Racecourse to determine the medalists on Sunday. Clean rounds were hard to come by over Richard Nicoll’s 20-obstacle cones course, with only nine of the 43 drivers adding no penalties to their scores following the marathon phase. Chester Weber had an excellent final day of competition, driving his team to a faultless round and clinching the Individual Silver medal. He and teammates Lisa Stroud and Misdee Wrigley Miller performed well in the Team Championship, finishing in fourth place on a score of 298.48.

Weber (Ocala, Fla.) drove a spectacular cones round with his and Jane Clark’s team of KWPN geldings, securing his third Individual Silver medal at an FEI World Championship (2008, 2012, 2014). Never looking in doubt of adding any penalties to his score, he finished on a score of 128.60. In the cones phase, Weber finished seventh with his clear round and a time of 188.72 seconds.

“I was really pleased; I couldn’t ask for more,” Weber shared. “I was able to put the pressure on on the last day, and that is what sport is all about. I couldn’t be more pleased with my horses, and my entire team. The suppliers, sponsors, everyone did a fantastic job, and I am just proud to be a part of it.”

Though he was very close to winning an Individual Gold medal, Weber was satisfied with the way he and his team performed, saying, “Some people call that the bridesmaid’s award, but I am really pleased with it. I am so pleased with the horses, and I wouldn’t trade them for any other group of horses here. I honestly think I have one of the best cones teams in the world. I will see you again in two years.”

Allison Stroud (West Grove, Pa.) didn’t quite have the day she was hoping for on Sunday, incurring 11.85 penalties in the cones phase. She and her team of Dutch Warmblood geldings, owned by Willow Star LLC and Koos de Ronde, knocked two balls early in the course and another at 13B, also receiving 2.85 time penalties. At the end of the day, she finished in 39th place in the cones phase and 28th place overall with a total score of 175.53.

“I’m a little disappointed. Cones is a hard phase for me; I have been spending so much time training in the first two [phases]. It’s hard to get all three phases in such a short time,” Stroud said since she has only been driving Four-in-Hand Horses since January.

“It is difficult for me to get the rhythm for that.”

Though she didn’t have the best performance, Stroud was very pleased with her horses, saying, “I love them, so anything they do is always good. They were wonderful.”

Misdee Wrigley Miller (Lakewood Ranch, Fla.) had a fantastic end to her FEI World Equestrian Games debut with her own team of Dutch Warmblood geldings. She tapped the ball off the cone at obstacle 9 and then had a bit too much break coming through the corner to obstacle 19 as she raced to the finish. Adding a handful of time to her penalties at the obstacles, she finished the cone phase in 29th place with 6.20 penalties. Overall, Wrigley Miller finished on a score of 194.58 for 37th place individually.

“The horses were really good. I’m so proud of my horses because, except for my left leader who is my good campaigner that I just bought a month ago, they are all so young,” Wrigley Miller said of her lineup of horses. “For the two leaders, this is the first time they have been in a competition together, so I think we have a really bright future as a team. I’m so thrilled.”

Wrigley Miller came in ready for the task set forth by the demanding track. She explained her plan, saying, “Find the line. The line was just crucial. There were no big tricks or anything. It was just looking ahead, finding the line, and finding that nice tempo. You can just feel it when you have the right speed. I found the lines, just a little too much brake.”

With an Individual Silver medal and a great team performance, the U.S. Driving Team had a notable performance at the 2014 Games, showing much promise for future World Championships.

“First of all, I’m thrilled with the Team. As most everybody knows, for our two women on the team, this is their first season with the Four-in-Hands,” Chef d’Equipe Ed Young said. “I couldn’t be happier. With the composition of the team, I am thrilled with their performance, and I’m thrilled for Chester and the Silver [medal].”

In the FEI World Team for Four-in-Hands Driving Championship, the Gold medal went to The Netherlands with a score of 263.19. Germany claimed the Team Silver medal on a score of 283.56 and Hungary received the Bronze medal with a score of 287.29. Boyd Exell of Australia was named the World Champion ending with an overall score of 125.83, while Theo Timmerman of The Netherlands earned the Individual Bronze medal on a score of 133.88.

By Kathleen Landwehr

To learn more about the FEI World Team and Individual for Four-in-Hands Driving Championship at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, visit: http://www.normandy2014.com/2014-games/the-disciplines/4/driving.

Follow the U.S. Driving Team here.

Dubbeldam Makes It Double-Dutch Gold

The Netherlands’ Jeroen Dubbeldam celebrates victory in the individual Jumping final after receiving the gold medal from IOC Member, Tsunekazu Takeda, Vice-President of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and Member of the FEI Olympic Council, and FEI President, HRH Princess Haya. (Dirk Caremans/FEI)

Normandy (FRA), 7 September 2014 – Jeroen Dubbeldam made it double-gold at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy today when adding the individual title to last Thursday’s team victory for The Netherlands. He made his way into this afternoon’s top-four Jumping final thanks to a horse that he admitted was inexperienced at this level of the sport and which clearly surprised him during the week. But the 10-year-old Dutch-bred Zenith lived up to his name when providing his 41-year-old rider with a title he has wanted for a very long time.

“I made a big mistake in the second round at Jerez (ESP) in 2002 with De Sjiem, and I’ve never forgiven myself for that – until now!” Dubbeldam said this evening, relishing his victory over Frenchman Patrice Delaveau, who took silver and America’s Beezie Madden who claimed the bronze. But Delaveau chased Dubbeldam right down to the wire, finishing only a single time fault behind.

For Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson it was a disappointing day as he missed out on the podium. Faulting with his own horse, Casall ASK, in the first rotation of horses he did it again with both Delaveau’s Orient Express and Dubbeldam’s Zenith. However, Madden’s bronze, following silver at Aachen (GER) in 2006, was hard-won when the 50-year-old New Yorker finished just two faults ahead of the Swede after also having a fence down with each of her opponents’ rides.

Eight-fence test

French course designer, Frederic Cottier, set them an eight-fence test that started out over a vertical, moved on to a 1.48m oxer and then to a 1.50m vertical before a right turn brought them back to an oxer standing 1.52m high. It was the following triple combination, an oxer to a double of verticals, that presented the biggest challenge of the day, and then there was a roll-back to a white oxer at fence six before running left-handed down to the final line. The penultimate vertical stood at 1.55m and the final oxer was 1.50m high and 1.60 wide. First into the ring, however, Dubbeldam threw down a perfect clear with his own horse that put it up to the rest of them.

Bengtsson looked vulnerable from the outset when hitting the middle element of the triple combination with his own stallion, Casall ASK, especially when both Madden and Delaveau followed with clears. And the Swedish rider’s chances took another blow when, partnering Dubbeldam’s Zenith, he repeated the mistake at exactly the same spot and also added two time faults.

Madden and Casall ASK left the final element of the combination on the floor and when the American rider faulted again at the combination with Zenith, it was already turning into a tussle for gold between the French and Dutch men.

Delaveau would live to regret the single time penalty he collected with Bengtsson’s stallion when Dubbeldam once again kept a clean sheet, this time with Madden’s Cortes C. The French rider piled the pressure on his Dutch opponent when bringing Zenith home without incident, but Dubbeldam never flinched, clinching it with a lovely clear from the 15-year-old Casall ASK, who looked like he might be tiring at the start of the day, but who seemed to warm to the novelty of new hands on the reins to finish fresh as a daisy.

Applause of the crowd

One of the memorable moments of these championships will be the sight of Casall ASK looking totally relaxed while Dubbeldam wandered around the arena to take the applause of the crowd. The French supporters really wanted their own man to win, but they didn’t hold back in celebrating with this new, true champion.

Delaveau was understandably disappointed that he couldn’t deliver the gold on home ground, and the 49-year-old rider, who won European bronze at Aachen in 1986 and team silver at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2010 in Kentucky, said: “That will stay in my head for a very long time. I wasted a bit of time on the approach to the second-last fence and then I added a stride to the last and took too long to get to the finish. I realised what I had done when it was too late,” he admitted.

Losing out by just a single time fault was a painful experience. “I was beaten by only a fraction of a second and that’s hard to swallow, but it was good for the horses that they didn’t have to jump off, and Jeroen really was the best today,” he said, sportingly paying tribute to the newly-crowned champion.

Skill

Course designer Frederic Cottier also complimented Dubbeldam for the skill he showed today. “I wanted this championship to be different to the last two at Aachen and Kentucky where it came down to a jump-off,” he said. “I wanted the competition to be more complex. I didn’t want a jump-off and I succeeded in that. The fact that all four horses jumped so well and that even the oldest one, who is 15, was still in great shape today is proof of the success of the courses during the week. And special congratulations to Jeroen, who was under such pressure today; he really is a tremendous champion!”

Dubbeldam admitted that he did indeed feel the tension. “Yes I must say the pressure was pretty high! My own horse put me under this pressure because he jumped a clear round with Patrice, but I must say in that round, with my horse in it, I was really happy he did a clear round, because this horse brought me so much this week and he really deserved to finish this tournament with a clear round. I’m very happy that his last round in this stadium was clear; I’m very proud of him.”

The man whose sparkling career really took off when he won individual gold at the FEI European Young Riders Championship at Millstreet in Ireland in 1994 with a horse called Killarney has since added individual Olympic gold at the 2000 Olympic Games at Sydney, Australia and team gold at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Aachen, Germany eight years ago. It has taken him some time to find a horse of the calibre of Zenith to take the place that he held in his heart for his Olympic ride De Sjiem.

Fund

“I saw him (Zenith) at a show in Germany for seven and eight-year-old horses,” he said. “I knew the fund in Holland was looking for a horse for me and he was already owned by a Dutch owner so that maybe he might be one for them to buy for me. I proposed it and tried the horse for two weeks. I felt he had a lot of quality and scope although he was quite green and there was a lot of work to do. But we don’t mind hard work and the horse now shows what I felt back then!” said the proud Dutchman.

Zenith is owned by the Dutch syndicate Springpaarden Fonds Nederlands, the brain-child of Dutch photographer Jacob Melissen, which purchases horses for the best Dutch riders. And 25 of Zenith’s 80 owners were in the stadium this afternoon watching their investment pay off handsomely as the horse helped bring in the gold. The syndicate, whose President is Gerrit-Jan Swinkels, also owned Utascha which competed at a previous FEI World Equestrian Games™, so the concept is clearly a very successful one.

Dubbeldam said he really enjoyed himself today. Riders only had three minutes in which to familiarise themselves with their rivals’ mounts, but they showed a lifetime of experience and wonderful horsemanship as the competition played itself out.

“With all three horses I had a fantastic feeling, totally different, but all felt they wanted to jump the fences clear. Three minutes isn’t long enough to change any horse, so what I did was try to find their strongest points and then bring those forward. Luckily I found the strong points of all three horses and they gave me wonderful clear rounds. I did enjoy it; I really felt three amazing horses under me; it’s great to be world champion but I also enjoyed riding such great horses! It’s been a great day!”

Full results and startlists at www.normandy2014.com.

Facts and Figures:

Jeroen Dubbeldam became the first Dutch rider ever to take the individual world championship title today.

Dubbeldam was the only one of the four contestants in the Final to complete on a zero score.

It was double-gold for the Dutchman, who was also a member of the gold medal winning team last Thursday.

Silver medal went to Patrice Delaveau from France who finished with just a single time fault.

Bronze went to America’s Beezie Madden, who collected 12 faults.

The course for today’s final consisted of 8 fences, and the bogey was the triple combination – one element of which hit the floor on five occasions.

The time-allowed was 64 seconds and silver medallist Patrice Delaveau was the only competitor to pick up a time fault.

Riders competed with their own horses first and then rode each other’s horses.

Just one horse produced clear rounds for all four riders – Beezie Madden’s Cortes C.

Quotes:

Jeroen Dubbeldam NED, talking about riding Beezie Madden’s horse Cortes C and Rolf-Goran Bengtsson’s Casall ASK: “I thought if you look at Beezie’s horse, he’s not so elastic, but when I sat on him he has so much more blood he surprised me! I was afraid Casall would be tired and empty; he’s a stallion and you need to motivate them. But when I felt the two jumps in the collecting ring, he was elastic; I felt more blood than I expected and he gave me a really good feeling.”

Jeroen Dubbeldam NED, talking about watching other riders jumping his horse, Zenith: “It was very interesting actually and I think he coped very well with them. With Rolf and Beezie he had the same fault, coming out of the triple combination, which is maybe a fault of not experienced enough horse. He’s very sensitive; he doesn’t like to have too much pressure on him and maybe after those two, Patrice saw that that was the right thing to do, so I think he rode him beautifully.”

Beezie Madden USA, talking about riding Casall ASK: “He felt a bit cold but he was beautiful to ride. I might have over-reacted when I saw him with Rolf. Patrice’s horse I loved. He really wants to do his job.”

Beezie Madden USA: “I’m so proud of my horse. I always knew he was a championship horse and he proved it here this week. (About battling for the bronze) When I started my final round I had a rail and a time fault in hand but once I had the rail in the triple down I was under a bit of pressure. But these were all lovely horses to ride and I had confidence I could be clear from there.”

By Louise Parkes

Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014

The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy (FRA) on 23 August – 7 September brings together close to 1,000 riders and 1,000 horses from 74 nations for 15 days of world-class competition in Jumping, Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining.

For more information, see: www.normandy2014.com.

History Hub

The FEI World Equestrian Games™ are held every four years in the middle of the Olympic and Paralympic cycle. They were first hosted in Stockholm (SWE) in 1990 and have since been staged in The Hague (NED) in 1994, Rome (ITA) in 1998, Jerez (ESP) in 2002, and Aachen (GER) in 2006. The first Games to be organised outside Europe were the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky (USA) 2010.

Visit the FEI History Hub here.

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
Grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
ruth.grundy@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 45

Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 Organising Committee:

Amélie Patrux
Press Officer
presse@normandie2014.com

Jeroen Dubbeldam Crowned New World Champion by Less Than 0.5 Seconds

Photo: ROLEX/Kit Houghton.

In sport, time is often the difference between victory and defeat, and in a display of supreme individual horsemanship, the Netherlands’ Jeroen Dubbeldam today sealed a growing reputation within the sport of Show Jumping by claiming the Individual World Champion title at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy by less than half a second, the equivalent of a horse’s stride.

Going into the Final Four competition at the Stade d’Ornano in Caen on the last day of the Games, Dubbeldam was undoubtedly favourite in many impartial observers’ eyes, but Patrice Delaveau had the majority of the 20,000 crowd behind him, and many asked whether this home advantage would power the Frenchman to the title.

Unique within the sport, the Final Four competition format places the emphasis on the rider’s ability to connect within a three minute time allowance, with a horse which they have never ridden before, and then attempt to go clear over the 10 obstacles, which included a treble. It became a competition of nail-biting intensity, and the atmosphere within the stadium buzzed incessantly. The crowd was magnificent, expectant before the riders entered the stadium, but complete quiet as soon as the riders started jumping, the silence broken only by a collective intake of breath when a pole was rattled, and a huge sigh of relief as it stayed up.

Each rider initially rode his/her own horse, with only Rolf-Göran Bengtsson knocking one pole down in the treble combination, and then the first change took place. Only Dubbeldam and Delaveau, riding Cortes ‘C’ and Orient Express HDC, respectively, went clear at this stage. But it was in the third stage of jumping that Dubbeldam was shown a possible route to the Gold Medal. Delaveau riding Casall ASK went clear but was agonisingly 0.43 seconds over the allocated time, and therefore accumulated a 1 point time fault. The spotlight returned to Dubbeldam, but the cool Dutchman, riding Cortes ‘C’ this time, held his nerve and rode his third clear round. With Beezie Madden and Rolf-Göran Bengtsson both accumulating further penalty points, and thereby effectively relegating themselves to 3rd and 4th place, the final stage would be a straight shoot-out between Delaveau and Dubbeldam.

Delaveau entered the ring first on Zenith SFN and rode superbly to go clear, and was immediately followed by Dubbeldam, riding Casall ASK. Knowing that only a clear round would win him the title, the unruffled Dutchman showed once again why he is one of the coolest customers on the circuit, with his fourth clear round winning him the individual World Championship title.

Following his victory, Jeroen Dubbeldam said, “I have had an incredible week; I was already very happy with my Team Gold Medal and I did not think I had a good chance for the Individual as I thought my horse would be too inexperienced to do it the whole week for me, but he did it; he brought me into this Top Four and I’m really, really proud of him.”

Final Result from the Individual Show Jumping Competition:

Gold Medal: Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED)
Silver Medal: Patrice Delaveau (FRA)
Bronze Medal: Beezie Madden (USA)

Rolex Testimonees at The Games

Whilst individual success may have eluded them, many of the Rolex Testimonees competing at the Games made major contributions as part of a team and came away with medals. Germany’s Isabell Werth won Team Gold in Dressage riding Bella Rose 2, Zara Phillips and High Kingdom had superb clear rounds in the Eventing’s cross-country and show jumping disciplines to help Great Britain win Team Silver in Eventing, and Kevin Staut riding Reveur de Hurtebise HDC, a Silver in Show Jumping with France.

Hugely Successful Games for France and the Sport

This has been the most successful World Equestrian Games ever staged, with the number of countries competing up by 25% compared with 2010 and television audiences peaking at over 500 million viewers, a sure sign that equestrian sport continues to grow at unprecedented levels on the global stage.

Rider Quotes:

Beezie Madden (USA):
I’m very happy to come out with a medal and I thought it was really exciting sport and the horses were lovely to ride, and I’m very happy that my horse was clear every time. I do get a little nervous riding strange horses; I like to work with a horse for a while, but these are all such nice horses and they are well schooled and they have had a good week and are confident going into today so it ended up being fun.

Patrice Delaveau (FRA):
I am a little disappointed about the result, especially as it was such a small margin, and that is hard to swallow, but it is good for the horses that we did not have to have a jump-off, and Jeroen really was the best rider out there today. I have the course very clearly in my head, and it will probably stay there for a while; on the penultimate fence I wasted a little bit of time, but on the final fence I took one extra stride and that is where I lost the time.

For more information on the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and full results, please visit www.normandy2014.com.

Rolex and the World Equestrian Games

Rolex’s association with the World Equestrian Games began in 2002 in Jerez, Spain and the brand is at the forefront of the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, which takes place between 23 August and 7 September in Caen, France where a record 74 nations intend to take part.

The exceptional bond between Rolex and the World Equestrian Games has no doubt been instrumental in attracting 12 new countries to make their debut this year; a glorious achievement in the development of the sport on a global scale. Across the 15 days, approximately 1,200 media will follow 1,000 competitors as they compete across eight official disciplines including the Olympic sports of Show Jumping, Dressage and Eventing in front of over 500,000 spectators.

Revolution Sports + Entertainment
team@revolutionsports.co.uk
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