Universal Sports, NBC Sports and UniversalSports.com to cover more than 80 hours of 2010 World Equestrian Games
September 22, 2010: Universal Sports and NBC Sports are teaming up to provide fans with the most extensive live television coverage of equestrian sports in U.S. history. NBC Sports will air 8 ½ hours of LIVE coverage on three consecutive weekends, beginning this Saturday at 12 Noon ET. Universal Sports will show more than 15 hours LIVE, including the majority of the show jumping competition. Universal Sports will also air taped broadcasts of the Reining Final, the Dressage Freestyle, the Driving competition and the Vaulting Final. The joint effort will include more than 30 hours of live and taped television coverage of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, KY. This total amount of U.S. television coverage is unprecedented for equestrian sports in this country.
This prestigious international event is being held at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington from September 25 to October 10. Lexington-area cable operator Insight Communications will offer the Universal Sports network to its subscribers on a trial basis beginning on September 24, allowing local horse enthusiasts to watch the action from start to finish.
22 September 2010 – History will be made when the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games opens on Saturday 25 September in the Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, one of the world’s most evocative permanent equestrian centres located in the heart of the USA’s famed ‘Blue Grass Horse Country’.
It is the sixth occasion that the competitive disciplines have come together to take part in the world’s greatest equestrian extravaganza, but the first time that the Games have been held outside Europe and the first time they have had a title sponsor – the animal nutrition company Alltech.
When the nominated entries were received last month, over 900 athletes and 1,300 horses were listed, and while this number will reduce as selections are finalised over the next few days the scale of the event is enormous.
Shelly Temple and her 12 year old Morgan gelding LR Ami B-Line (“Cooper”) won the USEF Single Pony Champion in combined driving for the second time in four years. Held this year at the Laurels of Landhope in Kennett Square, PA, the first day of competition began with dressage. Shelly and Cooper held a comfortable lead with a score after dressage of 43.73. Shelly remarked that “Cooper was responsive and willing throughout the day.” Day two consisted of the cross country marathon with an overall distance of 16 kilometers. Shelly and navigator/husband Fran Doto drove a solid marathon to maintain their lead into day three, the cones competition. The cones competition saw Temple maintain her overall lead to follow up her 2009 reserve champion in the single pony championships.
“Cooper felt on top of his game the entire competition. He was fit and willing. We appreciate the support of our sponsors like including Charles Owens, Kombat Boots, Kentucky Equine Research, and Sheetz. Their products and services allow us to compete at a high level.”
Ocala, FL (September 16, 2010) – Chester Weber, the United States’ reigning National Four-In-Hand Combined Driver, turned up the intrigue on the exciting and challenging world of Combined Driving when he was interviewed on the radio show “Horsetalk With Heather” on September 14. Weber is part of the United States Combined Driving team that will compete at the upcoming 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky.
Radio show host Heather described Weber as a “Combined Driving legend and King of the Chariot,” while interviewing the Four-In-Hand Champion. Weber did his part to uphold that status earlier in the year when broke his own record by becoming the first driver to win the National Championship eight years in a row. With the goal of winning the National Championships behind him, Weber is now preparing for the wild ride of competing at the World Equestrian Games.
While on the radio show, Weber described Combined Driving as a “Ben Hur-like” ride, and not only described the work involved in preparing seven horses for competition but also talked through the three different phases in the competition, dressage, the marathon and cones, and the equipment needed for each phase.
9 September 2010 – The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the governing body of horse sport, is to unveil an innovative photographic celebration of equestrianism entitled Inspire at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, USA.
Inspire brings together 16 images of inspirational equestrian legends and young talents who represent all the equestrian disciplines on the programme of the FEI’s four-yearly flagship event. Athletes from Jumping, Dressage, Para-Equestrian Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining are shown in surprising and eloquent contexts, many of which incorporate subtle or playful references to their disciplines. Most of the images unite two people in rural or urban backdrops and highlight the bond of admiration and inspiration between them.
The origins of the athletes are diverse and serve as a reminder of the geographical spread of the 133 National Federations affiliated to the FEI.
Phoenix, AZ (September 14, 2010) – The Arizona Mini Mystique, an American Miniature Horse precision driving drill team, will bring their team of small equines to the biggest equestrian event in the country when they perform at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky. The Mini Mystique will perform daily, October 3-10, as part of the WEG Showcase Entertainment in the Equine Village at the Kentucky Horse Park.
“Appearing at the World Equestrian Games is a huge honor for The Arizona Mini Mystique and we are so proud to have them representing the American Miniature Horse Registry at the biggest horse event our country has ever seen,” said Johnny Robb, Director of Marketing for the American Miniature Horse Registry (AMHR). “The Arizona Mini Mystique have been wonderful ambassadors for the AMHR for many years. They have taken part in other big events including the 2007, 2008 and 2010 Rose Parades, the Stampede in July 2009, and the Del Mar National Horse Show.”
7 September – German drivers dominated the 2010 FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships for Singles at Breda, The Netherlands. Heiner Lehrter and Josef Sauerwald took individual gold and silver respectively and they joined up with Hubert Markett to also secure team gold.
At the previous World Championship in Greven two years ago, the Germans were beaten on their home soil by the Dutch. This time around however the tables were turned as the Germans were strongest on Dutch territory. The host nation took team silver, Great Britain won the bronze and defending double gold-medallist, Jacques Poppen from The Netherlands, earned individual bronze.
It was the first time the FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships took place at a regular international driving event, and this new formula turned out to be a great success. The atmosphere was wonderful and all competitors enjoyed the superb competition site at The Prinsenhoeve Estate in Breda. Every year this versatile venue hosts the only Nations Cup in Four-In-Hand Driving in The Netherlands, as well as an international driving competition for pony teams, an international eventing competition and the Dutch eventing Championships and national jumping and dressage competitions. The FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships was perfectly integrated into the Driving programme. Due of the limited number of competitors – 15 entries from 4 nations – it was decided to create one class including Grade 1 and Grade 2 drivers. Grade 2 drivers have greater functional ability than their Grade 1 counterparts.
6 September 2010 – Hungary’s Zoltan Lázar scored his first-ever international four-in-hand victory at a CAIO when winning at Breda, the Netherlands, ahead of Werner Ulrich (SWI) and the best Dutch driver at this prestigious competition, Mark Weusthof, but the Dutch team once again proved invincible, staying well ahead of Switzerland and Sweden throughout the Nations Cup competition.
Twenty-eight drivers from 10 nations started at the beautiful Prinsenhoeve Estate in Breda, an outstanding venue which boasts the only Dutch Nations Cup competition in the history of Dutch driving. Breda has also been host to a number of other equestrian events this year, such as the FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships, Pony Driving Championships, international and national Eventing competitions as well as national Jumping and Dressage fixtures.
Other vehicles and equipment
Breda was the last outing for the top drivers before the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. The carriages and other equipment of the Dutch, German and Swiss teams have already been shipped to Kentucky and most of the drivers therefore started with borrowed vehicles and harnesses. Drivers like Koos de Ronde and Theo Timmerman from the Netherlands competed with different horses in Breda to save their best horses for Kentucky.
Ocala, FL (August 30, 2010) – Jamaica, Chester Weber’s award-winning combined driving horse who was rescued from a slaughterhouse in Belgium, captured the nation’s attention when he won the most prestigious horse title in the country and became the USEF Farnam Platform Horse of the Year. Now, Jamaica’s rags to riches story is being told in the book Beloved Horses in Second Careers (Infinity Publishing) which will be released in September.
Written by Sharon Miner, the book focuses on horses who started their career in one discipline and then went on to have rewarding second careers. Jamaica’s “second career” turned out to be an amazing one, as he famously became part of Weber’s record-breaking international Four-In-Hand Combined Driving team. Jamaica, now 19, was a member of seven of Weber’s National Four-In-Hand Combined Driving National Championship teams.
Caledonia, IL (August 13, 2010) – USEF National Four-In-Hand Champion Chester Weber is a strong proponent of wearing helmets, and during the recent Iron Horse CDE he and his team not only wore their Charles Owen helmets, but Weber stepped into the spotlight as a presenter during the silent auction. Weber presented Mary Sheerin, of Lexington, Kentucky, with a certificate for a Charles Owen helmet after Sheerin won the bid for the helmet during a silent auction to benefit Habitat for Humanity.
During the Iron Horse CDE, in which Weber won the Four-In-Hand division, Weber joined forces with two of his sponsors, Charles Owen and SUCCEED, to auction off a Charles Owen helmet certificate during the competitor’s party silent auction. Weber is encouraging all drivers to wear helmets in a Drivers4Helmets campaign, a spin on SUCCEED’s Riders4Helmets campaign.