Category Archives: Events

Orange the New Gold as Dutch Win Team Competition and Ticket to Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

Team Netherlands celebrates an incredible win. (FEI/Arnd Bronkhurst)

The Netherlands has turned the established order of international Para Dressage on its head by winning the team competition at the Adequan© Para Dressage at the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon (USA). In doing so, the Dutch team not only secured the first team spot, out of three, to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, it also knocked Great Britain off the top of the podium for the very first time at European, world, and Paralympic championship level.

“I feel like I just can’t believe it. It’s been a dream since I started this job six years ago after London 2012 and the gap with Great Britain was so big.” — Joyce Heuitink, Chef d’Equipe (Team Netherlands)

“But every year the gap seemed to be getting closer so we kept working hard and just worked on everything that we can. And then you happen to have four amazing riders that do four amazing tests. But we were so nervous and thought, ‘What if they beat us by just one percent?’”

The Dutch team – Grade II’s Nicole den Dulk, Grade III’s Rixt van der Horst, Grade IV’s Sanne Voets, and Grade V’s Frank Hosmar – clinched the championship with a total score of 223.597% after van der Horst, on Findsley, scored 73.559%, the first score of the day in her grade’s team test.

That initially left the door slightly open for Great Britain to catch up and would have needed scores of 73 plus from both Natasha Baker and Erin Orford to defend their title. Baker rode first and was the highest scorer in the grade, with a personal best 74.118% on Mount St John Diva Dannebrog. Orford, competing at her first global championships on Dior, then scored 69.029%. In the end the gap between the two countries was just 0.622 of a percentage point. Heuitink added: “We watched Erin [Orford, Great Britain’s final rider] and said we would not be noisy.

“We gave her good applause and waited to be sure it was on the scoreboard that we were ahead and then her score came up and it was true. My team manager went straight to the general store to get champagne. I’ve been full of tears for the last two days and I’m afraid I will break into tears when I stand on the podium.”

With the top two spots decided in the first session of the day, the afternoon’s grade I contest turned into a battle royal between Germany and Denmark for bronze, and the final qualifying spot for Tokyo.

Denmark’s Line Munk Madsen was up first, on Hoennerups Beebob, and scored 73.179%, leaving Germany’s individual bronze medal winning Elke Philipp a target of 73.208%. Riding Fuerst Sinclair, Philipp scored 74.375 and Germany was on the way to Tokyo by just 0.150 of a percentage point.

By winning the competition, Hosmar and den Dulk picked up their first ever world gold medals. Speaking after the ceremony, Hosmar said: “It’s really nice. We worked hard for it and finally we beat the British. Every year we were closer and closer and closer and then, today, we beat them. Yeah! We have freestyle tomorrow so we won’t celebrate too much tonight, but tomorrow night I think we will.”

“First gold – that’s amazing,” added den Dulk. “We really rode as a team and there are no words for it yet. Riding here is such a big deal and being here as a team and actually doing it, that’s something else – wanting it and doing it. We’re all ecstatic.

“We rode our hearts out and the judges saw that today and yesterday – happy horses and happy athletes.”

Click here for full results.

Media contact:

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

Tears of Triumph as USA Wins Bank of America Team Jumping Title on Home Turf

McLain Ward and Clinta. (FEI/Martin Dokoupil)

Team USA won the Bank of America Team Jumping Championship at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 in Tryon, USA, but they were chased all the way to the line by a brilliant Swedish side that took silver, while Germany claimed the bronze. It was an epic battle on this final day of the team event, and nothing came easy.

“It was unbelievable! First off, the odds were miniscule that there would be a jump-off for first place… it wasn’t what we were looking for, but the sport doesn’t get any better than this!” — Robert Ridland (Team USA Chef d’Equipe)

Out in front as the action began, the Swiss lost their grip when Werner Muff’s 13-fault round with Daimler was followed by elimination for Janika Sprunger when Bacardi VDL crashed through the first fence and then refused to tackle the second on the 14-obstacle course. With six Olympic qualifying places also up for grabs all eyes were also on the minor placings, and in the end the Swiss booked their ticket to Tokyo 2020 when finishing fourth ahead of The Netherlands in fifth and the astonishing Australians who pipped the reigning European champions from Ireland for that coveted sixth spot.

It was a roller-coaster ride from start to finish, and the Swedes, lying fourth as the action began, piled on the pressure when adding nothing to their previous day’s scoreline of 20.59 when Henrik von Eckermann (Toveks Mary Lou), Malin Baryard-Johnsson (H&M Indiana), and Fredrik Jonsson (Cold Play) posted three brilliant clears. This was enough to overtake the Germans whose total rose to 22.09 despite foot-perfect runs from Simone Blue (DSP Alice) and Marcus Ehning (Pret a Tout), four faults from Laura Klaphake (Catch Me If You Can) having to be taken into account when Maurice Tebbel (Don Diarado) picked up five.

And although American hopes were high, the result was hanging in the balance right to the very end. Devin Ryan opened the host nation account with a single mistake at the second-last fence and when Adrienne Sternlicht and Cristalline picked up five then the Swedes were out in front. But Laura Kraut rode to the rescue as only she can, steering Zeremonie home with a clean sheet to a great roar from the crowd. If McLain Ward could follow that with another clear the job was done and the gold would be in American hands. But the Olympic double-gold medallist faulted at fence seven and suddenly everything changed once again. The USA and Sweden were tied on 20.59 penalties and it would take a jump-off to separate them.

“McLain made us all work a little harder – he could have made it a whole lot easier!” joked his team manager.

But in the end, it was Ward who won it for them too, with a scorching last-to-go run with the grey mare Clinta. Both teams produced three clear rounds against the clock but Ward’s gallop through the timers saw USA post an accumulated time of 100.67 while the Swedes were two seconds slower.

Youngest team member Adrienne Sternlicht (25) was overcome with emotion at the post-competition press conference, and she wasn’t the only one to shed a tear.

“My best friends and family are here and I’m just thinking – what just happened?! You really don’t want to be woken up from this dream!” — Adrienne Sternlicht (Team USA)

“I love my horse so much. McLain has been the most unbelievable mentor for me, such an important part of my life; for me it’s been a battle of overcoming my own mind and I’m so grateful that Robert trusted me and trusted McLain enough to put me on this team and to be with Laura and Devin and McLain, three riders I’ve honestly looked up to my entire life. I’m so grateful for this opportunity – it’s been a wonderful day!” she said.

Results here.

Media contact:

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

Swiss Stay on Top, but USA Stalking Closely Going into Jumping Team Medal-Decider

McLain Ward and Clinta. (FEI/Martin Dokoupil)

The Swiss held on to the lead in the Bank of America Team Jumping Championship at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 in Tryon, USA but the hosts have moved up from overnight fourth into second spot ahead of the medal-decider in which the top 10 nations will compete.

And they are dangerously close, stalking the leaders by less than a single penalty point and leaving them with absolutely no room for error. Germany is in third ahead of Sweden, The Netherlands, and Ireland, while France, Australia, Great Britain, and Canada have also made the cut.

And the individual placings got a big shake-up, with overnight leader, Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, dropping to eighth following a single mistake, while Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca rocketed all the way up from ninth to pole position when producing one of just five clears over another masterful track designed by Ireland’s Alan Wade. America’s McLain Ward is now in second, with individual European champion Peder Fredricson from Sweden in third, Germany’s Simone Blum in fourth, and Ireland’s Cian O’Connor in fifth place.

The Swiss looked vulnerable when pathfinder Werner Muff (Daimler) left three fences on the floor, but Janika Sprunger pulled it back when collecting just a single time penalty with Bacardi VDL. Martin Fuchs and Clooney hit the second element of the penultimate double which proved one of the trickiest places on the 14-fence track, and when Guerdat’s mare, Bianca, lowered the oxer at fence nine then Andy Kistler’s side added nine to their first-day tally but still maintained the advantage, albeit a very narrow one.

Devin Ryan kicked off the US effort with a pole down from Eddie Blue, but both Adrienne Sternlicht (Cristalline) and anchorman McLain Ward (Clinta) picked up just a single time fault so Laura Kraut’s double-error with Zeremonie could be discarded.

“I woke up this morning and had some kind of epiphany that I needed to relax, and I think that translated into my ride! It’s a really difficult course… there’s fences falling everywhere and they are massive, so I really thought about taking each fence at a time and I think that’s where my time fault came. I was more focused on jumping a clear round because that’s what our team needed.” — Adrienne Sternlicht (USA)

Germany’s Blum and DSP Alice produced the first clear of the day to set her side on the road to a rapid recovery from eighth place after the opening competition. and when team-mate Laura Klaphake followed that with a lovely clear over the poles and just one time fault things were looking very good indeed. But Klaphake wasn’t getting over-confident with two of her team-mates still to go.

“We’ve had two good rounds but sport is so hard, from one second to the other it can change, like yesterday until the fault (where her horse stopped) I had an amazing round, so we cross our fingers!” she said wisely. Maurice Tebbel and Don Diarado returned a nine-fault scoreline and then Marcus Ehning and Pret a Tout added eight more, but their final tally left them on 18.09, so less than two fences behind the Swiss at the head of affairs.

Meanwhile, the Italians crashed out, when, already reduced to a three-man side, Luca Marziani’s stallion Tokyo du Soleil decided he wouldn’t jump the wall at fence three and the pair was eliminated. However, de Luca, who competes in the uniform of the Italian air force, was determined to soldier on even though he’s only been riding the 10-year-old grey mare, Irenice Horta, since June of this year.

The man who competes for Stephan Conter’s Stephex Stables in Belgium said:

“Zoe Conter rode her before, but unluckily Zoe had an accident in Rome, she fell off, so they decided to give me the horse and this is our fifth show together! The Nations Cup in Aachen was our first big class and then we did the Nations Cup and Grand Prix in Dublin where she finished third. That was really tough but it was the same course designer, so I had a feeling I could do it here!” — Lorenzo de Luca (ITA)

The top 65 athletes go into the final competition including individuals and the 10 qualified teams who will all compete in reverse order of merit. And the Australians are still in there, lying eighth and flying their flag with honour and pride. Their performances have been exemplary, but they have sprung a really big surprise, apparently outsiders but really rising to this world championship challenge. As Irish Chef d’Equipe Rodrigo Pessoa commented, “They’re doing great – and that’s the beauty of our sport!”

Results here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

How to Buy Horses at Sport Horses Auction at Baborówko Horse Sale Show

The third edition of Sport Horses Auction will be held from 28th to 30th of September in Baborówko, Poland. There are 17 horses with predispositions for eventing and show jumping within the collection of Baborówko Horse Sale Show. Here is some of the most important information for those who are interested in Polish sport horses and want to take part in the bidding.

Before the start of Sport Horses Auction and bidding on Saturday evening, the buyers can check horses profiles at the online collection (http://bit.ly/Collection_BHSS2018), as well as at the event.

Before the auction:

  • possibility to look into professional veterinary examinations, including general clinical examinations with endoscopy and 14 RTG photos
  • possibility for consultation with veterinarians from Equi Vet Service Clinic, who will be available in the Show Office from Thursday
  • possibility for test rides on Thursday from (12:00PM to 6:00PM) and Friday (from 9:00AM to 6:00PM), after prior arrangement
  • official presentation of the horses before the auction at the main Hippodrome on Saturday at 4:00PM

The rules:

  • lack of bid bond
  • open character of the auction, without having to register beforehand
  • the auction will be held in PLN in the net amount, and the minimum increment is 500PLN; for selected horses an 8% VAT will be added, which will be announced by the auctioneer

After the auction:

  • obligatory signing of the sales agreement no longer than 10 minutes after the winning bid
  • three days to pay the total price
  • pickup of the horse possible only after paying the full price
  • possibility to pay the full price in EUR, enlarged by a handling charge of 1% of the full price
  • we offer the possibility of insuring the horse and to help with transport

Schedule of Sport Horses Auction at Baborówko Horse Sale Show:

Thursday – Friday, 27-28.09.2018:

Thursday 12.00 – 18.00 – test rides
Friday 9.00 – 18.00 – test rides

Saturday, 29.09.2018:

15.00 – horse presentation on Arena A
20.30 – bidding

More information on:
http://bhss.baborowko.pl/eng/

Super Swiss Head the Leaderboard Going into Day 2 of Bank of America Jumping Championship

Steve Guerdat and Bianca. (FEI/Martin Dokoupil)

A brilliant round from Steve Guerdat (36) and the fiery mare Bianca put the 2012 Olympic champion and Team Switzerland into pole position as the Bank of America Jumping Championship got underway at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 in Tryon, USA. A colourful, testing but honest 14-fence track built by Irishman Alan Wade created spectacular sport for spectators and the 124 horse-and-rider combinations from 49 nations.

The defending world champions from The Netherlands jumped into second ahead of Brazil in third and USA in fourth. But the biggest story of the day was the stunning performance of the Australians who slotted into fifth and whose final rider, Rowan Willis (38), is lying individually third behind Brazil’s Pedro Veniss (35) in silver medal position and Guerdat at the top of the leaderboard.

France, Sweden, Germany, Colombia, and Ireland fill the remaining top-10 team places in the field of 25 nations.

Guerdat was second-last to go and raced into the lead in the individual rankings when clear in 76.33.

“It was a long day waiting; we walked the course before 9am and it was nine hours later when I got on my horse, but I was kind of confident because the course walked well. The fastest horses were not leading so I thought if I stick to my plan, I had a good chance to be in the top three today, so I actually really enjoyed my round and I can’t ask for much more!” — Steve Guerdat (SUI)

Veniss and his fabulous stallion Quabri de l’Isle were poetry in motion, their tight turn to the third-last fence ensuring they were really competitive against the clock as they cruised through the finish in 76.68 seconds. And Willis and his chestnut mare Blue Movie were only 0.27 seconds slower through the timers.

“She just tries so hard for me. I don’t worry about trying to go fast because she’s naturally fast, so I just have to keep my rhythm and make sure I don’t make a mistake. It was a nice day. All four of us have just got off to a brilliant start and that’s really encouraging.”

“Obviously it’s not easy for our team because half of us are based in Australia so it’s a long way to go to any shows, but those boys (Jamie Kermond and Billy Raymont) have had a good summer in Europe and Scott (Keach) and I have had a good summer over here (in North America) and it’s just brilliant that we all had a good day today. This is something I’ve dreamed of. It’s the first time I’ve represented Australia since I was about 18 at an invitational in Hong Kong!” — Rowan Willis (AUS)

The British-based rider who hails from Armidale in New South Wales made a big impression when finishing 11th in the Grand Prix at the Masters in Spruce Meadows (CAN) earlier this month.

Swiss supremacy was underpinned by great rounds from Martin Fuchs (26), who lies individually fifth behind Germany’s Marcus Ehning, and Janika Sprunger (31) who is in 16th place with Bacardi VDL. “The course suited Clooney really well. I knew I could do it and I’m glad it worked out so well. Werner (Muff) had two down so the pressure is on Steve now, but we all know that he handles pressure better than anyone else!” Fuchs said before Guerdat proved that this is absolutely true.

Sprunger was Swiss pathfinder. “I had to concentrate to open this well for my team and give confidence to myself and the rest of the others, and I know that Bacardi and I are not the fastest combination, so we just try to go as quickly as possible. Maybe a half-second or one second faster was possible but I’m very happy with the end result. I said I wanted to be on 80 seconds and we almost did it!” she said after stopping the clock on 80.26 seconds.

With only a fence separating the top three countries and less than two separating the top 10, it’s all to play for again when the action resumes with Team Belgium first into the ring ahead of Ireland, Japan, Portugal, New Zealand, Canada, Chile, Germany, USA, and Mexico. Egypt will be next to go and then Venezuela, Sweden, Netherlands, France, Hungary, Australia, Brazil, and Great Britain will take their turn. Team Colombia has been drawn ahead of the Swiss and they will be followed by Argentina, Spain, and Italy so the last team into the arena will be Israel.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

US Para-Driving Team Successful at FEI World Single and Para Driving Championships

Tracy Bowman (in the Marathon Course). Photo by Marie de Ronde-Oudemans, Hoefnet’s Krisztina Horvath, and Daphne White.

Kronenberg, The Netherlands – September 17, 2018 – Over six days the 2018 FEI World Driving and Para-Driving Championships for singles took place at Grandorse in Kronenberg, The Netherlands. U.S. Para-Driving Team included Driver and horse combinations Tracy Bowman and Taylormore Laurabelle in Grade 1, Bob Giles and First Lady in Grade 2, and Diane Kastama and horse Oosterwijk’s Kasper in Grade 1, with Coach Sara Schmitt and Chef d’Equipe Marcie Quist. Drivers contested the dressage, marathon, and cones courses, over the August 28 – September 2, 2018, week. The Singles and Para-driving championships were held simultaneously for the first time in the history of this equestrian sport. The top international drivers competed for the coveted title in their category: World Champion. U.S. Para-Drivers had a successful showing earning fourth in the Team competition.

“We would like to thank world class four-in-hand driver Koos De Ronde and his wife, FEI Combined Driving judge Marie De Ronde, in Zwartewaal, Netherlands for hosting the para-driving training camp at their home farm Stal De Ronde. We would also like to thank the navigators including Diane Kastama’s navigator Lila Hewitt, Tracy Bowman’s navigator Jolie Wentworth, and Bob Giles’ navigator Barbra Hewitt and everyone who so generously offered their support.  We would especially like to thank team coach Sara Schmitt, our Chef d’Equipe, Marcia Quist, Danielle d’Aamodt Single’s Chef and Thorsten Zarembowicz Singles Coach.”

Following the Championships, Para-drivers headed back to the United States where they will be cheering on the U.S. Equestrian Teams at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, NC and heir Dutch host and hostess Koos and Marie de Ronde who will be competing in the four-in-hand driving at the World Equestrian Games.

Results can be found on Hoefnet at: https://www.hoefnet.nl/en/kalender-uitslagen-startlijsten/wk-enkelspannen-wk-paramennen-horst/.

For more information about USA Para-Driving, please visit United States Driving for the Disabled at http://usdfd.org.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Luke Norman

Media contact:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here for full results.

By Simona Diale

Media contact:

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

Helgstrand Dressage Freestyle Cancelled

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

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

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

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

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

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

A separate notification will be sent to ticket holders.

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

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

Media contact:

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

Stars from across the Globe Fly the Flag at World Equestrian Games Opening Ceremony

Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Tryon, NC USA – September 11, 2018 – The FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 were officially opened with a stylish two-hour ceremony at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) on Tuesday, September 11, 2018.

Some of equestrian sport’s most famous names took a central role for their countries during the traditional parade of flags that highlighted proceedings at a packed Tryon Stadium before a crowd of athletes, grooms, National Federation staff, and spectators. Rising country musician Joe Lasher opened for Grammy-nominated artist Hunter Hayes, while athlete representatives were welcomed into Tryon Stadium to officially commence the start of competition.

Carrying the American flag was dressage sensation Laura Graves, who said, “Tonight is really special for me. It is September 11, so getting the chance to raise this flag was very emotional.

“I am looking forward to a really great next few days of competition. It is going to be exciting for us in Dressage and it looks like all the horses have a terrific venue and great facilities. We are ready to get going,” she continued.

Triple Olympic Team Eventing Gold medalist Andrew Hoy had the honor for Australia and he said, “Last time I rode in a World Eventing Championship in America it was in 1978, so it is absolutely wonderful to be back.

“It is a great honor to be a flag-bearer for my country. I’m looking forward to getting out there and the competition starting.”

Dressage rider Julio Mendoza, who represents Ecuador, but lives relatively locally to the venue, added, “I’m really excited to be here in Tryon. This is my first FEI World Equestrian Games and I am beyond happy to be here representing my country and to have such a great opportunity. To be in the same ring with such amazing athletes and great horses is so exciting and I can’t wait for the competition to get started,” he concluded.

Eventing icon Ingrid Klimke (GER), a winner of numerous major championship medals, did the honors for Germany and she commented, “I am really happy to be here with my horse. We are ready for the next adventure. We have a wonderful venue and I am very proud to be here and be a part of it all.”

China’s Alex Hua Tian is also set to be among the field when Eventing gets under way on Thursday.

“I am here in the U.S. for the first time ever, competing in my second FEI World Equestrian Games. It’s the largest equestrian festival in the world, so to fly the flag for China for the first time ever in Eventing is a wonderful thing.”

Meydan Endurance Set to Launch Competition

Meydan Endurance will have the honor of launching the eighth FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG) on Wednesday, September 12. Eight different equestrian disciplines governed by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) will be showcased throughout the duration of the two-week event, which will conclude on Sunday, September 23.

The discipline of Endurance takes center stage from before sunrise, beginning at 6:30 a.m. EST, when competitors tackle a course of 100 miles (160 kilometers) that will traverse through the states of both North and South Carolina.

More than 100 athletes from 40 countries will head into the countryside with the winner expected to return home and across the finish line later in the evening.

The long-distance competition, viewed as the ultimate test of the partnership between horse and rider, is against the clock and tests speed and stamina of both horse and rider, challenging each combination to ensure an effective use of pace and navigational skills of undulating terrains. Mandatory veterinary inspections are required following each course loop, where horses are cooled, their heart rates monitored, and jogged for soundness in order to further continue. Rest periods are also a key aspect of the competition, ensuring horse and rider welfare throughout the 100-mile test.

The Tryon 2018 track will feature the region’s natural and spectacular terrain, starting and finishing on the main TIEC property.

The horse inspection took place on Tuesday afternoon, with a bumper nominated entry list being highlighted by defending champion HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum from the UAE, who won the world title in Normandy four years ago.

A strong finish is also expected of Spain’s Jaume Punti Dachs, who starred when his country won 2010 Team Endurance Gold and is aiming for a top finish in this year’s competition.

Host Nation Aiming to Rein In Their Rivals

It should come as no surprise whatsoever that the United States remains Johnson Controls Reining’s dominant force.  Other countries have barely had a look-in since the WEG first welcomed the discipline of Reining during the early 1990s. The United States has won a remarkable seven titles, with only Canada breaking that sequence 12 years ago.

Reining originates from the working movements of horses and riders when herding cattle and is a judged event designed to show the athletic ability of ranch-type horses in an arena setting.

With large fast circles, flying lead changes, 360-degree spins and sliding stops all required within individual performances, Reining is a truly thrilling spectacle. It is also the only western discipline showcased at WEG.

There is also considerable crowd involvement, with the audience clapping and cheering loudly at every turn as competitors go through their paces. Team USA newcomer Cade McCutcheon, a first time WEG competitor, comes from a long lineage of top Reining competitors, and will take center stage at the international event.

Dark Horses Face Each Other in First Day of Helgstrand Dressage Competition

Dressage is predictable, people say, but it won’t be at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018.

Horses from 31 countries were declared fit to compete on Tuesday following their jog inspection. Discipline competition opens with the Grand Prix over two days and deciding the medals for teams, to be handed out on Thursday. The top 30 move on to the Grand Prix Special on Friday with the top 15 showing their Grand Prix Freestyle to music on “Super Sunday” on September 16, concluding the first week of WEG.

Isabell Werth from Germany might add more gold to the already incredible seven WEG medals she already holds. Werth stunned insiders by her decision not to bring her top horse Weihegold OLD, instead opting to bring her favorite mount, Bella Rose, who has recently returned from a long-term illness.

One of Werth’s strongest contenders will be one of her own teammates. The scores for Sönke Rothenberger and Cosmo have been rising since they were members of the winning 2017 European Championship team for Germany.

The United States’ has hopes set on Laura Graves and her ride Verdades, breathing down the current necks of both Werth and Rothenberger since the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where they finished fourth, followed by a second-place finish at the FEI World Cup™ Finals in early 2018.

Adding to this roster of elite riders, the defending champion from the WEG in Normandy, France, as Charlotte Dujardin and her new partner, Mount St John Freestyle will represent Great Britain. The mare is only nine and the “dark horse” of the competition. “I’m not sure what to expect, but she’s felt brilliant this far and taken everything on board, so we’ll see what the next few days bring,” Dujardin said confidently.

Team Germany won their 11th World Championship Gold medal in Normandy 2014 and brings a strong squad to Tryon, to complete the dozen. Fourteen other teams will attempt to prevent that, with the USA, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Sweden set to be the most optimistic for a medal.

For more information on the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, please visit www.Tryon2018.com.