October 5, 2010 – Lexington, KY – Great Britain, the team expected to win the gold medal at the Para Dressage World Championships, has taken the lead halfway through the team competition. Germany stands second, with the Netherlands third and Denmark fourth.
The 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games mark the first time that para dressage has been part of the World Games.
“[The British team hasn’t] lost a gold medal at a major championship since the sport started, so there is a lot pressure,” said Sophie Christiansen of the British team, whose score of 69.41 percent in grade Ia team test on Rivaldo Of Berkeley aided the British effort. “I went to [the 2004 Athens Paralympics] at 16, so I know how to deal with the pressure. We have so much support, and that gives us Brits the upper hand.”
October 7, 2010 – Lexington, Ky., – The battle has begun for the Individual and Team medals in the Four-In-Hand Driving World Championships, held as part of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, and tied for the top spot are two of the sport’s biggest names.
IJsbrand Chardon of The Netherlands was the second driver in the arena for the opening Dressage phase, and he turned in a spectacular performance to score a 35.97.
In the next to last position was Chester Weber, driving for the United States, and he turned in the identical score to stand tied with Chardon for first place.
Neither Chardon nor Weber is a stranger to this top level of competition. Chardon, a legend in the sport of Driving, has been Dutch National Champion twenty-one times and has won medals in four World Equestrian Games, including Team and Individual Gold. Weber has won eight consecutive U.S. National Championships and has a Team Silver Medal from the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.
October 7, 2010 – Lexington, KY – Great Britain continued its historical domination of the Para Dressage World Championships by taking the team gold, and sweeping all three individual medals in the Grade Ia division, as well as the individual gold and silver in grade Ib. These medals follow yesterday’s gold-medal performance by Sophie Wells, bringing to seven the total British medal count in para dressage at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
Leading the British charge was Sophie Christiansen, 22, who took individual gold in the grade Ia test with a score of 76.100 percent and provided a crucial score for her team. Christiansen was overcome when her score was announced.
“My trainer decided I should ride for longer today. I normally ride for 15 minutes, and today I rode for 30 minutes,” she said. “I’m so happy with him because he just took care of me. That score is the highest I’ve ever gotten in the individual test. The feeling afterward is so wonderful. I was so nervous this morning!”
UNBEATABLE BRITS TAKE TEAM GOLD ONCE AGAIN AS CHRISTIANSEN, VAN DE SANDE AND PEARSON CLAIM INDIVIDUAL TITLES by Louise Parkes
Lexington, 7 October – The British were in stunning form in the Para Dressage Championship at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, USA, when winning the team title, taking a clean sweep of the medals in the Grade 1a Individual, and gold and silver in Grade 1b. It was The Netherlands Petra Van de Sande who put a stop to their gallop when winning Grade 2 ahead of Germany’s Britta Napel, while Denmark’s Caroline Cecilie Nielsen took bronze.
Britain’s Para Dressage record is outstanding – they have never been beaten in the battle for the World title since taking team gold on their home turf in Hartpury in 1991. But their shining star, the formidable Lee Pearson who predictably also took the Grade 1b gold in convincing fashion today, said tonight that the standard of the sport is improving rapidly and that he and his team-mates no longer have the advantage they have grown accustomed to – the margins are getting tighter all the time.
WIEGELE AND LOOSER HEAD VAULTING RANKINGS AFTER FREESTYLE by Louise Parkes
Lexington, 7 October – The Alltech Arena at the Horse Park in Kentucky, USA was packed to capacity today for the first round of the Male and Female Freestyle Vaulting Championships at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. And a superb performance from Germany’s Simone Wiegele clinched pole position in the Female division while Switzerland’s Patric Looser now heads the Male Freestyle leaderboard. Scores from yesterday’s Compulsory Test and today’s Freestyle decide the current standings.
The crowd really got involved with every test, hardly able to contain their enthusiasm until the end when, time after time, they burst into waves of spontaneous applause as the 20 Male, and 33 Female vaulters put on quite a show.
October 6, 2010 – Lexington, Ky. – Germany was nearly perfect tonight in the Show Jumping World Championships, presented by Rolex, and they rode off with the team gold medal (17.8 faults). France jumped up to the silver medal (24.32), and Belgium climbed up to the bronze medal (24.7) at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
Ten teams moved forward to tonight’s final round under the lights of the Rolex Stadium, after jumping a speed round on Monday and then nearly the same course as tonight on Tuesday to narrow the field down from the original 27 teams. France entered the final round poised in fifth place, while Belgium stood eighth.
Germany had not won the World Championship since 1998.
“Twelve years is a long time ago, and there have been exciting years since then,” said Otto Becker, the German chef d’equipe, dryly. “All the riders and all the grooms, and the whole German federation, is fantastic to work with, and tonight’s victory is the result.”
October 6, 2010 – Lexington, KY – The Vaulting World Championships swung into action today at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, with the compulsory portion of both team and individual competition being contested at the Alltech Arena.
At day’s end, the U.S. team held the highest score (7.207), followed by Germany (6.996) and Austria (6.990). Switzerland (6.880) and France (6.594) rounded out the top five. Team freestyle continues on Friday, with the final freestyle round on Sunday.
Vaulting combines gymnastic and dance elements, performed to music on a cantering horse. A longeur, who controls the horse, completes the three-way partnership, and harmony between all participants is imperative. Vaulting has been an FEI-recognized discipline since 1983.
Although there is a lot of competition left before medals are awarded, the Americans are happy with their inaugural performance on home soil.
GERMANS CLINCH TEAM JUMPING GOLD IN A THRILLER by Louise Parkes
Lexington, 6 October – Germany swept to a crisp, clean victory in the Team Jumping Championship at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, USA tonight. And a new page of jumping history was written, when, for the very first time, a victorious German Championship side included two lady riders. Janne Friederike Meyer and Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum joined forces with Carsten-Otto Nagel and Marcus Ehning to clinch gold ahead of France in silver and the surprising Belgians who took bronze. The Belgians have been competing in the Promotional League in recent seasons, but, already set to return to the top-level Meydan FEI Nations Cup series in 2011 after topping the rankings in the second-division series this year, they must now be considered a serious force to be reckoned with once again.
Today the Germans did it in the best way possible when producing three zero scores from their first three riders. Last man in was Ehning who picked up four faults with Plot Blue, but as he said tonight, “Thanks to my team I was already a World Champion before I went in!” The French rallied brilliantly to snatch silver. They were lying fifth overnight, but World No. 1 Kevin Staut was furious with himself about his opening effort on Monday and was determined to make amends. His last-to-go clear with Silvana de Hus was the clincher when added to a faultless run from Olivier Guillon and Lord de Theize and just a single error from both Penelope Leprevost (Mylord Carthago) and Patrice Deleveau (Katchina Mail).
INDIVIDUAL GOLD FOR WELLS AND BRENNER by Louise Parkes
Lexington, 6 October – Great Britain’s Sophie Wells and Germany’s Hannelore Brenner claimed the first individual gold medals in the Para Dressage Championship at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, USA today.
Wells, who is also highly-competitive in able-bodied sport and who competed on the fifth-placed British team at the European Young Riders Championship at Kronberg in Germany this summer, scooped the Grade 4 title. She produced a forward, flowing test with no mistakes from her chestnut gelding Pinocchio to score 71.677 which left her just over 1.5 points ahead of silver medallist Frank Hosmar from Germany while Denmark’s Henrik Weber Sibbesen claimed bronze.
USA LEADS TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP, BRITISH AND GERMAN RIDERS TOP INDIVIDUAL TESTS by Louise Parkes
Lexington, 6 October – The host nation took the early lead in the Vaulting Championships at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, USA today where Germany’s Gero Meyer headed up the Male Individual and Great Britain’s Joanne Eccles topped the Female Individual competition.
Today’s tests were all based around the seven compulsory movements and the US team horse, Palatine, with lunger Carolyn Bland at the end of the line, helped the Americans to rack up a winning score of 7,207. Germany lies second after the first day, with Austria in third ahead of Switzerland, France, Slovakia and Brazil.
The British team had to settle for eighth place, with Australia in ninth, while South Africa rounded up the top 10 nations. A total of 20 countries are represented by teams in the FEI World Vaulting Championship.