Roxanne Trunnell & Nice Touch (SusanJStickle.com)
Caen, France – Roxanne Trunnell and Rebecca Hart brought FEI World Para-Dressage Championship competition at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games to a close with their Freestyle Tests. The La Prairie Racecourse hosted the final tests of the championships as the top third of competitors from Grade 1a, 1b, II, III, and IV looked to ascend the medal podium.
Grade 1a rider Trunnell (Rowlett, Tx.) was making her final competitive appearance with Sidney Trunnell’s 19-year-old KWPN mare Nice Touch and made it a successful one as she closed out her World Championship debut with a seventh place finish. The longtime pair performed a forward, upbeat test set to French flared music to score 62.400% from the Ground Jury of Hanneke Gerritsen, Kjell Myhre, Marco Orsini, Eva Bachinger, and Sarah Leitch.
“She was fantastic, such a good girl; this was her grand finale,” said Trunnell. “(My favorite part was the) free walk. She likes doing those; it was so relaxed.”
Despite these Games being the final test for the pair, Trunnell has her sights firmly set on representing the United States at the 2016 Paralympic Games.
Italy’s Sara Morganti and Royal Delight earned the Grade 1a Freestyle Gold medal with a score of 75.783%, with Laurentia Yen-Yi Tan and Ruben James 2 of Singapore clinching Silver on 74.522%, and Great Britain’s Sophie Christiansen and Janiero 4 earning Bronze with a score of 74.261%.
Hart (Unionville, Pa.), a World Championship and Paralympic veteran, closed out her second World Games appearance with a seventh-place finish in the Grade II Freestyle riding her own Schroeters Romani. The 12-year-old Danish Warmblood mare earned a score of 65.400% from the Ground Jury of Freddy Leyman, Anne Prain, Hanneke Gerritsen, Kjell Myhre, and Marco Orsini after enthusiasm got the better of her in the Freestyle.
“She was definitely enthusiastic; she loves this music,” said Hart. “In the future I’m hopeful for a little more power but her enthusiasm was definitely appreciated but next time, hopefully have a little more controlled enthusiasm.”
Hart has enjoyed her time in France as well training camp in Aachen, Germany and getting the chance to get to know her teammates better.
“The group of people we have has been great; we’ve really bonded and all my supporters have been wonderful. We really have become a tight knit family.”
Rixt van der Horst and Uniek of The Netherlands won Grade II Freestyle Gold on a score of 76.350%, earning the Silver medal was Canada’s Lauren Barwick and Off to Paris on a score of 76.250%, with The Netherlands’ Demi Vermeulen and Vaness earning Bronze on a score of 71.900%.
By Helen Murray
To learn more about the Para-Dressage Championship at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, visit: http://www.normandy2014.com/2014-games/the-disciplines/8/para-dressage.
Learn more about the Para-Equestrian Team: click here.