Germany Wins Team Gold in Helgstrand Dressage Competition

Isabell Werth and Bella Rose. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Tryon, NC USA – September 13, 2018 – It was anything less than routine when Germany took the Team Gold medal, adding number 12 to their collection in Helgstrand Dressage competition at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 on Thursday, September 13 in U.S. Trust Arena. Team veteran Isabell Werth’s tears ran freely after her stellar performance with Bella Rose, which brought the team score up to 242.950 points to secure their stance at the top of the podium.

Sönke Rothenberger (23) and Cosmo, both at their first WEG, had added 81.444 to the scores of Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and Dorothee Schneider. Those two had set the foundation for the Gold medal on Wednesday during the FEI Grand Prix competition.

Team USA finished second on 233.136 points, securing their second WEG Team Silver thanks to a top performance from Laura Graves and Verdades. The pair rode in last and turned in 81.630 points, the second best result of the competition.

“I was a bit under the weather today, but it is amazing what adrenaline can do. There was a lot of pressure on me today,” Graves said.

Great Britain secured bronze on 229.628 keeping the Swedish team at bay by just 0.172 points. Defending champion Charlotte Dujardin and veteran Carl Hester both had brought two very young horses and Dujardin’s nine-year-old Mount St John Freestyle seems set to fill in the big hoof prints left by golden horse Valegro, coming fifth individually in the mare’s sixth’s FEI Grand Prix appearance.

“For the last six or seven years I think that people thought that British Dressage was just Valegro and that was it.

“I think this has proven that we do still have depth in British Dressage, which was the main point of coming here,” Carl Hester said.

Dressage queen Isabell Werth, at her seventh WEG, changed between crying and beaming even long after the last halt in front of the judges had earned her the top score of 84.829.

“This was my answer to all those who did not understand how I could leave the world’s number one horse at home for this one. Most horse people here know how close I am to Bella and to bring her back after the long recovery after WEG 2014 is extra special. We always knew it could be a risk, but it is like that with every horse.”

German Eventing Star Julia Krajewski Sets Scorching Pace in Tryon Sunshine

Germany’s Julia Krajewski produced a staggering performance in the North Carolina sunshine as Mars, Inc. Eventing began at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 Tryon on Thursday.

Krajewski, a renowned superstar performer in the dressage phase with Chipmunk FRH, did not disappoint the electric atmosphere in Tryon Stadium that lapped up every moment of what at times looked like an exhibition performance.

The rider herself admitted she was close to tears, such was the horse’s brilliance in scoring just 19.9 penalties, as defending champions Germany made an immediate statement of intent in their quest to capture the Mars, Inc. Eventing crown.

There were some strong dressage displays on day one of the competition, with the likes of USA’s Boyd Martin, Great Britain’s Piggy French, Australian Christopher Burton and France’s Donatien Schuly all posting sub-30 scores.

But, the German was in a different league, and she said, “Maybe something really good was going to happen today and he felt awesome during the test.

“He has done good dressage tests before, but to produce it in such an atmosphere on this day, the people went crazy.

“It is not a personal best – he has had scores of 19 something before – but it is not just push a button and get 19. With a horse like him that can really do it, it is all about the detail.

“I am so proud. I had to stop the tears when I finished the test. It is an amazing feeling.”

Boyd Martin rose to the challenge impressively on home soil with Tsetserleg to post a 27.1 score and lie second overnight, just ahead of Piggy French and Quarrycrest Echo on 27.8.

“I am very happy with him,” he said of the 11-year-old gelding. “It is only the second time he has done that test. He’s a good boy and just gets in there and does it.”

French led the British challenge on day one as they bid to reclaim a title won impressively in Kentucky eight years ago.

“He is a really cool horse,” French said. “He’s still not the most experienced and there is still more to come from him, but he has got an amazing brain and so you can be quite brave. I always give it a good go.”

Eventing icons Blyth Tait and Andrew Hoy, meanwhile, showed they had lost none of their world-class quality by holding top 10 placings overnight after New Zealander Tait – twice an Eventing World Champion – and Australian Hoy, a three-time Olympic Gold medalist, shone on Dassett Courage and Vassily de Lassos, respectively.

“I was thrilled to bits with him, to be honest,” Tait said. “My team mates told me to be brave, but when you are going out first for the team you want to post a solid score, and he did that.”

And Hoy added, “He (Vassily de Lassos) could not have done one step better. He is not the finished product, he is a long way from it, but his test was a personal best. I jokingly said on Wednesday night that I was going to ride for a sub-30 score!”

Final Qualifying Places Filled in Race for Individual Johnson Controls Reining Medals

The full picture is now complete for the Johnson Controls Reining Individual Final at FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 Tryon.

Thursday’s second Individual Qualifier saw six remaining places to be filled, joining the other athletes who had progressed from the first qualifier.

It was Austria’s Martin Muhlstatter, riding Blo Gun, that took the top spot with a score of 223 points and was followed by Italy’s Pierluigi Chioldo and Gun at the Gate, with French challenger Axel Pesek also progressing on Uncle Sparky.

“She’s an amazing mare,” said Pierluigi, of his horse. “She was in the pasture, but she started being ridden again for WEG. She’s ten and she’s great.”

The three other spots were taken by two more Italian riders – Mirko Midili on Arc Sparkle Magnetic and Mirjam Stillo with Ruff Spook – plus Uruguay’s Brigido Gabriel Diano Riccetto, riding Magnum Starlights.

For more information on the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 and to view start lists and results, please visit www.Tryon2018.com.

Aiken Fall Festival: Week 1 Highlights

Photo: Erin McGuire and Kasarr, Winners of the $5,000 Welcome Stake.

The Aiken Fall Festival, Week 1, was the place to be this past week. With over 400 horses competing in full divisions there was not a quiet moment and the buzz of our busy show resulted in two features on the local news.

Beyond the great competition, we had many new faces taking part in our horse show and getting to know Aiken for the first time.

When they weren’t riding, David Jennings and Freddie Vazquez jumped in as Aiken ambassadors, sharing their excitement for Bruce’s Field as first-time competitors in local press interviews.

Kyle Dewar and Clever Van De Helle came out of the gate with a win in the Saturday night American Standard Grand Prix sponsored by Aiken Saddlery and Gavin Moylan made the trek down from Upperville looking to get his young jumpers some positive miles in their first Grand Prix. Mission accomplished!

Classic Winners from the week include:

  • Lindsay Maxwell and Precedent, A/O Hunter Classic
  • Maggie Hill and Cassanto, Junior Hunter Classic
  • Chloe Watrous and Casual, Children’s Hunter Classic
  • Maddie Tosh and Love Me Tender, Pony Hunter Classic
  • Haley Gassel and Werner 61, 1.30 A/O Jumper Classic
  • Christina Webb and Lalainy, 1.20 A/O Jumper Classic
  • Stephanie King and Co-Starr, High Child/Adult Jumper Classic

We will continue to have exhibitor parties each night, with Friday night set aside for the 7th Annual Bridles & Birdies fundraiser. Tickets can be bought in the show office or by clicking here.

Hurricane Florence Update

We are continuing to monitor the ever changing track of Hurricane Florence. The safety and wellness of all of our animals, competitors, and staff is of the upmost importance. At the request of our competitors who will be staying with us through the weekend, we are planning to run a consolidated two day schedule for the Aiken Fall Festival II, starting Thursday and ending Friday.

We encourage those who plan to show to enter as soon as possible. The more information we have from our competitors, the more ability we’ll have to tailor a schedule that effectively addresses the challenges we are facing.

At this time, our team is sorting through stabling. Once all of the horses are resettled, we anticipate having the ability to offer additional stabling to evacuees. Please contact our office at 803-266-8410. We will remain on site throughout the weekend to assist with any feed and bedding orders that our guests might have, as well as to provide hospitality each day.

We know that our competitors are saddened and frustrated about these circumstances, and we share those sentiments. With that in mind, we now turn our focus to making the best of a difficult situation and providing any assistance we can offer to those who may need it.

Thanks to all for your patience and understanding.

Megan & JP Godard,
Horse Show Managers, Equus Events

What Happens to NC’s Wild Horses When a Major Hurricane Like Florence Hits?

A filly was born to North Carolina’s wild horse herd in Corolla on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018. She’s pictured here with her mother. Cathy Forgnone.

BY ABBIE BENNETT 

North Carolina coastal residents are evacuating or battening down ahead of Hurricane Florence — at least the human ones.

The wild horses that make their homes on the coast of the Tar Heel state are staying put, and they might be better prepared to outlast a storm than anyone.

Hurricane Florence is a category 4 storm as of Monday evening — 400 miles wide and still gaining strength and speed as it bears down on the Carolinas coast.

North Carolina’s wild horse herd has seen its share of storms, though. They’ve been around for 500 years, after all, the Corolla Wild Horse Fund (CWHF) said on Facebook Monday.

Currituck County, where the herd lives, ordered a mandatory evacuation of the Outer Banks communities, Corolla and Carova, beginning at 7 a.m. Tuesday.

Neighboring Dare County — where much of the staff that looks after the herd lives — and other coastal counties along the coast issued evacuation orders for all residents and tourists.

“The horses have lived on this barrier island for 500 years, and they are well equipped to deal with rough weather,” the CWHF said on Facebook Monday. “They know where to go to stay high and dry and are probably in better shape right now than most of us humans who are scrambling with final preparations.“

And CWHF staff believe the horses won’t need any human help.

“Anything we might do in the hopes of ‘protecting’ them would probably end up being more dangerous and stressful for them than the storm,” the CWHF said.

Florence could bring storm surge flooding to the Outer Banks reaching 8 to 15 feet or higher, according to the National Hurricane Center.

There are 18 rescued horses at a farm the CWHF cares for, and staff is “making sure they are ready to ride the storm out safely. They have shelter, but also the option to stay outside.”

Read the rest of this article HERE.

McCutcheon Steals the Show as United States Retains Reining Team Title

Cade McCutcheon and Custom Made Gun. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Tryon, NC USA – September 12, 2018 – The United States underlined their domination of Johnson Controls Reining competition by taking Team Gold at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 on Wednesday, September 12. The American team, led by the brilliant 18-year-old Cade McCutcheon on his grandfather’s horse, Custom Made Gun, claimed a comprehensive victory from Belgium in second and third-placed Germany. It was Team USA’s third successive FEI World Equestrian Games™ Gold medal triumph as they claimed the Johnson Controls Reining crown on a team score of 681 points.

Belgium, meanwhile, completed a hat trick of silver medals, while Germany’s bronze was a Reining first for them at WEG.

For Cade, who was joined in the team by Casey Deary, Daniel L Huss and Jordan Larson, it continued the family’s remarkable connection to WEG success, given that his father won Individual Gold in 2010 and his mother Mandy claimed silver four years ago.

“I was real nervous, but all the guys really helped me and that made a huge difference,” Cade said. “My grandfather owns my horse and he’s trained it as well. He is a pretty good owner to work for.”

And Deary added, “Cade did an amazing job. He showed all that he had and we are all extremely proud of the job he did.”

Reflecting on another second-placed finish, Belgium’s Bernard Fonck said, “I think everybody did everything that they could do with their horses and although it was a strong competition, I think Belgium was also pretty strong.”

With the crowd adding to a memorable atmosphere by getting fully involved in the action, there was also plenty for Germany to celebrate as they completed the podium places.

“This is the fifth WEG I have been a competitor at,” said Grischa Ludwig. “All the other competitions we’ve always been fourth and fifth, we’ve been beaten so many times by a half point and one point and now we’ve beaten the others (Austria) by a half point, which makes this feel even sweeter.”

“I did not think that it takes five FEI World Equestrian Games to get a medal! But, in the end, we really deserve it. This team really deserved it. We’ve been consistent. We had no low score and we were really fighting for the medal.”

Endurance Competition Canceled

Competition for the discipline of Endurance at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 Tryon was cancelled on Wednesday.

Equestrian sport’s governing body, Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), said in a statement that the decision was made “due to a potentially dangerously high combination of heat and humidity, and the conditions out on the trail following heavy rain this afternoon.”

“The decision to cancel, which is in accordance with FEI General Regulations, Article 109.12 was unanimous between the President of the Ground Jury, Technical Delegate and President of the Veterinary Commission, and the Organizing Committee.”

Earlier in the day, the event was reduced from its original 100-mile (160 kilometers) distance to 74 miles (120 kilometers) – and from five course loops to four – after it was announced that some teams had been “unfortunately misdirected” at the 6:30 am EST start.

The competition was stopped at the first Vet Gate inspection and each horse underwent a vet check before the race could restart. No substitution of horses was allowed.

A restart took place 45 minutes after the last horse was inspected and a statement released on behalf of the FEI read: “As there is no possibility to reschedule the ride tomorrow, the President of the Ground Jury, the President of the Veterinary Commission, Foreign Veterinary Delegate and the Organizing Committee agreed that this was the only pragmatic solution.”

The FEI said the cancellation decision “was also in line with the FEI Code of Conduct for the Welfare of the Horse, which states ‘extreme weather – competitions must not take place in extreme weather conditions that may compromise welfare or safety of the horse’.”

President of the Veterinary Commission, Thomas Timmons, said: “This was a difficult decision to make, but it was done with horse and athlete welfare in mind as the conditions this afternoon after the rain resulted in extremely high levels of humidity and combined with rising heat, it was deemed unsafe to continue the ride.”

British scientist Dr. David Marlin, who has been working on heat and humidity studies for the FEI for more than 20 years, provided the Ground Jury with data from the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) index which showed a reading of 31. Anything over 25 is monitored very closely, and the officials agreed unanimously that 31 presented an unacceptable risk to horse welfare for the sport of Endurance.

The decision was backed by Netherlands Chef d’Equipe Pieter Wiersinga, who said: “The race was stopped, and I was asked as the Chef d’Equipe if I was okay with the decision.

“I spoke to my veterinary (team) and asked them what they thought. They said that in terms of it [race] continuing that for horse welfare it might be a problem and then I told them I was okay with that. It was the right decision. For horse welfare, yes, always,” he concluded.

In an update, meanwhile, on events in the morning, the FEI said: “Following this morning’s false start, the FEI has tasked the independent Equestrian Community Integrity Unit (ECIU), which is onsite here at Tryon, to do a full investigation into the circumstances that resulted in some horse/athlete combinations being misdirected.

“The investigation will include interviews with the officials, volunteers, Organizing Committee and all other relevant personnel to provide a full picture of what happened.

“The findings will be presented to the FEI Bureau and the conclusions will then be made.”

Germany Marking the Territory for Team Gold in Helgstrand Dressage

Team Germany is reaching out for the next medal in their collection by building up a strong lead in the Helgstrand Dressage discipline at FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018. After two riders out on the first day of competition at Tryon International Equestrian Center, the current champions sit on 76.677%, aiming to complete their medal dozen. Jessica von Bredow-Werndl leads the individual ranking and Dorothee Schneider currently sits in third place with a 75.062%.

Sweden came out as the day’s surprise when veteran Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén and Juliette Ramel both turned in top performances for ranking their team second on 75.248%. Ramel squeezed in between the favorites on silver position individually, presenting her gelding Buriel K.H. in a much improved way. “Most of that is my trainer’s doing. Patrik Kittel gives me a lot of confidence and he believes in us. That makes me stronger,” Ramel explained.

Adrienne Lyle and Steffen Peters brought the U.S. team to third position. Lyle’s score of 74.581 % has her and stallion Salvino sit fourth individually. “I was really pleased with him, especially considering we warmed up in a downpour and then it’s blazing hot the next second. Fitness is a big factor – he’s a big dark horse and I’ve done my best to get him fit, and I’m glad that I did, because it took every ounce of fitness today,” Lyle beamed.

It was rain and shine at the opening of the Helgstrand Dressage competition, not only because of changing weather. Isabel Cool from Belgium had to retire when her stallion Aranco V quit following her aids, leaving her team without a scratch result.

But, for Australian Alexis Hellyer, day one of the competition already felt like an unexpectedly happy end. The first-timer at WEG had to present her horse Bluefields Floreno for re-inspection only in the morning of the competition and was relieved to find that the stallion was considered fit to compete. “His infection in the foot got better at the last minute. If I am called into the team ever again, I hope it is a little smoother,” she said, placing 23rd in Wednesday’s ranking.

Will the Price Be Right for New Zealand Eventing Couple?

Husband and wife dream team Tim and Jonelle Price will turn their attention to possible world domination of Eventing at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG).

The New Zealand riders have enjoyed a stellar season, with Jonelle claiming her first Badminton Horse Trials title in May before Tim landed the United Kingdom’s other major four-star event – the Burghley Horse Trials – in early September.

Now they are part of a New Zealand team that also features double Olympic champion Mark Todd and twice World individual gold medalist Blyth Tait, as they chase a third WEG crown in the Mars, Inc. Eventing.

“It is obviously a different situation here than Burghley,” Tim Price said. “But it was only a couple of weeks ago of being out there with a bit of pressure, and I will keep reminding myself of Burghley.

“But this is very much a team effort, and it is not going to be about one single individual performance.”

Lining up alongside them, though, are a host of teams and riders with serious gold medal aspirations in both the team and individual competitions.

Defending world champions Germany might be without the genial reigning Olympic champion Michael Jung, but it says everything about their remarkable strength that the team still features current world champion Sandra Auffarth and 2017 European Individual Gold medal winner Ingrid Klimke, who was part of German World Equestrian Games-winning teams in 2006 and 2014.

“I am really happy to be here with my horse,” Klimke said. “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.”

Great Britain, world title winners in 1994 and 2010, might have seen a major selection surprise with current world number one Oliver Townend not making their team, but few can doubt claims to a podium finish, given the presence of multiple major championship medalist Tina Cook, world number three Ros Canter and 2011 Olympic Test event winner Piggy French.

And the quality is further emphasized by France fielding two members of their Rio 2016 gold medal-winning team in Thibaut Vallette and Astier Nicolas, the United States being led by Rio individual Bronze medalist Phillip Dutton and Australia featuring Andrew Hoy, a three-time Olympic team gold medal winner.

Considerable interest, too, will surround a Japanese team led by the highly experienced and reigning Asian Games champion Yoshiaki Oiwa two years out from the Tokyo Olympics.

A total of 83 combinations from 23 countries were presented at Wednesday’s first horse inspection in front of judges Anne-Mette Binder (Denmark), Jane Hamlin (USA) and Andrew Bennie (New Zealand), with all being accepted.

Belgium’s Joris Vanspringel with Imperial van de Holtakkers was held, but then passed on re-inspection, along with the Netherlands’ Merel Blom and Rumour Has It N.O.P, but they also passed after being held.

For more information on the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 and to view start lists and results, please visit www.Tryon2018.com.

Germans Flex Their Mighty Muscles as Team Dressage Gets Underway

Dorothee Schneider with Sammy Davis Jr. (FEI/Liz Gregg)

Germany took the lead after the first day of Team Dressage at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, but the defending champions have only a narrow lead over Sweden in silver and the USA in bronze medal position when the battle resumes. This halfway result is based on the best individual score for each team in the Grand Prix, so there is plenty of room for dramatic change before the podium places are decided.

German domination was underpinned by the best performance of the day from Jessica von Bredow-Werndl (32) and the 11-year-old mare TSF Dalera BB whose mark of 76.77 gives her side a 1.4 point advantage over the Swedes.

A personal-best score of 75.248 from Juliette Ramel (31) and Buriel K saw them slot into second and dramatically boost Swedish chances. A total of 38 horse-and-rider combinations took their turn, and another 39 will strut their stuff before the 2018 champions are crowned.

The mighty Germans are chasing down their 12th world championship team title, and Von Bredow-Werndl has put them on track to achieve just that on her own world championship debut.

“I watched the first two horses from up in the stand with my brother Benni and I suddenly got the shivers and felt motivated because I realised how many other people would like to be in my shoes! So I went in there feeling full of power and Delera was just brilliant!” — Jessica von Bredow-Werndl (GER)

Ramel and Buriel KH were in the Swedish team that finished fifth at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games where they were hugely impressive. An accident while competing in Aachen (GER) last summer, however, put the horse out of action for quite some time. But the rider, who initially trained with The Netherlands’ Edward Gal and Hans Peter Minderhoud and who is now coached by Swedish star Patrick Kittel, has made an impressive comeback with the 12-year-old gelding this season when producing consistently good results, particularly in the Grand Prix Special. The top 30 combinations in the team event will qualify for individual medals in Friday’s Special, so Ramel will be one to look out for over the coming days.

The host nation snatched third place at this halfway stage of the team event when Adrienne Lyle finished individually fourth with Salvino.

“I’m especially pleased with him since we warmed up in a complete downpour and then it was blazing hot the next second – fitness is a big factor here. He’s a big dark horse and I did my best to get him as fit as I could, and I’m glad I did because it took every ounce of the fitness he had out there in that heat!” Lyle said.

It’s far from over, however, with the British threatening strongly in fourth place just 0.3 behind the Americans and looking set to rocket up the leaderboard when Carl Hester and Hawtins Delicato and Charlotte Dujardin riding Mount St John Freestyle take to the arena floor.

The Netherlands holds fifth place, Spain is in sixth, and Denmark lies seventh of the 15 competing nations.

Full results here.

By Louise Parkes

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.

Horse & Country TV’s Coverage of World Equestrian Games Begins on Thursday

Left to right: Patrice Delaveau (FRA), Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED) and Beezie Madden (USA) on the podium at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France. Photo: Arnd Bronkhorst.

London, U.K. – Sept. 11, 2018 – As the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) officially kicks off, Horse & Country TV (H&C TV) is gearing up to bring exclusive, in-depth coverage of the prestigious championship straight to its viewers with its Daily Review and highlight shows.

Don’t miss a minute of the action! Cheer on your team and join H&C TV today to watch all of the competition from WEG here.

H&C TV will be showing daily one-hour recaps throughout the games in addition to coverage of all Olympic and non-Olympic events.

WEG is held every four years in the middle of the Olympic cycle and is one of the biggest events on the equestrian calendar. It features a total of eight equestrian disciplines: show jumping, dressage, para-dressage, eventing, driving, endurance, vaulting and reining. It is the major global championship of 2018.

The 2018 games are being held at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Tryon, North Carolina, Sept. 11-23.

With a new episode broadcasting each day throughout WEG, Daily Reviews will premiere at 1 p.m. EST and will replay at 5 p.m. EST and 8 p.m. EST each day they air. The first Daily Review will premiere on Thursday, Sept. 13.

In addition, viewers can watch highlights from each discipline at the following schedule (all times EST):

  • Team dressage: Thursday, Sept. 20, at 9:30 p.m.
  • Dressage Grand Prix Special: Friday, Sept. 21, at 9:30 p.m.
  • Endurance: Friday, Sept. 21, at 10:30 p.m.
  • Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle: Saturday, Sept. 22, at 9:30 p.m.
  • Reining: Saturday, Sept. 22, at 10:30 p.m.
  • Eventing: Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 8 p.m.
  • Team jumping: Saturday, Sept. 29, at 8 p.m.
  • Para-dressage: Monday, Oct. 1, at 8 p.m.
  • Vaulting: Monday, Oct. 1, at 8:30 p.m.
  • Driving: Tuesday, Oct. 2, at 7:30 p.m.
  • Individual jumping: Tuesday, Oct. 2, at 8 p.m.

H&C TV broadcasts in Europe, Australia and in the United States on cable, satellite and broadband television, including Roku, and online at www.horseandcountrytv.us.

Kentucky State Resort Parks Offering Discounted Rate for Those Seeking Shelter from Hurricane

Adverse weather rates available at all resort parks through Sept. 30

FRANKFORT, Ky. (September 11, 2018) – Kentucky State Resort Parks are offering a discounted rate of $49.95/night on lodge rooms to residents of any East Coast state seeking shelter from Hurricane Florence. The rate for one bedroom cottages is $69.95/night and for two bedrooms, $79.95/night.

These adverse weather rates are available at all resort parks until September 30th by calling the park front desk direct.  An out of state driver’s license must be presented at check-in to receive this rate.

Park locations and phone numbers are available at https://parks.ky.gov.

As in past years, Kentucky State Parks support surrounding states during adverse weather in the same manner we support Kentucky communities in a crisis.

Contact: John F. Cox
johnf.cox@ky.gov
502-330-8058

Riders May Now Apply for the Dressage Foundation Para-Equestrian Dressage Fund

Over the past several years, the sport of Para-Equestrian Dressage has grown and welcomed many new athletes.  Throughout this time, The Dressage Foundation (TDF) has received requests for support from these riders, and is proud to announce that the TDF Board of Directors has developed the Para-Equestrian Dressage Fund through a gift from the Lowell Boomer Family Charitable Remainder Unitrust.  TDF will continue its fundraising efforts to ensure that grants for Para-Dressage riders are available perpetually.

The purpose of the Para-Equestrian Dressage Fund is to provide financial support for para-dressage riders to attend educational events, such as clinics/seminars at the USEF/USPEA Para-Equestrian Centers of Excellence (COE), lessons with a trainer of choice, or other educational opportunities that will enable the rider to improve and reach his/her goals.  Funds should not be requested for competition.  US Equestrian’s Developing or Emerging para-dressage athletes are welcome to apply, as well as para-dressage riders who are dedicated to the sport but have not yet been named as a Developing or Emerging athlete (see US Equestrian for descriptions).

The amount of the grants can vary depending on the need and request of the applicants but will typically range from $500 – $1,000.  One or more grants will be available each year to qualified applicants, chosen by an independent selection committee.

The selection committee will take into consideration that the applicant:

  • Is dedicated to the sport of Para-Equestrian Dressage
  • Demonstrates qualities of horsemanship and sportsmanship
  • Can be an ambassador for the sport
  • Presents well-defined goals in the application with a clear plan to achieve goals

The selection committee will also take into account:

  • Availability of other funding for chosen event/training
  • Accessibility/availability of events in rider’s local area
  • Training plan that is different than the rider’s typical routine and not readily available to him/her on a regular basis

Additional Grant Information:

1. Applicant must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident.
2. Riders designated as Elite Athletes by U.S. Equestrian are not eligible.
3. Funding must be used for the event/training specified in the grant application. Funds are not to be used for competition.
4. An applicant may not receive the grant in consecutive years.
5. The committee reserves the right to not award a grant in any given year if they determine that no candidate has met the criteria. Grant money would then be held in the Para-Equestrian Dressage Fund for use in future years. The applications and discussions of the selection committee are confidential, and their decisions are final.
6. If the grant recipient is unable to attend the specified event/training, The Dressage Foundation must be notified as soon as possible. Approval for a change in the use of funds is at the discretion of The Dressage Foundation and the grant Selection Committee.
7. The online application form and all required documents must be submitted to The Dressage Foundation on or before November 1st. A final decision will be announced by December 31st.
8. The grant must be used for an event that falls after December 31st of the year in which you apply. Recipients will have one year from the date of the award to use the grant funds.

For more information, please visit The Dressage Foundation.

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.

A First Major Victory for Sameh El Dahan, Winner of the CP ‘International’

Sameh El Dahan winning the CP ‘International’ (Spruce Meadows Media/Mike Sturk)

After some light mid-morning rain, the Calgary skies cleared and 38 of the world’s most talented horse and rider partnerships accepted Venezuelan course designer Leopoldo Palacios’s challenge to jump his huge 1.70m course in the CP ‘International’, presented by Rolex.

Third in the first round’s starting order, Germany’s Andre Thieme and his 10-year-old bay gelding, Aretino 13 produced a faultless display in a time of 88.84 s. However, not one of the next 30 riders to follow were able to produce a clear round, which was testament to the immensity of the contest the field was up against. It was Egypt’s Sameh El Dahan who broke the drought, piloting Suma’s Zorro, his 14-year-old mare, to the second clear round of the competition. Palacios’s course continued to be ruthless, claiming the scalps of some big-name horse and rider pairings, and just five further clear rounds were recorded.

The second round proved too tough for 10 of the 12 combinations that progressed from round one, and in the end, it was just The Netherlands’ Maikel van der Vleuten and Egypt’s Sameh El Dahan, who produced double clears, and in doing so set up a nail-biting jump-off. Van der Vleuten was first to go, going clear and setting a quick time of 42.98 s. El Dahan confidently entered the tense International Ring and breezed the course, going clear and triumphing over the Dutchman in a time of 42.21 s, thereby being crowned the new live contender of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

So Sameh, what does winning a Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major mean to you?

I’m delighted and absolutely over the moon. When I looked up at the big screen, because I wasn’t sure of the time, and I saw first place, it was a very difficult feeling to explain. To be a winner of one of the four prestigious Grands Prix, as part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, is something I think every rider in the world dreams of.

Tell us a little bit about Suma’s Zorro.

Suma’s Zorro was bought as a foal by Joanne Sloan Allen and Sycamore Stables. When she was brought to the yard she jumped a five-bar gate when she was just six months old, so they knew they had a jumper on their hands. Joanne did an amazing job building her up until she was about seven years old, and then I also started riding her. Today Joanne does most of the riding, and I only jump her, so she’s done a great job.

© 2018 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

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