Misdee Wrigley-Miller (Rinaldo de Craen/decraen.com)
Topolcianky, Slovakia – The second day of dressage at the 2013 FEI World Driving Championships for Pairs came to a conclusion on Friday with the latter half of competitors performing their tests. Following the completion of the first phase of the championship, the U.S. stands in fourth place on a score of 94, just 0.9 of a point out of podium position.
Misdee Wrigley-Miller (Lakewood Ranch, FL) was the sole U.S. representative on Friday, charging into fifth place individually. The 2013 USEF National Pairs Champion drove her own pair to a score of 40.26 to lay less than one point out of Bronze medal position. Wrigley-Miller utilized experience gained from competing in the 2011 FEI World Driving Championships for Pairs, as well as many of Europe’s most prestigious competitions, to produce a top five finish in the dressage.
The first two members of the U.S. team completed their dressage tests on Thursday. Rachael Blanchard (Upperville, VA) drove a pair owned by Heather Briggs of Belle Grey Farm to a score of 53.76 to stand 28th at the end of the first phase, while Scott Dancer (Woodside, CA) lays 35th after driving his horses to a score of 56. Both Blanchard and Dancer are making their first World Championship appearance.
Dancer will be the first American on the marathon when he sets off at 12:15pm local time. Blanchard follows him at 12:55pm and Wrigley-Miller rounds out the U.S. effort at 2:50pm.
“We were very pleased with Misdee’s top-five performance today. Her competitive nature and exceptional composure helped lead the U.S. team to 4th place in the nations’ standings. The U.S. team is just 0.9 of a penalty point behind the Irish squad, which will equate to 4.5 seconds in tomorrow’s cross country marathon,” said Chef d’Equipe Chester Weber. “Therefore, tomorrow’s strategy will be to attack from the start to the finish. We have an experienced support team and we will do our utmost to give our drivers every advantage possible in what will promise to be a close race for the medals.”
At the end of the dressage, Germany leads the Team standings on 81.7, closely followed by Hungary on 82.4, and Ireland stands third with 93.1 points. In the Individual classification Germany’s Carola Diener leads on a score of 35.58, with Barry Capstick of Ireland in second with a 36.93, and Hungary’s Zoltan Lazar lays third on 39.49.
By Helen Murray
To learn more about the 2013 FEI Pair World Driving Championships, visit: http://www.chmtopolcianky2013.sk/index.php/en.
Follow the 2013 U.S. Driving Team here.