22 September 2010 – History will be made when the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games opens on Saturday 25 September in the Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, one of the world’s most evocative permanent equestrian centres located in the heart of the USA’s famed ‘Blue Grass Horse Country’.
It is the sixth occasion that the competitive disciplines have come together to take part in the world’s greatest equestrian extravaganza, but the first time that the Games have been held outside Europe and the first time they have had a title sponsor – the animal nutrition company Alltech.
When the nominated entries were received last month, over 900 athletes and 1,300 horses were listed, and while this number will reduce as selections are finalised over the next few days the scale of the event is enormous.
9 September 2010 – The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the governing body of horse sport, is to unveil an innovative photographic celebration of equestrianism entitled Inspire at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, USA.
Inspire brings together 16 images of inspirational equestrian legends and young talents who represent all the equestrian disciplines on the programme of the FEI’s four-yearly flagship event. Athletes from Jumping, Dressage, Para-Equestrian Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining are shown in surprising and eloquent contexts, many of which incorporate subtle or playful references to their disciplines. Most of the images unite two people in rural or urban backdrops and highlight the bond of admiration and inspiration between them.
The origins of the athletes are diverse and serve as a reminder of the geographical spread of the 133 National Federations affiliated to the FEI.
FRENCH DOMINATE PODIUM AT FEI WORLD YOUNG ENDURANCE HORSE CHAMPIONSHIPS
100th Anniversary of Compiègne celebrated in style
23 August – French riders were in sparkling form when taking all three medals in the Eight-Year-Old division, while only Spain’s Monica Comas Molist stopped them from doing the same in the battle for the Seven-Year-Old honours at the FEI World Young Endurance Horse Championships at Compiegne, France. Cecile Totain, Laetitia Goncalves and Roman Lafaure secured a clean sweep for the host nation in the senior 160 km section for the eight-year-olds, while the Spaniard separated gold medallist Melody Theolissat and Clementine Manoha as the home runners also flexed their muscle in the seven-year-old class run over 130 km.
This prestigious fixture, filled with the oysters-and-champagne lifestyle that has long been associated with this particular endurance venue, might be considered a “jolly” affair by some, but that couldn’t be further from the reality. Compiègne is a tough, competitive track requiring skilled and tactical riding and, of course, a talented horse. It is well-recognised as one of the toughest courses on the International circuit but, some years ago, the course was modified and the competition was run over flatter terrain with speed being the main focus. Last year the track was modified again, reintroducing more technical aspects of the sport.
This FEI World Championships attracts the cream of the crop of young endurance horses and often those that will be a force to be reckoned with in the future. The 2010 event was no exception, with representatives across the two categories from Sweden, Belgium, Spain, USA, Argentina, Qatar, Portugal, Slovakia, Germany, Great Britain, Brazil, the Netherlands and of course, a strong contingent from the home nation of France.
TEAM FRANCE DOMINATES YET AGAIN – UAE TAKES OPEN INDIVIDUAL TITLE
The small village of Kreuth is any horse person’s dream – a complete village based entirely around equestrian sport. The venue is well established and has hosted Endurance, Eventing, Reining and Dressage International competitions, but this is the first time an FEI Championship has been hosted in Kreuth. The site, comprised of various arenas, cross country courses, a hotel and large airy barn for stabling, is nestled in the Bavarian countryside approximately two hours south of Munich (GER) on the south east edge of the Taubenbach Forest. It is a perfect venue for Endurance, with extensive vet-gate space, a flat grass trot-up area and ample parking for crew vehicles. The route is principally made up of gravel forest tracks.
Sixteen nations were entered for the FEI Open European Junior and Young Rider Championships with a total of 51 horse/rider combinations. Unfortunately three horses failed the pre-ride vetting, one horse each from Italy, Portugal and Hungary. The biggest impact of these vet-outs was for Hungary who had only brought three horses. The loss of their third horse would mean they would no longer be able to challenge for a team position and would now only field two individual riders. The usual European nations were out in force, although some with fewer riders than normal. Teams were entered from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Spain, Germany, Italy and Portugal. As this was an Open Championships there were some entries from further afield, namely Argentina, the United Arab Emirates and the USA, although none of these nations sent a team.
17 June 2010 – Alex McLin, FEI Secretary General, marks the 100-day countdown to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games with a specially extended video message today, expressing his confidence that the FEI’s flagship event will be an incredible celebration of equestrian sport when it opens in the 1,200 acre Kentucky Horse Park on 25 September.
“Spectators can expect to see the best equestrian sport can offer,” Alex McLin says. “The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games are 100 days away so we’re in the final stretches of preparation. It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since the award of the bid because everything that’s been achieved since then is absolutely incredible.
“All the infrastructure has been delivered on time, the teams are working well together on the ground and we have every reason to be confident that we’ll have a fantastic Games.”
Note to my readers – I am so far behind in adding these Radio Show contributor posts, I am just going back & giving you all I’ve gotten so you don’t miss anything important, like this is from February…
We celebrate the 400th episode on the Horse Radio Network and we get caught up with our Para-equestrian Rider Susan Treabess. Plus, all the news of the Alltech 2010 World Equestrian Games, listen in…
2010 Radio Show Episode 78 – HRN Celebrates 400 and Our Spotlight Para-Equestrian Rider Susan Treabess:
News: If you’re not local to Lexington, Kentucky you can still become a WEGspert! Fans of the 2010 World Equestrian Games can now complete a video training programme online to become an official 2010 Alltech FEI WEGspert from the comfort of their homes.