US Drivers Ready for FEI World Driving Championships for Singles

The U.S. Team (Mike Arnold)

Izsak, Hungary – The United States heads into this week’s FEI World Driving Championships for Singles in Izsak, Hungary looking to impress on the international stage. The U.S. team of Jacob Arnold, Leslie Berndl, and Donna Crookston will be led by Chef d’Equipe Chester Weber at the championships running September 25-28, that host 19 teams vying for podium finishes, while a total of 78 competitors from 24 nations look to secure Individual honors.

Arnold (Snow Camp, N.C.) makes his World Championship debut this week in Hungary, where he will drive John C. Merritt and Karen K. Chandor’s Morgan gelding, Hotspur’s Red Rowl. The 2011 USEF Junior Equestrian of the Year has gained valuable experience throughout 2014 as part of the Live Oak Combined Driving, Inc. Driver Apprentice Program. In August, Arnold and Hotspur’s Red Rowl earned a fourth-place finish in CAI3* competition at Piber Köflach in Austria.

Berndl (Newcastle, Calif.) heads into her second FEI World Driving Championships for Singles appearance with her own Uminco on strong form. In 2013, the pair captured its first USEF National Title in addition to being undefeated that the year. In April of 2014, they retained their title with an impressive performance at the Southern Pines CDE after earning a second-place finish at Live Oak International in March. This week they look to help the U.S. improve upon its sixth-place finish at the 2012 World Championships.

Crookston (Saltsburg, Pa.) and her veteran Morgan gelding, RG Cowboys Black Cadillac, are set to make their fourth World Championship appearance, having represented the U.S. in 2008, 2010, and 2012. The three-time USEF National Single Horse Driving Reserve Champions look to showcase the form that earned them a win at Sunshine State CDE to kick off 2014, in addition to a third-place finish at the National Championships at Southern Pines CDE.

Competition in Izsak officially gets underway with two days of driven dressage on Thursday and Friday before competitors head out on Saturday’s marathon. The championships come to a close on Sunday, as Team and Individual medals are awarded following the cones phase.

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