Saturday, August 9, 2014

US WEG 2014 Eventing Team

 The World Equestrian Games, held in Normandy this year, is just around the corner, running August 23rd to September 7th. For those of you who don't know, the World Equestrian Games is like the Olympics for horses. In addition to the Olympic disciplines of dressage, eventing, and show jumping, other popular disciplines are included. They are combined driving, endurance, reining, vaulting, and para-dressage. Over a thousand horse and rider pairs will compete, and more than 60 countries will be represented. Most of the competitions will take place in Caen, the capital of Normandy.

  On the US WEG Eventing are Phillip Dutton on Trading Aces, Boyd Martin on Shamwari 4, Lynn Symansky on Donner, Kim Severson on Fernhill Fearless, Buck Davidson on Ballynoe Castle RM, and Sinead Halpin on Manoir de Carneville

 Phillip Dutton is an Australian rider competing for Team USA. As of this year, he has been selected to ride in every WEG and Olympic since 1994. However, after this year's Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event, Dutton's mount, Mr. Medicott, aggravated an old tendon, making it impossible for the horse to compete in 2014's World Equestrian Games. With one of his best horse unable to compete, Phillip would have trouble qualifying for the Worlds. The horse he ended up making it to the Worlds on is Trading Aces, a 2004 Irish Sport gelding that Boyd Martin rides. Phillip had ridden Trading Aces in Rolex earlier this year when Boyd was sidelined due to a broken leg. Since Boyd ended up qualifying on Shamwari 4 after a third place finish at Luhmuhlen on that horse, Phillip was able to join this year's WEG Team on Trading Aces. Phillip is also an alternate with his horse, Mighty Nice.
Boyd Martin and Shamwari 4 by Shannon Brinkman credit

 The second rider on 2014's WEG Team is Boyd Martin, also from Australia, riding Shamwari 4, a 2002 Hanoverian gelding that place 20th for Team Sweden at London in 2012. Boyd placed third at Luhmuhlen on Shamwari 4, qualifying for the WEG. At the WEG Prep Trial, Boyd rode Shamwari carefully so the horse would be ready for WEG, placing fifth overall. Boyd believes that Shamwari is one of the world's greatest event horses and is ready for the WEG.

 Next is Lynn Symansky on Donner, a 2003 Thoroughbred gelding that she bought in 2008. Since then, the pair has moved up to CCI4 level and has qualified for 2014's WEG. Lynn didn't ride Donner in this year's Rolex so she could keep him sound for WEG, but she did compete in Jersey Fresh, where she unfortunately fell off her eventing partner during cross country, getting her leg stepped on by the horse as well. Lynn ended up competing at Bromont several weeks later, despite her injuries, and will compete in the Games later this month.

 Kim Severson will be competing in the WEG on her 2000 Irish Sport Horse gelding, Fernhill Fearless. Fernhill went to the London 2012 with another rider but was given to Kim last year, beginning there partnership together. Since then, the pair has placed 11th at Rolex, earning them a spot on the 2014 WEG Team.

 Buck Davidson also qualified and will the the horse Ballynoe Castle RM, a 2000 Irish Thoroughbred gelding. He has previously competed in the 2010 WEG, also with Ballynoe Castle, as well as the 2011 Pan American Games upon another horse. 

 Finally, Sinead Halpin will be competing on the Selle Francais gelding, Manoir de Carneville. Sinead failed to make the London Olympic team, so she is happy to have qualified for Normandy's WEG on the horse she only started riding last year. 

Best of luck to the U.S. WEG eventing team. It seems like the is great and has amazing talent among both horses and riders. Stay tuned for more on WEG.

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