Sunday, August 31, 2014

WEG Eventing Recap

 All the excitement from the eventing competition at the World Equestrian Games has concluded. Though I was not able to watch it, I have followed the updates to hear everything that went on. The competition as definitely exciting with some surprises, so I have written the highlights  for you to read.

 The first day of dressage ended with William Fox-Pitt and his mount, Chilli Morning, leading with a score of 37.5. Micheal Jung and FischerRocana FST second with a score of 40.7, and Ingrid Klimke earned 3rd place, scoring 41.2 on FRH Escada JS. Only three of the U.S had ridden that day: Phillip Dutton, who earned 43.8 and 6th place on Trading Aces; Buck Davidson, who scored 48.7 and placed 11th; and Sinead Halpin on Manoir de Carneville, who earned 50.8. Boyd Martin, Kim Severson, and Lynn Symansky had yet to ride.

 On day two, German rider Sandra Auffarth on her horse, Opgun Louvo, took the lead with their score of 35.2. William went to second place, and Micheal Jung third. Boyd rode Shamwari to 17th place in dressage, earning a score of 46.3 only because his test, which started out smoothly, ended with a few mistakes. Lynn Symansky and Donner completed the dressage with a score of 53 and a placing of 47th. As many of the riders said, though, it was not a dressage competition and they hoped to prove it the next day.

 The U.S. riders went into cross country with a third place national rating. Germany, which had two riders in the top three, was in first place, followed by New Zealand. The going was muddy from the huge amounts of rain, so many riders couldn't ride as fast as they wanted to. U.S. entered the phase hoping to move up in individual or team rankings, but ended up disappointed. Rider after rider ended up getting eliminated from the tough course. Buck Davidson retired his mount, Ballynoe Castle RM, from the course after two refusals. 

 Buck said, “It’s exhausting. This last water, it’s serious. Where they cut the new turn up the hill [after removing two fences and a loop from the course] is like a plowed field. Poor old Reggie, he gave me every ounce that he had like he always does, and if I had to do it over again I would have aimed him at just the bank [at 30B] and gone to the log [option at 30C], but I probably would have just pulled up after that anyway. Yes, it’s the World Championships, but still he’s my pet, and he’s still one of the greatest horses ever, and I would never want anything to happen to him. I’m really, really proud of him. He jumped perfect; he tried his heart out.”

Phillip retired Trading Aces from the course after the horse ran out gas. The horse is young and simply wasn't used to such a difficult course.

Sinead Halpin was the first U.S rider to finish, yet not without a runout at one of the fences. Lynn Symanksy also finished, yet she, too experienced a few runouts. She said, “I’m frustrated with my ride. He was great in the beginning. I had tons of horse, even to the end I had a lot of horse, so it wasn’t that he got tired. At the second water we were really bold coming in, and he just ducked out of the second element of the one-stride at the very last minute. I thought I was on my line, and I thought he understood it, but at the last moment he sort of had a cheeky duckout. My second 20 was at the trakehner to the corner that I actually wasn’t worried about. I was just a little bit quiet in, and it was a little bit of a reaching distance for him, and he went out to the right again. I ended with a healthy horse. We made it to the finish, but obviously not the result I was looking for."

Boyd Martin and Shamwari, taken by Shannon Brinkman. Photo via USEA on Facebook.
Kim Severson was not displeased with her ride on her mount, Fernhill Fearless, despite earning 20 penalty points. She was proud of her horse.

 The one shining star of the U.S. team was Boyd Martin. Though he started out slow to conserve Shamwari's the horse had plenty of strength left at the end. Boyd received 13.6 time faults, yet rode the course clear and was able to move from 17th place to 9th.

 Boyd says, My horse is a real trier. My plan was to set out and be really steady and see what my horse had left at the end. In hindsight, I probably should have pushed him a bit more at the beginning because he was full of running at the end. Coming in I expected this to be the toughest competition in the world, and I think that’s exactly what it was. I am well mounted on a wonderful horse that has the heart the size of Australia, so I knew it would be a good show. I feel like we are a team of great horses and great riders, but with this course, even the best combinations were having difficulty. I think everyone tried their hearts out, and they should all hold their heads high.”

On August 31, the show jumping ended the eventing part of the 2014 World Equestrian Games. William Fox-Pitt ended up knocking down one rail, earning him extra penalty points that prevented him from winning the Worlds. Sinead Halpin ended up knocking down two rails, while Boyd had one rail down. The day ended with Sandra Auffarth riding to victory with a clean round. The final placing's are Sandra and Opgun Louvo for gold, Micheal Jung and Fischerrocana for silver, and William Fox-Pitt for bronze. Not bad for Jung considering the fact he was riding a reserve horse. The national rankings are Germany in first place because the country has two riders in the top three, Great Britian silver, and the Netherlands bronze. Boyd Martin ended eighth overall. Unfortunately, this means that U.S. hasn't secured a place in Rio's 2016 Olympics.
Sandra Auffarth by Jenni Auty credit

 This year's Games had many ups and downs for the sport of eventing. An new top rider, Sandra, has come out and defeated more experienced top riders, giving the eventing world surprising news. Overall I'd say the Normandy 2014 WEG was very exciting. Congratulations to Sandra Auffarth and everyone else!


  1. It is so cool that Shamwari and Boyd did so well..I especially like Shamwari since he was previously trained and owned by the Swedish rider Ludwig Svennerstahl and competed for Sweden in the London Olympics.

    1. Shamwari is my favorite! He is a nice horse.


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