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WORLD EQUESTRIAN GAMES--2010

2010 WORLD EQUESTRIAN GAMES
September 25-October 10
Lexington, Kentucky USA
 
The first time WEG has ever been held on a continent other than Europe!
 
QUICK LINKS:
To view online: www.feitv.org
 
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September 25, 2010 
The Opening ceremonies had many tributes to the horse and much gratitude to the FEI for awarding Lexington this honor, as well as thank yous for the competitors and countries for attending.
Lots of entertainment with horses and music.
The Friesan Train drill team/exhibition synchronization of up to about 20 matched horses from the Netherlands performed.  Several variations of dressage--Western dressage, broadway show dressage with a dance element featuring an Andalusian, etc.
Kentucky opened with tributes by an American Indian group and exhibits of American Saddlebreds (with Saddlebred fan and owner William Shatner (and "Kentuckyian") showing his Harness horse), Standardbred harness horses and, naturally, Thoroughbreds--jockey Chris McCarron leading the "race".
A bareback reining exercise was warmly received with commentary that she could have competed at the games with that ride.
Some trick horses, roping, and California Cowgirls drill team, a group of Arabian Horses, and much more made presentations.
Music ranged from Opera to Kentucky Blue Grass, with significant performers like N.Judd and the granddaugher of Woody Guthrie.
Crowd estimated at 20,000, including the competitors that marched in as teams.
The president of the FEI, Princess Haya of Jordan, gave a very pleasant and gracious speech to open the games.
Other dignitaries and guests included the Governor, Mayor, the president of Alltech, who is sponsoring the games, Muhammed Ali, and others.
Archived video at www.feitv.org
 
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09/26/10--The Team Reining competition completed today, with the USA winning Gold, Belgium winning Silver and Italy winning Bronze.
The top 15 will move on to the Individual Competition.
Included in today's competition was the top International Dressage rider Anky van Gurnsven of the Netherlands.  In an interview, she said that she was looking for a new challenge after 3 Olympic medals, otherwise she was going to get bored.  A horse was given to her and she was indeed overjoyed and excited at her "best reining competition" with a 211.
High Scorer was Shawn Flarida of the USA with a 227. (The commentator from the National Reining Association, Brian Bentley, said that one of the reiners (think it was Flarida) told him signals his horse to change canter rates of gait from fast to slow by humming to him before cuing.) There were only 9 rides above 220, and it was quite a show--much like the Derby Finals or any other top reining show.
Big upset was the technical disqualification of the World Champion from Germany.  I did not see it live and have'nt seen the video, however it was explained as somehow coming out of the pivots in such a way that was a technical violation.
Austria and Switzerland were other teams that did well, as did Sweden.  Several individual riders from countries participated too.  Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Brazil were among South American teams participlating.
The commentators--the one from NRHA and the one from the FEItv live presentation--remarked several times that were a lot of riders taking a look at reining thinking that they might like to try it themselves.  The NRHA has affiliates and National Finals in Europe and Australia and, as the NRHA spokesperson stressed, "it is quite lucrative".
 
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September 27,2010--First day of Dressage:
The Team Grand Prix Dressage started today with two of four parts of the total 65 riders competing.
Netherlands and Germany have the top 3 scores (N,G,N), with Britain and USA close behind.  See complete rankings and scores at the top "quick link".
Since Germany has won the WEG Team Dressage competition every WEG year since 1990 (when France won) (according to the FEI host), if they lost this year, it would be quite a defeat.
Try to see the videos since there is so much good to tell, that it would take pages.
Tomorrow concludes the Team competition with Part 3 and 4, and then the team medals will be awarded.
 
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September 28, 2010--2nd day of Team Dressage and Team Medal Awards
Final placings went down to the last riders.
Netherlands won the Gold; Great Britain won the Silver; and Germany won the Bronze.  The USA was fourth by 1.5%.
A huge disappointment for all spectators was when the leading rider of Netherlands, the current World Champion, was rung out and eliminated on about the fifth movement of the team competition--at the halt at C.  Somehow her horse had bit his lip or tongue slightly, and the judge at C could see blood on the mouth.  This is an automatic elimination according to FEI rules.  Since the Individual and Kur have to be qualified for through the team competition, that meant that her show just ended.  She evidently had similar bad luck when showing in the US in Los Angeles when her horse was hurt exiting a transport upon arrival, and thus could not show.
Another  competitor at 2010 WEG was "rung out" and eliminated due to a determination of irregularity in the gait that was determined to be lameness.
As unfortunate as all of that was, the show went on with tremendous showing from many exhibitors and their horses.
 
 
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September 29, 2010--Dressage Individual Grand Prix Special and Medal Awards:
An incredibly beautiful and very impressive competition in every meaning of the words.  The top riders went last, and it came down to these to sort out the Medals.
Edward Gal of the Netherlands on Moorland Tortilas scored an 85.776% with approximately 36 10's in his ride for passage, piaffe, 1x's, walk and extensions, and won the gold. Gal additionally got all 10's for "rider's position".  This 10 yo black Dutch Warmblood stallion was very calm and steady, with a very quiet tail overall (some wringing on certain transitions), and presented a superb example of a top dressage horse--as one commentator said "a perfect dressage horse".  NEWS FLASH: Tortilas has been sold to an American owner and will remain in the USA after WEG--no announcement yet of the owner or future rider.
Silver went to Laura Bechtolsheimer of Great Britain on her brilliant 1995 Danish Warmblood chestnut with a score of 82.5%.
Stefan Peters representing the USA took the Bronze on the Dutch Warmblood Ravel with a score of 78.579%.  Peters moved to the US from Germany and became a US citizen in the early 1990's.
 
The Musical Kur will be Friday evening, Oct. 1, 2010.
 
Eventing dressage starts on September 30.
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September 30, 2010: Eventing Dressage; Reining Individual Finals and Awards:
The Eventing Dressage is the first of three sections of competition for the Eventers.  Basically, it is a third level test that the riders ride to demonstrate control and exactness.  The first two of four parts were today, and the other two will compete tomorrow.
 
The WEG Reining Individual Competition concluded with the USA taking Gold and Silver and Canada taking the Bronze.
Tom McCutcheon of Texas won with a dominating 228--5 points over second place.  Silver went to Craig Schlmere of Oklahoma with a 223.  And Bronze to Duane Latimer of Canada.
The lead changed about 5 times in the last 8 horses which were the top scores from the team competition.
The stops were tremendous slides with loose reins and very rounded horses.  The pivots were low and loose, with fixed inside legs that provided an education for anyone new to reining on what the ideal should be.  The transitions of the large fast canter to the slow small circle canter were compared to the exactness of dressage by the commentators.
In fact, there were a lot of comparisms to dressage from the reining.
Reiners are trying to get Reining approved as the next equestrian sport for the Olympics, and clearly showings like todays will promote that end.
 
GENERAL NOTE: THE COVERAGE BY WWW.FEITV.ORG IS SUPERB--each ride is covered by 4-5 cameras, and different angles are shown on each ride.  The videography is exceptional.  After each ride, close ups of the foot motion of the horse is shown, and other specific movements included.
It is very worth taking a look if you are a serious rider or if you are just starting out and want to see what you are aspiring towards.
Big Congrats to FEI TV and Thanks for providing the coverage.
 

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L.Robinson,agent
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