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These are updates from the 2010 World Equestrian Games held in Lexington, Kentucky, USA, while the Games were in process.
 
(still adding info)
 
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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!

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AFTER THE SHOW UPDATE:

WEG 2010 UP ON YOUTUBE.com

Videos of the 2010 World Equestrian Games competitions are up on youtube.com.

Enter search for name of rider, or horse or WEG2010.

www.youtube.com

Several languages available; several videos of each ride, including the Eurosport coverage.

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QUICK LINKS:

To view online: www.feitv.org

NOTE--AFTER THE SHOW IS COMPLETED, FEITV.ORG WILL HAVE ARCHIVED COPIES OF ALL OF THE SHOW.  There is a nominal fee for access.

 

Schedule and scores/standings: http://www.alltechfeigames.com/events/default.aspx?id=556

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Starting with most recent day:
 
October 10, 1010: Sunday: LAST DAY 
Started off with the final phase of the Four-in-Hand Combination Driving, the Obstacles in the stadium
Then the Vaulting concluded.
And finally, the Closing Ceremonies.  These ceremonies wound up being dedicated to the more than 6,000 volunteers that worked at the 16-day games.
Princess Haya, head of the FEI, made the main closing speech that was very gracious, generous and honoring of the Kentucky games.  She seemed to think that David Conner, former Olympic gold medalist for the USA in eventing and current president of the USEF deserved a lot of credit and had not been mentioned enough.
A truly fitting games ending spectacle, with the FEI flag being passed to the mayor of Normandy, France, the site of the next WEG in 2012.
The mayor noted that that year will be the 78th anniversary of the D-Day landing of Allied troops at Normandy that ended World War II.
 
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October 9, 2010:evening: THE FINAL FOUR

The Final Four takes the four highest placing individuals from the individual competitions and has them jump a maximum size FEI stadium course on their horse, and then switch horses with the other three riders. Each rider rides 4 times. They have a 3 minute warm-up once they mount up before starting their round.

Philippe Le Jeune of Belgium had four clear rounds to win Gold at the 2010 World Equestrian Games final show jumping competition on 100910.

He and Eric Lamaze (the leader coming into the final nite) were tied until the third exchange of horses, and Lamaze had two fences down on one of the 3 other horses.

Silver went to the rider from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 27 year old Abdullah al Shertablay. He had eight faults overall--going clear on all the strange horses and getting the faults on his own horse in the first go.

The last line was a big triple that caused most of the faults, tho several verticals and oxers on the course did as well--what faults there were, that is.

Bronze went to Eric Lamaze of Canada, who came in as the leader on his horse Hickstead. He had one down and a time fault, and then another fence down. If R. Pessoa had not had 12 faults in the final ride, Lamze would have been the person left out of the medals.

Instead, Rodorigo Pessoa from Brazil had a final round of 12 faults on Philippe Le Jeunes huge chestnut stallion. One commentator said that the horse looked like he was getting tired. This horse is huge--no stats given, however easy to see his size.

Some interesting asides: Philippe Le Jeune was trained by Rodrigo Pessoas father, the former show jumper N. Pessoa.

---Rodrigo Pessoa is one of the trainers for the Saudi team, and gave freely of advice to his student Abdullah when it came time for him to ride Pessoas horse.

(By the way, Rodrigo’s father was at the show coaching Rodrigo in the warmup area.)

---the “tempermental” horses seems to have nice, quiet gos with other riders…thus dispelling the notion that they were difficult.

---Lamazes stallion Hickstead was named best horse of the competition--having all clear rounds with four different riders.

---Point to ponder--how many riders will never be World Champion because they or their horses owners will not go for the “other riders to ride my horse”? Beezie Madden, the Olympic bronze medalist was noteably absent…no word on why, however, would you want someone new to take your horse over a course of 5’6” jumps, even if they are supposed to be that good (horses and riders)? Is the risk to the horse worth the title? Or the risk to the rider. The riders are allowed 3 minutes to “get to know the horse”; and clearly are familiar with them from showing against them. Anyway, evidently this is a point of some dispute within the show jumping world, and one can see why.

Evidently the problem is where to go with the show jumping competitions since they have reached max heights and widths.

--All of the riders are based in Belgium.

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October 9. 2010, day: DRIVING MARATHON--this is the “cross country” of the Combined Driving. Long stretches of trotting, with intricate obstacles that require lots of turns, include water, and have little balls on top of posts that must remain in place while the four-in-hand drivers drive past as fast as possible.

There are eight obstacles, and you have to see them.

A bit of “drama” emerged towards the end as the reigning World Champion, I. Charon from the Netherlands, who additionally is a vital member of the team, reported that his marathon carriage had been “sabotaged” overnite, and thus had to request being moved to the end of the competition so that repairs could be made in order to compete. (commentators reporting).

Initial reports stated that “lines had been cut, the oil can for the brakes had been damaged and emptied, and some knife marks on the side of the carriage“.

Despite all of this, Charon carried on, and finished first in the Marathon.

Extensively decorated in the Netherlands and Global competition, the initial explanation is that some person felt that he was winning too much, and was jealous.

Terrible thing to happen at a competition that brings so many countries together and emphasizes sportsmanship.

Stadium obstacles are tomorrow.

VAULTING: Womens and Mens Finals. Womens result: G: Great Britains Joanne Eccles, winning the first medal for GB in its history of competition. S: Germany. B: Germany.

Mens: G: Switzerland too winning the first medal in this discipline for this country. S: B: France.

Team finals are tomorrow.

JUMPING--FINAL FOUR: Finalists are: Leader Eric Lamaze on Hickstead; then Brazils R. Pessoa, then Belgium and Saudi Arabia.

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October 8, 2010:

DRIVING: Dressage driving continued and ended today. Only the morning session shown on Internet. The Dressage driving is the first phase of competition in this Combined Driving Event.

Four-in-Hand matched horses with a four wheel carriage are shown on a basic dressage test in a dressage type arena, and judged similarly as dressage. Shoulder-ins (by the lead horses), halts, backing, extensions at trot, relaxed walk were some of the movements asked for in the test. Of the 24 drivers competing, one of the “legends” from France and the top driver from the USA were tied as of this morning.

Tomorrow will start the Marathon--a cross country type course. And then Sunday will be the stadium obstacle course.

The commentators noted that the expense for transporting five horses (a backup is included) and two carriages (the cometitions require different types) and the additional grooms, etc., costs around $100,000.oo Euros, so many teams did not make the competition this year.

The USA as host nation was allowed several individual drivers.

Most of the horses used were Dutch (warm blood, harness or Gelderland--the latter includes some Hackney blood), Oldenburg, Swedish Warmblood and crosses thereof. Two exceptions that I know of--one driver had four Lusitanos, and one of the American individual drivers had Friesan-American Quarter Horse crosses that he bred himself on his ranch in Texas!

Very enjoyable to watch, and educational commentators that included a driver/judge from Belgium, active in the Flemish Driving Association.

VAULTING--the Mens and Womens Individual Technical Compulsary competition, and the Team competition.

Germany and Austria seemed to lead the competition in Team--only a few teams shown as the Individual Jumping Top 30 round 1 started about 5:30pm EST.

Individually, the British vaulter Joanne Eccles was in the lead today for the women. Her sister was 16th today, just out of the Top 15 to make todays round.

For those unfamiliar with this competition, it is a little like gymnastics on a cantering horse on a lunge line…ie in a circle. The team included lifts and acrobatic moves.

 JUMPING--The Top 30 individual took to the stadium today for two rounds to determine the “Final Four” that will be held tomorrow evening. (The top 4 riders compete in 4 rounds, changing to the other competitors horses through the competition).

The Top Four (combined scores of the two rounds plus Wednesdays round) are 1. Canada--Eric Lamze; 2. Brazil--R. Pessoa; 3. Belgium--Le Jeune 4. Saudi Arabian--Khadhed.

Maximum size and width course in Round 2 with Round 1 having many “tricky lines and turns” as the commentators put it.

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October 7, 2010:

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October 6, 2010:

Today was the Semis for the Individual riders, and the Finals for the Top Ten Teams.

Germany won the Gold, France was Silver, and Belgium was Bronze.

Fourth was Brazil (even Roderico Pessoa’s 3 clear rounds could not keep the Team in medals), Fifth was Canada. The USA fell from Silver medal position entering to 10th with disappointing rides.

The course kept some of the elements from the Team qualifier, like the tricky striding last line; and eliminated some, like the water jump (FEI rules do not allow water jumps when showing under lights, as this was done in the evening), and other slight changes, like putting a very large oxer at the end with a sharp left turn right after the last line.

Heights were raised to maximum height, and width increased. Several wide oxers to verticals and vice versa short lines were very challenging.

The lights were blamed for some horses problems--not used to shadows, etc. However, generally the size and scope of the fences, striding and turns presented the most challenges.

Overall, an excellent class with lots of compliments to the course designer, Conrad Homfeld, for presenting a good test for this level of competition. There were just 5 double clear rounds out of 122 starting.

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October 5, 2010: Today the Team Jumping and Individual jumping started. The Top Ten teams progress to the second Final round, and the Top 50 individuals advance to a Semi-Finals as well.

Today there were 27 teams and several individuals competing for a total of around 120 rides.

The “overnight” Team rankings are: Germany first, then Brazil, USA, Canada, and France.

Individual standings are: first--the surprising entry from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Khaled, I think riding a Holsteiner; then the many times world and FEI/International champion, Brazillian R. Pessoa; and then Le Seune from Belgium.

The reigning World Champion from Aachen four years ago, the Netherlands, did have riders in the Top 20, however did not make the team competition this year.

Only one fence down separated the top 5-6 riders--ie four faults.

Amazingly top competition, tho there were a sufficient number of eliminations, withdrawals and those over 2-3 fences down.

Conrad Homfeld, the course designer, was complimented by many on his use of turns and striding to make the course more difficult.

As one rider commented, the course is “killing them softly”.

While all of the fences posed some difficulty for different horses, the most significant were the water, which was on the U turn as yesterday, and the last line that had some striding that made the riders choose 5 and 2 short or 4 long and then a quick back-off to get two in, since one looked impossible in the double. Additionally, verticals mixed with oxers made the course one that required continual adjustments.

The Team finals start at 7pm Kentucky time (Eastern Standard Time) on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010.

Tomorrow starts the vaulting, which are to be broadcast on www.feitv.org too.

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October 4, 2010: The “Pure” Show Jumping starts with the “Speed Event” competition, which is not a medal event, yet acts as a qualifier for the remainder of the Individual show jumping competition.  Nations Cup format.

Individual scores are based on a combination of actual time to complete the course and jumping faults--time plus faults equals the total faults.

The Conrad Homfeld course proved to be formidable than originally thought, tho most exhibitors did make it under time allowed. Most fences at max of 1.25 meters. As one commentator from FEItv.org stated “there are lots of places to make mistakes”.

Some of the more challenging areas of the course included:

--A short right U-turn to a 14ft wide water jump, with an immediate left--scopier horses would take it at an angle, increasing the width considerably. Quite a few foot faults here.

--Another was a double made out of brown post and rails like much of the fencing around the pastures in Kentucky--vertical into a “double fence” that was like an oxer. This fence headed directly towards the stands with brown seats, so horses will be looking at a similar field of “color”, ie shades of grey, as well as the distraction of the crowd.

-- The last line was a huge oxer over water with 4-5 strides to a vertical/oxer double. The approach to the line was a short 5 which couldrequired an angle over the first fence, then straightening for the double; or a longer 6 to line up straight.

The last line seemed to give the most trouble and thus most penalties.

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October 3, 2010: FINAL DAY of EVENTING. Eventing medals were awarded today after the Eventing Show Jumping--Gold went to Great Britain (their first World Championship since 1994); Silver to Canada; and Bronze to New Zealand.

The final placings came down to the last riders on each team--well, Great Britain just had to not lose.

The US was in medal position even when Philip Dutton had some time faults. However, then Karen O’Conner had a refusal and time faults, and that moved New Zealand, whose last riders had excellent rides, into Bronze. US was fourth.

Germany as a team got eliminated yesterday due to a horse being withdrawn during the cross-country; and their individual rider who was in Bronze position after the dressage and totally clear on the whole cross-country round, had a fall on the last fence, which eliminated her. Ingrid Klimke had some problems on the show jumping.

Mark Todd who competed in his first International 3-day in 1978, was on the New Zealand team this year with a young horse and finished in the top twenty.

Todd is considered one of the premiere event riders by many people.

Japan had a good final showing, finishing 7th or so.

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October 2, 2010: Eventing Cross Country: The first rider on course was British rider A. Watson. She indeed made the course look easy with a clear under time. After that, out of the next 7 or 8, over half were eliminated, and the others had faults. The course turned out to be challenging, even for these experienced horses, some of them Olympic experienced.

And there were some shockers--one very experienced horse from Germany took two refusals on a smallish coffin that was the center element of an obstacle--a very common jump for eventers from even lower levels.

The individual rider from Germany that had a dressage score that put her in Bronze medal position and then fell on the last fence after going clear and under time.

The leading Italian rider with a top dressage score had a fall that necessitated a 30 minute delay on course while the local vet stitched him up. First news is that he was doing well, however had a bone chip, which sounds like some time off. (Irelands Curran was the only rider on course at the time, and he had to just try to stay warmed up on the flat at his last fence.)

Breeds of horses ranged the gamut--Warmbloods, Thoroughbreds (Belgium, Australian, British, Canadian, American, etc.), Anglo-Arabians (two), the Irish Sport horses (very popular), and South Africa bought their Nibians. A commentator noted that the Thoroughbreds were having an excellent show--and with the long gallops between fences of the cross-country and the stadium show jumping, some said it was suited to them.

Great Britain lead after the cross country, then USA and then Canada--New Zealand just a very few points behind. Japan had a good showing finishing ninth or so.

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Sept. 30-Oct.1,2010: Eventing Dressage: sort of a slow unimpressive start, however progressively got much better. Basic test of extensions, shoulder-in, half-pass and single flying changes to demonstrate obedience, etc. Test B used this year. Italy had the top place at the end of the 73 rides, with Germany’s Michael Jung in second with a very good score of the equivilent of 78% or 33 penalties.

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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 28, 2010:
 

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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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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 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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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, who has competed in International Reining for the first time at these WEG games. 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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L.Robinson, agent
See http://eqagent.tripod.com for horses available.

L.Robinson, agent