Lexington, KY – Despite a mighty effort, the U.S. team could not rally a win this year in Pratoni del Vivaro, Italy for the 2006 World Singles Driving Championship held September 20-24. Great Britain, Sweden and Germany had a successful championship finishing in that order in both the team and individual championship.
Great Britain took first place with a total team score of 248.76. Paul Sidwell of Great Britain and his horse Weirbank John won the combined driving event with a score of 128.47. He was sixth after dressage, seventh in the marathon and 24th in the cones. American Sterling Graburn of Bonifay, FL, and Quincey, a 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood, owned by Alexander Hewitt, had the best overall individual finish for the U.S. They finished 18th overall with a score of 142.34, finishing as high as fourth in the marathon.
American Eleanor Gallagher of Southern Pines, NC, and Kashmier, a 14-year-old Gelderlander, gelding, owned by Gallagher, had their best showing in the cones phase where they finished 11th out of a total of 74 competitors. Fred Merriam of Paris, KY, and Gaitwood Lightwing, a 12-year-old Morgan gelding, owned by William Willey did as well as fourth in the dressage phase but was eliminated in the marathon. The third member of the U.S. team, Scott Monroe and his 13-year-old Morgan gelding, Bethesda After Dark had their best showing in dressage with a 16th place finish. As a team, the U.S. finished in 18th place.
Chester Weber of Ocala, FL, served as the team coach at the World Singles Driving Championship while Hardy Zantke of Torrance, CA, was the team’s chef d’equipe.