Caen, France - The FEI World Team and Individual Eventing Championship came to an exciting conclusion on Sunday with the final phase taking place in d'Ornano Stadium in Caen, France. Of the 60 combinations that headed into the show jumping phase, only 13 were able to go double-clear over Frédéric Cottier's difficult 12-obstacle course. The Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team had solid efforts on the last day of the competition in front of a packed crowd.
Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and Shamwari 4 had another great performance in Normandy to close out the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and earn an eighth-place finish. Martin and the Shamwari 4 Syndicate LLC's 2002 Hanoverian gelding were having a beautiful round but an unlucky tap at first element of the triple at 8A added four faults to their score to finish on a score of 63.9.
"He was a bit tired. I thought he jumped well, unfortunately I was just not quite accurate enough to the triple and he ticked it behind," Martin said. "He really put in a huge effort yesterday, so I was happy with one down today."
Though he has not had the talented horse for long, Martin and Shamwari 4 have already scored top results. The partnership looks to have a bright future as it continues to develop, already adding a top 10 finish at a World Championship to its resume.
Kim Severson (Charlottesville, Va.) and her own Fernhill Fearless had a fantastic day, jumping clean and finishing on a score of 91.2. She and the 2000 Irish Sport Horse gelding made light work of the track to finish in 23rd place.
"I'm thrilled," Severson said of her ride. "I know the horse can jump it is just a matter of me staying out of his way and sort of putting him in the right direction. He's just amazing. He wants to do a good job, he doesn't want to touch the rails; he's pretty cool."
Severson didn't realize being back on the world scene was going to be part of her future only a short time ago. When asked what it felt like to be back, she admitted, "It feels good. I didn't know I missed it."
Sinead Halpin (Oldwick, N.J.) and Manoir de Carneville began their round well but knocked rails at 8B and 10 to incur eight faults. With the Manoir de Carneville Syndicate's 2000 Selle Francais gelding, Halpin finished her first World Championship in 38th place on a score of 114.4.
"I thought he was actually jumping really well but he is a lovely horse," Halpin said of her horse on Sunday. "He is not really affected by the atmosphere. At least the first half was one of the steadiest rounds that he has done."
Halpin feels that Manoir de Carneville gets better and learns each time out. With their 2014 Games experience under their belts, she and the talented gelding can continue to improve together.
Lynn Symansky (Middleburg, Va.) also finished her first World Championship experience at the 2014 Games with her own Donner. She and the 2003 Thoroughbred gelding received four faults for a knockdown at fence 3, to finish on a score of 135.4 and end up in 47th place.
"I was just floored with my horse today, Symansky said. "He was really, really mature, jumped a great round, and that rail was just a little bit of a peak at the liverpool there, but I couldn't be happier with how we ended."
Though her experience at the Games didn't turn out quite the way she would have hoped, Symansky learned that, "things don't go according to plan when you go into it and how to keep on going and don't get defeated."
Though the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team didn't have the desired results, Chef d'Equipe David O'Connor doesn't have too harsh of an outlook on the outcome.
"I am a hard believer that we have great riders and they are riding well," O'Connor said. "I think the program is correct, we just need to keep improving."
Germany claimed the Team Gold medal in the FEI World Team Eventing Championship on a score of 177.9. The Team Silver went to Great Britain on a score of 198.8, while The Netherlands took home the Team Bronze medal with a score of 246.8. In the FEI World Individual Eventing Championship, Sandra Auffarth (GER) and Opgun Louvo were named World Champions after finishing atop the leaderboard on a score of 52.0. Michael Jung (GER) and fischerRocana received the Individual Silver medal after finishing on a 52.3, while William Fox-Pitt (GBR) and Chilli Morning received the Individual Bronze medal with a score of 54.3.
To learn more about the FEI World Team and Individual Eventing Championship at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, visit: http://www.normandy2014.com/2014-games/the-disciplines/3/eventing.
Follow the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team here.