It has been twenty-one years since a Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) World Championships has been held in Great Britain; it is therefore with an enormous sense of pride and responsibility that Hartpury College hosted the first ever World Para Dressage Championships under the governance of the FEI from the 18th – 22nd July. Entries were received from one hundred and forty-two competitors spanning thirty three nations, making this the largest World Championships for Para Dressage the world has seen and the most prestigious event ever held at the Gloucestershire venue.
All of the top para riders made their way to Hartpury, including Athens Paralympic Gold Medallists’ Lee Pearson and Debbie Criddle (Great Britain), Irene Slaettengren (Sweden), and Ann Cathrin Lubbe (Norway). A very warm welcome was also extended to riders from China, Singapore and the Virgin Islands who are competing in the Championships for the first time ever.
Three days of outstanding equestrian sport was guaranteed, with riders competing to become World Champions and looking to earn their qualifying place in next year’s Paralympic Games to be held in Hong Kong. An International able-bodied dressage (CDI3*), culminating in two gala evening’s on Friday 20 and Saturday 21 July, to include a Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special, added to the spectacular occasion.
Robin Brueckmann Reports from Hartpury...
The riders on the original team for the United States were: Lynn Seidemann, Dallas, TX, on Magnum Gold, a Hanoverian gelding owned by Lynn Keith Newerla, Philadelphia, PA, on Avery at Daybreak, a Connemara-cross gelding owned by Keith Rebecca Hart, Erie, PA, on Norteassa (Pippin), a Hanoverian gelding owned by Rebecca Barbara Grassmyer, Placerville, CA, on Mibis, a Dutch Warmblood mare owned by Barbara. The first alternate was Robin Brueckmann, from Summerfield NC, on Richmond (Rocky), a Hanoverian gelding. Unfortunately, Lynn’s horse has pulled a hind suspensory in June, and Robin had to replaced her.