Normandy FRA, - Cody Sapergia and Nu Chexomatic (Nu Chex to Cash x Tejons Peppy Doc) a seven year-old Quarter horse stallion owned by Tina Künstner-Mantl and Jac Point Quaters, had a second chance to earn their ticket to the Final at the second individual qualifying competition along with 22 other reining horse-rider combinations, and they made the most of it taking first place early in the competition setting the bar with a score of 219.0.
With the top 15 pairs already in place after the first Individual Qualifier held August 26, only five coveted spots remained leaving little room for error in the second qualifier. Half point penalties and manoeuver errors determined the lucky few who would move onto the medal round which will be held on Saturday, 30 August, at 20.00 CEST.
Sapergia (Ardmore, OK, USA), fifth to enter the ring at the Parc des Expositions in Caen, laid down smooth transitions, all-out spins, sharp stops and blazing runs to spectacular slides earning a score that set the standard keeping him in first place much of the day, putting immense pressure on the remaining riders.
"I marked a 219.0, which is a strong score, putting me first place five rides in. I was pretty comfortable with my score and confident it would hold taking me into the Final," commented Sapergia. "I was a little bit disappointed to have to run today because my horse, I think, is capable to be in the top five horses here at this show, however in the first go around there were some excited fans in the crowd with their feet through the rails kicking a sponsor's banner making him spook in the corner. I had to work hard to keep him in my hands and between my legs in that corner in this round because he remembered that."
"I had some penalties and manoeuver deductions in my first set of circles in that area where he spooked but he's a good strong stopper - it's where I get most of my points with him. For the Final, I'm going try to get him happy and relaxed in that spot in the ring and challenge the top horses for a medal."
With judges scrutinizing for the slightest errors to narrow the field for the Final, the remaining members of the Canadian Reining Team, Matthew Hudson of Marieville, QC (ninth place with 214.5), Lisa Coulter of Princeton, BC (13th place on 213.5) and Josiane Gauthier of Lucama, NC, USA (16th on 212.5), laid it all out on the sand but unfortunately will not be moving forward with their teammate.
Sapergia finished the day in second place behind first placed Troy Heikes -USA, who's second to last ride earned a score of 220.0. Joining them in the Finals Sunday are, Josh Collins - GBR (third place), Stefano Ferri - ITA (fourth place) and, Paulo Koury Neto - BRA and Rumuald Poard - FRA (tied for fifth place).
To see full results from the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 go to www.normandy2014.com.
Complete information on the Canadian Equestrian Team can be accessed at www.equinecanada.ca/cet, or download the new Equine Canada Mobile App -- EquineCAN!
The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 are being broadcasted for live viewing from home by FEI TV.
The FEI World Equestrian Games are held every four years, in the middle of the Olympic cycle. The inaugural Games were hosted in Stockholm (SWE) in 1990. Since then, the Games have been staged in The Hague (NED) in 1994, Rome (ITA) in 1998, Jerez (ESP) in 2002, Aachen (GER) in 2006, and Lexington (USA) in 2010.