Great Britain's Lee Pearson took the Para Dressage Grade 1b Freestyle Championship by storm at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky, USA today. And in Grade 2 it was Germany's Angelika Trabert who swept to victory with a great ride on her bay mare Ariva-Avanti.
Pearson's World Championship record is legendary. He was a double gold medallist in Denmark in 1999, took Team and Individual gold in Moorsele, Belgium in 2003 and team and two individual titles on his home turf in Hartpury, Great Britain in 2007. This week he has excelled once again with a hat-trick of gold medals, but another new star has also been born.
The spectators in the Covered Arena have been thrilled by the performances of Denmark's Stinna Tange Kaastrup and her New Forest pony Labbenus Snoevs, and today she shone once more when adding Freestyle 1b silver to the team and individual bronze she took earlier in the week. Finland's Katja Karialainen and her 12 year old bay mare, Rosie, today took Freestyle 1b bronze.
Pearson was critical of his test and a bit surprised at the result. "My horse warmed up a dream. He was beautiful, hard working and really concentrating. Then we entered the arena and he got behind my leg. I had to ride every movement. I felt he could have done better and helped me out a little more. I am more picky than the judges - I was quite shocked with the scores, I didn't think I did that well!" he said.
Kaastrup has been riding her 14 year old pony for more than two years - "when I first go him I had to teach him my way, which took about a year". The 16 year old rider bought Labbenhus Snoevs off the internet - a growing phenomenon in the equestrian world these days. She has thoroughly enjoyed her Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ experience - "it's been amazing" she said today, "especially in the team medal ceremony when my team-mates picked me up! I am very privileged and it means the world to me to represent my country. I could not have done this without the help of my mother, Heidi, and my trainer Lotte Straarup, and now my next hope is for the Olympic Games!" she added.
Angelika Trabert produced some lovely work from Ariva-Avanti to achieve her Grade 2 winning score of 75.900. And The Netherlands' Gert Bolmer was a close second here riding Triumph who put a mark of 75.850 on the board. Trabert's trot-work was particularly special as confirmed in the attached photograph, Ariva-Avanti displaying a light, forward movement that helped ensure the winning scoreline
And bronze medallist, Great Britain's Jo Pitt, was pleased with her gelding Estralita. "He's just got better and better all week and was easy to ride today. I've been working so hard for this and to get a mid-70% score at this level, well I'm very satisfied" she said after putting 74.950 on the board.
FEI TV - As well as live competition coverage throughout the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™, FEI TV will make all competitions available post-event via VoD, plus an exclusive daily 30-minute VoD highlights show from the Kentucky Horse Park featuring the best of the day’s action, interviews, previews and reviews. There will also be lots of behind the scenes footage available. Check out www.feitv.org
Facts and Figures:
22 riders competed in Freestyle Grade 2
17 riders competed in Freestyle Grade 1b
Katja Karjalanen from Finland, bronze medallist in Freestyle Test Grade 1b "This is quite a new horse for me - Rosie (her horse) was a Christmas present!"
America's Rebecca Hart who competed in Grade 2 today "It was fun, awesome. This is the last time I will be competing this horse because I am retiring him. Pippin is 19 years old and he is going to live a life of luxury and enjoy his pasture. I do not have a replacement for him as yet.
America's Rebecca Hart "Hopefully London (Olympic Games) is next. In all honesty, representing our equestrian sport has been amazing - to finally get included with the other riders".
Fernando Gigueroa from Mexico who finished eight in Grade 2 Freestyle today "I am new to the sport. I hope you like it - the judge liked it and everyone else liked it too!"
ALLTECH FEI WORLD EQUESTRIAN GAMES™ - PARA DRESSAGE
Grade 2 Freestyle - 1 (Gold) Ariva-Avanti (Angelika Trabert) GER 75.900; 2 (Silver) Triumph (Gert Bolmer) NED 75.850; 3 (Bronze) Estralita (Jo Pitt) GBR 74.950.
Grade 1b Freestyle - 1 (Gold) Gentleman (Lee Pearson) GBR 82.500; 2 (Silver) Labenhus Snoevs (Stinna Tange Kaastrup) DEN 77.000; 3 (Bronze) Rosie (Katja Karialainen) FIN 72.850.
Full results and startlists at www.alltechfeigames.com
Photo Caption: Angelika Trabert and Ariva-Avanti from Germany took Freestyle Grade 2 gold in the Para Dressage Championship at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky, USA today. Photo: FEI/Dirk Caremans.