The Plains, VA - Great Meadow is set to host elite eventing combinations July 26th and 27th as the Squad for the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and alternates take part in their official Preparation Event. The U.S. combinations will be joined Canadian horses and riders as they too will use the weekend to fine tune performances in the lead up to Normandy.
Dressage will take place Saturday morning, with all combinations coming back in the evening to jump a Richard Jeffery-designed show jumping track. On Sunday, the action will turn to the racecourse for the cross country, designed by David O'Connor.All squad members and alternates have spent the week in Virginia in training sessions with U.S. Eventing Team Coach O'Connor and look to showcase their ability in all three phases this weekend.
All six squad members bring a wealth of international experience to Great Meadow this weekend as they look to peak at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France in five weeks.
Buck Davidson (Ocala, FL) will ride his partner from the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, Carl and Cassandra Segal's BallyNoe Castle RM, with whom he won the 2013 Rolex/USEF National CCI4* Eventing Championship.
Phillip Dutton (West Grove, PA) stands poised to contest his sixth FEI World Equestrian Games with the Trading Aces LLC's Trading Aces after finishing eighth at the 2014 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover. Dutton deputized on Trading Aces this spring for friend and fellow squad member, Boyd Martin, after he broke his leg earlier this year in March and Martin has handed over the reins for the 2014 World Championships.
Sinead Halpin (Oldwick, NJ) and her 2012 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials CCI4* runner-up, Manoir de Carneville Syndicate's Manoir de Carneville, have been named to their first squad after finishing fourth at the 2014 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover.
Boyd Martin (Cochranville, PA) spent significant time out of the saddle after breaking his leg but travelled to Germany to contest the Luhmuhlen CCI4* with new ride, the Shamwari 4 Syndicate LLC's Shamwari 4, earning a third-place finish in their first international competition together.
Kim Severson (Charlottesville, VA), a 2004 Olympic Games Team Bronze and Individual Silver medalist, has been named to the squad with Fernhill Fearless after earning a fifth-place finish at the 2013 The Dutta Corp Fair Hill International CCI3* and an 11th-place finish at the 2014 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover.
Lynn Symansky (Middleburg, VA) is set to ride her 2011 Pan American Team Gold medalist, Donner, at Great Meadow and in Normandy. To finish their 2013 campaign, the pair earned a top 15 performance at the Pau CCI4* and recently scored a CIC3* victory at Bromont in June.
Six alternate combinations are set to round out the U.S. field at Great Meadow Preparation Event. Davidson and Dutton will ride both their squad and alternate horses this weekend. Davidson brings Carl and Cassandra Segal's 2013 The Dutta Corp Fair Hill International runner-up, Park Trader, to The Plains in addition to BallyNoe Castle RM. Dutton will also ride Bruce Duchossois' Mighty Nice, with whom he finished seventh at the Luhmuhlen CCI4*.
Hannah Sue Burnett (The Plains, VA) will ride Jacqueline Mars' 2012 Fair Hill International CCI3* winner, Harbour Pilot, while Lauren Kieffer (Middleburg, VA) is set to ride Team Rebecca, LLC's Veronica, with who she earned the 2014 Rolex/USEF CCI4* National Championship title in April.
Marilyn Little (Frederick, MD) brings Team Demeter's 2014 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover sixth-place finisher, RF Demeter, to Great Meadow. Meghan O'Donoghue (Carbondale, IL) will ride her own Pirate, with who she finished 11th at the 2013 Blenheim CCI3* in their first overseas competition.
Jan Byyny had also been named as an alternate to the Squad for the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games with her own and Dick and Jo Bynny's Inmidair but has withdrawn the New Zealand Thoroughbred gelding for veterinary reasons.
To learn more about the Great Meadow Preparation Event visit; www.greatmeadow.org/events/weg-preparator-trials/
Follow the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team here.