Caen, France - The U.S. contested five World Championships during the first week of the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, with international veterans demonstrating why they have had such longevity in the sport, and new faces turning heads with outstanding performances on the world's biggest stage. More than 500 athletes took part in competition at five venues across Normandy, France, from August 25-31.
The 2014 Games kicked off on August 23rd with an impressive Opening Ceremonies, read more about the evening here.
The Adequan U.S. Reining Team came to the Caen Exhibition Center looking to produce a clean sweep of World Championship medals, and they did just that. The team of Andrea Fappani and Custom Cash Advance, Shawn Flarida and Spooks Gotta Whiz, Jordan Larson and HF Mobster, and Mandy McCutcheon and Yellow Jersey led by Chef d'Equipe Jeff Petska repeated their Gold medal effort from 2010 as they romped to victory on a team total of 677.5. Read about the Team Championship here.
In the Individual Final, America held six of the 21 starting spots as Flarida, Fappani, McCutcheon, and Larson were all joined by Troy Heikes and Lil Gun Dunit and Tom McCutcheon and Dun Git A Nicadual as the U.S. looked to gain all three Individual medals. With world class performances on Saturday evening Flarida, Fappani and McCutcheon earned Gold, Silver, and Bronze, respectively, as the podiums donned red, white and blue. Read more about the Individual Final here.
Over at the d'Ornano Stadium, the U.S. Dressage Team demonstrated its place among the best in the sport as it produced a strong fourth-place finish. The team of Laura Graves and Verdades, Tina Konyot and Calecto V, Adrienne Lyle and Wizard, and Steffen Peters and Legolas 92 finished the championship on a score of 222.714. Read about the Team Championship here.
In the Grand Prix Special, Graves produced a career-best performance, Peters continued to impress, and Lyle closed out her World Championship debut. Read about the U.S. performances here.
Dressage competition came to a close with the Freestyle, where Graves continued her meteoric rise to the top level of the sport by earning a fifth-place finish, and Steffen Peters once again demonstrated why he is so highly regarded with a 10th-place finish. Read about the Freestyle here.
The Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team spent the majority of the week in Le Pin-au-Haras, where the dressage and cross country portions of the Eventing Championships were held. In team competition, the U.S. was represented by Buck Davidson and Ballynoe Castle RM, Phillip Dutton and Trading Aces, Lynn Symansky and Donner, and Boyd Martin and Shamwari 4, and Kim Severson and Fernhill Fearless, and Sinead Halpin and Manoir de Carneville competed as Individuals. In the first phase, the U.S. produced strong efforts to lie in third place in the Team Championship after the dressage. On Saturday, Pierre Michelet's demanding track, in combination with muddy footing after rain throughout the week, resulted in many of the world's best pairs not completing the cross country. The U.S. had a day of mixed fortunes, as Martin produced a masterful clear round, while Severson, Halpin, and Symansky collected jumping faults over the 32-obstacle course, and Davidson and Dutton elected to retire after incurring problems late in the course. On Sunday, the event horses shipped up to show jump in the d'Ornano Stadium, with the U.S. producing solid efforts as Martin finished in eighth place, Severson in 23rd, Halpin in 38th, and Symansky in 47th.
At the La Prairie Racecourse, the U.S. team of Sydney Collier and Willi Wesley, Rebecca Hart and Schroeter's Romani, Susan Treabess and Kamiakin, and Roxanne Trunnell and Nice Touch produced an 11th-place finish in the Team Championship. The United States was also represented by Annie Peavy and Ozzy Cooper competing as Individuals. Competition kicked off on Monday with Peavy and Collier completing their Team Tests, and with Treabess, Hart, and Trunnell riding their Team Tests on Tuesday. Read about the Team Tests here and here.
Trunnell and Hart brought the Para-Dressage Championship to a close in Friday's Freestyle. Read about it here.
The Endurance portion of the 2014 Games was hosted in Sartilly, where a tough course yielded only 38 completions, including the United States' only finisher, Jeremy Olson with Wallace Hill Shade. In France, Olson was joined on the U.S. Team by Jeremy Reynolds and RR Gold Dust Rising, Ellen Olson and Hot Desert Knight, Heather Reynolds and Chanses, and Kelsey Russell and My Wild Irish Gold. Find out about the Endurance Race here.
To learn more about the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, visit: http://www.normandy2014.com/.