Lexington, KY - Today provided riders competing as individuals on the Kentucky Equine Research U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team their first opportunity in the competition ring and it was a second test for some of the riders who competed in yesterday's Team test. The U.S. had six riders contest the Grade III and IV Individual Championship Tests at the FEI World Para Dressage Championships.
Riding as an individual at her first World Championships, Mary Jordan (Wells, ME) and her own Paxton Abbey were the first of 31 competitors in the ring today. Competing in the Grade IV division, the pair put in an accurate test highlighted by square and precise halts to earn a score of 63.419%.
Jordan could not have been more proud of the 12-year-old mare she bred herself, and her own achievement.
"Paxton felt wonderful. On game day she steps it up a notch," said Jordan. "I've always wanted to ride for my country."
Jordan and Paxton Abbey finished in thirteenth place.
Next to go for the U.S. was team member Susan Treabess of Winters, CA and the 16-year-old former broodmare Moneypenny. They performed a lovely Grade IV Individual Championship Test with exemplary pirouettes to earn a 64.839% and a tie for ninth place with teammate Jennifer Baker.
"I was really happy with that. No mistakes. She's giving me everything really well. I'm really impressed." Treabess said of Katy Peterson's Dutch Warmblood mare.
Robin Brueckmann, another of the team members who competed on Tuesday, followed Treabess into the ring three rides later. The World Championship and Paralympic veteran demonstrated utter consistency throughout the test to score a 65.871% with Elly Schobel's Raison D'Etre.
"I was really very happy with the test, very up, very elastic. I was very pleased," said Brueckmann "I'm very excited to do my freestyle." Raison D'Etre and Brueckmann were the highest placing U.S. pair, finishing in sixth place in the Grade IV division.
The final of the U.S. riders to compete in the Grade IV Individual Championship Test this morning at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games was Jennifer Baker, with Akiko Yamazaki's Kranak. Baker, of Loveland, OH, has only been riding the Dutch gelding for six weeks but their partnership is coming along quickly. They demonstrated beautiful extensions and simple changes to score a 64.839% earning them an equal ninth place finish with fellow American Susan Treabess.
"Akiko Yamazaki, Ravel's owner, donated him to me to ride for WEG. He's so well trained, it's just getting the buttons. He's just perfect," said Baker.
In the Grade IV Individual Championships, Sophie Wells and Pinocchio of Great Britain were crowned FEI World Para Dressage Champions, with Frank Hosmarand and Tiesto of The Netherlands and Henrik Weber Sibbesen and Rexton Royal of Denmark claiming the Silver and Bronze Medals respectively.
In the afternoon session riders competed in the Grade III Individual Championship Test. Wendy Fryke and Erin Alberda both competed as individuals for the U.S. in this division.
Fryke (Parker, CO) rode her own and Michael Fryke's Westphalian stallion Lateran to eighth place with a score of 64.067%. Lateran performed impressive extended trots and expressive canter work throughout the test.
This pair has only been together 10 months but Fryke was very pleased with her ride.
"It's been so exciting to be here," she said. "He was playful at times but kept his level head. We're still getting to know each other really well."
Erin Alberda of Woodinville, WA and her own Delectari were the final ride of the day scoring 60.267% and earning eleventh place. The Swedish Warmblood gelding demonstrated fluid transitions and a solid walk throughout the test.
"I'm honored to be here and humbled," said Alberda. "I'm really proud of my horse. It was a good start for us. I'm proud of my horse and proud to be representing the U.S."
Hannelore Brenner and Women of the World captured the Gold Medal for Germany in the Grade III Individual Championship Test with Annika Lykke Dalskov and Preussen Wind of Denmark taking silver and Australian Sharon Jarvis and Applewood Odorado claiming bronze.
The U.S. stood in tenth place in the team portion of the FEI World Para Dressage Championships after yesterday's Team Championship Tests. Laura Goldman (Grade Ia) and Jonathan Wentz (Grade II) will ride their Individual Championship Tests to determine the final team standings tomorrow. Rebecca Hart will ride as an individual in the Grade II Individual Championship Test tomorrow and Kim Decker who also represents the U.S. as an individual will ride in the Grade Ia Individual Championship Test.
Photo: Robin Brueckmann and Raison D'Etre. Photo by Shannon Brinkman for USEF.