Caen, France - The United States kicked off the Para-Dressage Championship at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games with impressive efforts on Monday in the Grade III and Grade 1b Team Tests at the La Prairie Racecourse. Annie Peavy got the day started for the U.S. in Grade III competition under grey, drizzly skies during the morning session, while Sydney Collier closed out the rain soaked day with her Grade 1b Test.
Collier (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Victoria Dugan's Willi Wesley were the first team members for the U.S. to complete their Team Test, earning a mark of 65.960% from the Ground Jury of Freddy Leyman, Marco, Orsini, Kjell Myhre, and Alison King. The combination improved throughout the test, with nearly every movement boosting the overall total to finish in 13th place.
"I think it went as well as it could have," said Collier, of her performance with the 14-year-old Hessen gelding.
Sixteen-year-old Collier is competing in her first ever overseas competition, as well as making her World Championship debut this week in Normandy.
"This is my fist overseas competition and World Championship, so this has been an incredible experience," said Collier. "To be on such an amazing team is an honor."
Reigning World Champion Lee Pearson of Great Britain bested the field of 24 Grade 1b competitors with Zion with a score of 77.960%.
Peavy (Avon, Conn.), riding as an Individual for the U.S., scored 65.421% with Rebecca Reno's eight-year-old Trakehner gelding Ozzy Cooper. . The pair, who are contesting their first World Championship, were the second combination down centerline on Monday, and displayed an accurate test in front of the Ground Jury of Marco Orsini, Eva Bachinger, Freddy Leyman, and Sarah Leitch.
"He was really a good boy, I was really happy with him. It was my first big international competition and it went really well," said 18-year-old Peavy of Ozzy Cooper. "He was really focused and we were able to ride well and it was a very clean test."
The pair finished the Grade III Team Test in 10th place out of the 19 Grade III competitors.
The winner of Monday's Grade III competition were Hannelore Brenner, of Germany, and Women of the World, on a score of 72.474%.
Tuesday will host the final three U.S. combinations in the Team Test: Susan Treabess and Kamiakin at 9:24am local time, Rebecca Hart and Schroeter's Romani at 2:26pm local time, and Roxanne Trunnell and Nice Touch 5:25pm local time.
To learn more about the Para-Dressage Championship at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games visit; http://www.normandy2014.com/2014-games/the-disciplines/8/para-dressage
Learn more about the Para-Equestrian Team click here.