U.S. Driving Team Show Solid Performances at 2022 FEI Driving World Championship for Single Horses
Monday, September 19, 2022
Posted by Kathleen Landwehr, US Equestrian
The 2022 FEI Driving World Championship for Single Horses concluded on Sunday at Haras National du Pin in Le Pin-au-Haras, France. The U.S. contingent, led by Chef d’Equipe Dee Aldrich and Team Coach Suzy Stafford, had solid performances against a world-class field. The Land Rover U.S. Driving Team of Taylor Bradish and Katydid Duchess, Raymond Helmuth and Kendro, and Carrie Ostrowski and Gellerduht finished seventh out of 16 teams, with the combinations demonstrating poise in their world championship debuts. Bradish and Katydid Duchess were the top U.S. finishers in 15th place out of 74 competitors.
Photo - Taylor Bradish and Katydid Duchess were the top U.S. finishers in 15th place. (M. Guillamot)
"I was extremely proud of the U.S. athletes this past week at the world championships," said Chef d'Equipe Aldrich. "They handled the pressure extremely well for such a major event with wonderful sportsmanship and team spirit."
“Every driver handled the pressure of a World Championship with fortitude and grace. Every driver was supportive of each other and handled the atmosphere like seasoned pros,” said Team Coach Stafford. “This team is young in experience and came out of this show with unmeasurable knowledge and insight for future success. The drivers have a bright future and are excited to take the steps necessary to achieve higher results.”
Bradish (Windsor, S.C.) and Katydid Duchess started the competition with a score of 61.83 penalties in the dressage phase. The duo impressed in the marathon phase over the track designed by Johan Jacobs (NED), finishing fourth in the large field of competitors with 90.93 penalties. Bradish and Jennifer Matheson’s 2009 Welsh pony cross mare closed out the event with one ball down for 3.00 penalties in the cones phase for a final score of 155.76 penalties for 15th place.
Ostrowski (Lexington, Ky.) and Gellerduht began the competition with a score of 61.83 penalties in the dressage phase. They added 99.10 penalties in the marathon phase and 7.15 time penalties in the cones phase. Ostrowski and her own 2011 KWPN gelding ended on a final score of 168.08 penalties for 35th place.
Raymond Helmuth (Cambridge, Iowa) and Kendro scored 61.10 penalties in the dressage phase to kick off the competition. They tallied 99.94 penalties in the marathon phase, followed by one ball down and 5.74 time penalties for 8.74 penalties in the cones phase. Raymond and Helmuth Equine’s 2015 Dutch Warmblood stallion finished on a final score of 169.78 penalties for 41st place.
The U.S. individuals had respectable performances as well at the world championship. Leslie Berndl (Lexington, Ky.) earned the top U.S. dressage score of 61.03 penalties. The duo incurred 111.82 penalties in the marathon phase, then added 4.00 time penalties to their score in the cones phase. Berndl and her own 2013 Dutch Warmblood gelding ended on a final score of 176.85 penalties in 45th place.
Vernon Helmuth (Lodi, Calif.) and Ebony VDK scored 66.23 penalties in the dressage phase to begin the competition. They tallied 103.49 penalties in the marathon phase and 15.53 penalties, with one ball down and 12.53 time penalties, in the cones phase. Vernon and Sebastian Warneck’s 2009 KWPN mare closed out the competition on a final score of 185.25 penalties for 54th place.
Donna Crooskton (Saltsburg, Pa.) and Viktor, in their third consecutive world championship together, scored 67.76 penalties in the dressage phase to begin the competition. They added 117.86 penalties to their score in the marathon phase plus 8.08 penalties, with one ball down and 5.08 time penalties, in the cones phase. Crookston and her own 2008 Dutch Harness gelding ended on a score of 193.70 penalties for 62nd place. It is Crookston’s seventh and final world championship as she is retiring from competition after an illustrious career.