WEG Opening Ceremony Highlights Pageantry and Panorama

Monday, August 25, 2014
Posted by Mary Phelps

The Australian Team. Photo by Mary Phelps
The Australian Team. Photo by Mary Phelps

As the colorful parade of nations at the 2014 Alltech/World Equestrian Games led by flag bearing Norman draft chargers made the circuit of the arena, nation by nation, cheered on by the packed stadium of spectators, the FEI's inclusion of para-equestrian for the first time in the Kentucky Games in 2010 and now, is so clearly the right decision. To watch top athletes in wheelchairs pushed through heavy sand, using canes or motor bikes as part of the team defines what is special about equestrian sport. Horses are the great equalizer in sport between men and women, able-bodied and not. Perhaps, nowhere else is the trust in the horse-rider relationship more evident.  The record breaking number 100 riders sent from 33 nations is proof of surge of the discipline's popularity.

To share in the honor and excitement of all the athletes, team and individuals, on an international stage, showcasing parallel abilities creates a complete and enriching portrait of horse sport. 

Para-dressage competition starts Monday 20-25, LaPrairie racecourse in Caen, Normandy. Grades Ia-V contest team, individual and freestyle medals, in addition to securing top three team spots for 2016 Paralympics in Rio, Brazil.