02.27.10

Tickets to the Final Series of Official Test Events for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Now On Sale

Posted in 2010 Games, CCI****, Dressage, Pre-Events, Rolex Kentucky 3 Day Event, Show Jumping, Test Event, Three-Day Eventing at 2:16 pm by Thomas

LEXINGTON, KY—The 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games will host its final series of Kentucky Cup Test Events, held in conjunction with the annual Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. Dressage, Eventing and Jumping competitions will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park April 20-25.

Tickets to all events are now on sale. To purchase tickets to Kentucky Cup Dressage, the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event and Kentucky Cup Jumping, visit https://www.ticketreturn.com/prod2/team.asp?SponsorID=2513.

“This final series of test events will be an important test of the planning for many of the competition aspects of the Games,” said Kate Jackson, Vice President of Competition for the World Games 2010 Foundation. “By hosting sessions of different disciplines on several days, we will really be able to test many of our procedures for the actual Games.”

Kentucky Cup Dressage will begin the week of official test events. The schedule includes:

Tuesday, April 20                              9:00 a.m.             Dressage Grand Prix

Wednesday, April 21                        10:00 a.m.           Grand Prix Special

Thursday, April 22                            7:00 p.m.             Dressage Freestyle

The Freestyle competition on April 22 is a ticketed event priced at $15. All Kentucky Cup Dressage events will be held in the Outdoor Stadium. The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event includes:

Thursday, April 22                            9:00 a.m.              Dressage
Friday, April 23                                 9:00 a.m.              Dressage
Saturday, April 24                             9:00 a.m.              Cross Country
Sunday, April 25                               Noon                     Jumping

For more information about the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, go to www.rk3de.org.

Kentucky Cup Jumping will complete the official test events for the 2010 Games. The schedule includes:

Friday, April 23                                 7:00 p.m.             Warm –Up class
Saturday, April 24                             7:00 p.m.             Jumping Grand Prix
Sunday, April 25                                6:00 p.m.            Speed Class

Saturday’s Jumping Grand Prix is a ticketed event priced at $20. Tickets to the Speed Class on Sunday will be $15. All Kentucky Cup Jumping sessions will be held in the Outdoor Stadium.

10.14.09

UAE, USA Riders Dominate Kentucky Cup Endurance

Posted in 2010 Games, Disciplines, Endurance, Pre-Events, World Equestrian Games at 10:10 pm by Thomas

LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY-October 14, 2009- HE Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed Al Maktoum  of the United Arab Emirates and 1996 Endurance World Champion Danielle Mc Gunigal of the United States won the Kentucky Cup Endurance events, sponsored by Emirates Equestrian Federation, and the official endurance test event for the 2010 Alltech World Equestrian Games.     

HE Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed Al Maktoum son of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, crossed the wire first in the CEI** 75 mile event in a ride time of 6:05:30. Danielle Mc Gunigal finished the CEI*** in a ride time in 6:30:41.  The CEI*** was originally an FEI qualifying event at a distance of 100 miles (160 km), but lost its status when it was shortened to 120 km after the footing became questionable in the inclement weather. 

“I have mixed feelings about shortening the race,” said Mc Gunigal. “The footing was only getting worse. Some of the parts of the trail that we have to go over were already slippery and deep and if the race was kept at the original distance, we would have had to go over it again, so in that sense, I am glad they shortened it. But I was hoping to use this race to qualify my horse (Gold Raven) for next year, and now we have to do it at another event, so that is very disappointing.” 

HE Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed Al Maktoum was thrilled with his win despite the conditions. 

“It was amazing. This is the sport that we most love. It’s our history,” said Sheikh Majid.  “Given the weather today, the course was amazing. But the weather made it very difficult. There wasn’t any hard part, other than the ground being a bit slippery. Other than that, it was excellent. There wasn’t anything wrong or bad.” 

The rain was a recurring focus of the day, with a downpour shortly before the start of the rides. It continued throughout the day for all mandatory veterinary exams, creating a messy vet gate and slippery footing. 

Two-time Endurance World Champion Valerie Kanavy and mother of Danielle McGunigal, was affected by the weather and footing. Kanavy was eliminated after her horse LM Parys fell on the second loop. 

“We were crossing the road on the blacktop and she just slipped,” said Kanavy.  “She went down and I went right after. She has recovered and is doing fine now.” 

The event was aptly named as an endurance test. The endurance levels of the athletes from the 23 countries participating were truly tested.  However, according to Mubarak Khalifa of the UAE the weather was no big deal. “Endurance riders are used to riding in all kinds of weather, so this is normal.”  

One noticeable absentee was HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was expected to compete but never made the trip to Kentucky due to commitments in Dubai.

10.04.09

Chester Weber Wins Kentucky Cup and Record 7th Consecutive National Title

Posted in 2010 Games, Combined Driving, Disciplines, Pre-Events at 7:35 pm by Thomas

Lexington, KY – October 4, 2009 –   Chester Weber of Ocala, FL, is now in possession of the 2009 Kentucky Cup, which was a test event for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, and a record 7th USEF Four-In-Hand National Championship.    

Weber went into the Cones phase a mere 6.86 points ahead of the pack and maneuvered his team around the course with only a 2.30 time penalty, for a final score of 131.35 to take the title.

“This course was up to international standards,” said Weber.  “The time is always difficult at a Championship and I felt that this was good preparation for next year where we are going to have to fight to make the time.”

Tucker Johnson, Hobe Sound, FL, placed third in the Kentucky Cup and finished as Reserve Champion, in second place behind Weber as the second highest placing US driver in the National Championship race.  Johnson was within the time on the Cones course, but managed to bump two cones and dislodge the balls on top for a penalty score of 6 and a final score of 141.40.    

“This was a good course” said Johnson.  “I was very pleased and thought it was a very appropriate course for the competition.  For next year I plan to build a team from these horses and the team I have in Europe and prepare by competing in Windsor and Aachen.  Now that we have gotten a taste of what the course can be, with the hazards and the hills, I plan on coming back with something that is ready to show.” 

Boyd Exell, from Australia, spent the week chasing Weber and Johnson and after his spectacular Marathon phase and was less than 7 points behind the leaders going into the last phase of competition.  Exell drove his team tight and fast, covering most of the track at an extended trot and crossed the timers with only a penalty of 3, for one ball dropped, for a total of 138.91 and second place in the Kentucky Cup. 

“The course was, just like yesterday’s Marathon, very horse friendly” said Exell.  “It was also nice to watch.  But from my previous competition experience in Europe, this was the most horse friendly.  This was a test event and I anticipate that next year it will go up to WEG standards.” 

Exell is already guaranteed a spot at the 2010 Games representing Australia.  For Weber and Johnson, the Kentucky Cup and USEF National Championship titles are just two among a history of stiff competition between top American drivers. 

“Tucker made me work really hard for this all weekend, harder than in the past,” said Weber.  “I remember watching his dressage and thinking maybe he has got me here.  Cones have been my weakness in the past but this was pretty fluid.  I did use Jamaica at the left wheel today and frankly he gave me a bit of grief.  That’s what I get for trying to give an 18 year-old a break.”

Chester Weber, winner of the 2009 Kentucky Cup

Chester Weber, winner of the 2009 Kentucky Cup

10.02.09

Top Drivers Go Head-to-Head in Kentucky Cup Driving Competition. Weber and Johnson Vie for Record 7th U.S. Four-In-Hand Championship

Posted in 2010 Games, Combined Driving, Disciplines, Pre-Events, World Equestrian Games at 7:00 am by Thomas

Lexington, KY – October 1, 2009 – A real shootout is underway for the U.S. Four-In-Hand Driving Championship, which will be decided on Sunday at the 2009 Kentucky Cup, a test event for the 2010 Alltech World Equestrian Games, being held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.    

Chester Weber, Ocala, FL, and his team of warmbloods, which includes Jamaica, the 2008 USEF Horse of the Year, turned in a beautiful dressage performance to lead the competition with a score of 40.06.  Weber has won 6 consecutive National titles and is looking for his 7th. 

Also gunning for a record 7th Four-In-Hand National title, and sitting in second place with a score of 41.98, is S. Tucker S. Johnson, Hobe Sound, FL.

“This is so exciting,” said Weber.  “To see so many other American teams competing here.  When I first started driving fours in 1999, it was Tucker and Jimmy (Fairclough) and I think that they were happy to have a third competitor with them.” 

Johnson echoed that sentiment. “Having 16 teams competing here is huge.  It is a great step forward for the US.  In Europe you will see 30 to 40 teams competing at every show.  This shows that we are moving in the right direction with our sport.” 

“I would like to get to the low 30s, which I did with my team last year, but the results today were acceptable”, said Weber.  “The goal is always to win, but with this competition the goal is also next year.” 

Boyd Exell, who hails from Australia, sits in third place behind Weber and Johnson for the Kentucky Cup title with a dressage score of 47.87.  “This is a prep for next year”, said Exell, the 2009 winner of the Four-In Hand at Aachen in Germany, third in the 2008 FEI World Four-in-Hand Championships and winner of the 2008 British National Championship.  “This was the first dressage test these horses have done as a team.  So they did well.  I think that it is great that Tucker is chasing Chester.  I plan on sitting back and picking up the leftovers.” 

Kentucky Cup Driving is both a competition for the National title and a test event for the 2010 Alltech World Equestrian Games, giving these competitors a chance to preview the venue at the Kentucky Horse Park prior to the Games next year.
 
The latest results from this event can be found at www.alltechfeigames.com on the News Headlines.  Also on the site is information on all the test events as well as general information about the upcoming Games.

09.29.09

World Games 2010 Foundation Announces Competitors for Kentucky Cup Driving Test Event

Posted in 2010 Games, Combined Driving, Disciplines, Pre-Events at 9:13 pm by Thomas

The largest gathering of FEI Four-in-Hand drivers ever in the Americas will go head-to-head October 1-4 at the Kentucky Horse Park for Kentucky Cup Driving, the third official test event for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

The CAI-A competition will be held in conjunction with the annual Lexington Combined Driving Classic, (also the 2009 USEF National Driving Championships), and will feature drivers from Australia, Canada, and the United States.  Several drivers competing in the test event are veterans from previous World Equestrian Games, including current individual silver medalist from the 2008 FEI World Four-in-Hand Driving Championships, Chester Weber. 

Kentucky Cup Driving and the Lexington Combined Driving Classic will be held October 1-4 on the Secretariat Polo Field at the Kentucky Horse Park.  The competition will consist of three phases: dressage, cross-country marathon, and obstacle (“cones”).  The Kentucky Cup Four-in-Hand Dressage will begin on Thursday, October 1, at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, all drivers will complete the marathon phase with FEI Four-in-Hand drivers beginning their marathon phase at 2:00 p.m. Sunday will consist of the obstacle phase, with the Kentucky Cup Driving obstacle class starting at noon.

For a complete list of competitors and competition start times, visit the Kentucky Cup Driving test event page of our Web site.

09.25.09

Celebration of the One Year Countdown to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games

Posted in 2010 Games, Pre-Events, World Equestrian Games at 7:38 pm by Thomas

It was a busy day today.  I started off at the Celebration of the one(1) year countdown to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and the start of ticket sales.  Because of rain, the event was moved from the Lexington Courthouse into the lobby of Rupp Arena. 

Tom Hammond, a Kentucky native and key sports broadcaster for NBC Studios was the MC of the event.  Former Miss America Heather French-Henry delievered the motivational call to the citizens of Kentucky.  Jane Beashear introduced us to her instructor and possible Dressage competitor for the Games, Reese Koffler-Stanfield, whom gave a very emotional speech on her pride at having the possibility of representing Kentucky next year. Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry spoke about the festivals that will be occuring in Lexington during the Games (http://www.spotlightlexky.com) .  And last but certainly not least, Dr. Pearse Lyons, founder and President of Alltech, spoke about his decision to be put up the $10 million dollars to be the Title Sponsor and their additional efforts to see that the Games are a Great success.  There was extensive media coverage of the event and NBC streamed it live on the Web for the whole World to see so all and all I would say the kick-off was a great success.