Volunteering: Day 4

Posted in 2010 Games, My Volunteering, Volunteerism, World Equestrian Games at 10:41 am by Thomas

My experience volunteering has been great so far, getting ready to head out for Day 5.  Yesterday I had an early morning shift and was out to the Kentucky Horse Park at 5 AM.  It was certainly cool, temps were in the mid 40’s and after the 90’s we have had recently it was a bit of a shock when I first started walking from Spy Coast parking, but by the time I got to the volunteer center I had warmed up.  The volunteers I have met so far have been good people, most but not all have some background in horses but its cool to know that there are others out there, that have come to volunteer because they also believe the World Equestrian Games are a good thing for Kentucky and they want to be a part of it.

Speaking of being a part of it, Monday night, walking back to my car at 10 PM, when all the crowds had already left, I got the most amazing sense of being a part of something special.  It was that Magic that I have always spoken about in regards to Kentucky and these Games, and when you feel it, there is no missing it.

Well, I am off to my shift, hope to see you all there!

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas Demond


Peters Rides To U.S. Bronze Medal At Dressage World Championships, presented by Alltech

Posted in 2010 Games, Disciplines, Dressage, Results, World Equestrian Games at 10:28 pm by Press Release

Lexington, Ky., Sept. 29, 2010 — U.S. rider Steffen Peters made history today when he rode Ravel to the Grand Prix Special individual bronze medal in the Dressage World Championships, presented by Alltech, at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. He is the first American ever to win an individual medal in the World Championships.
Peters, 46, from San Diego, Calif., scored 78.54 percent percent, to finish behind gold medalist Edward Gal of the Netherlands on Moorlands Totilas (85.70%) and Laura Bechtolsheimer, 25, of Great Britain, on Mistral Hojris (81.70%). The three riders finished yesterday’s team Grand Prix in the same order.
Peters was born in Germany and immigrated to United States in 1992. He rode on his first U.S. team at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, winning the team bronze medal. At the 2006 World Equestrian Games, Peters and Ravel, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, led the US. team to the bronze medal. They finished a painfully close fourth in the 2008 Olympics, and in 2009 they won the FEI World Cup Final.
Peters shed a few tears at this evening’s medal ceremony in the Main Stadium. “I can tell you pretty well how many years, months and days have passed since I just missed the medal in Hong Kong [in 2008]. That it finally happened today was huge, tremendous,” he said.
Peters added, “Certainly yesterday was a huge pressure for the team, but there’s never been a bronze medal for the U.S. before, so I was beside myself on the podium.”
Gal, 40, said he was just as thrilled to be wearing both the team and individual Grand Prix Special gold medals. “Totilas felt a bit more relaxed today than yesterday, so I could ride him a bit more, and it worked out great. I am very happy,” he said.
Gal tried to describe the felling of riding Totilas, a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion. “It’s so difficult to explain. You have to ride it to fell it, and I will not allow that,” he said with a smile. “He has so much energy and so much power, but you always have the feeling that you can control it. And he doesn’t want to make a mistake, ever. I don’t think I will ever get to ride another horse like him.”
Mary Seefried of Australia, the judge at C, had high praise for the medalists. “What impressed the judges most about the top three was the harmony of the riders and the precision of their riding,” she said.
The Dressage World Championships climax with the musical freestyle on Friday night, starting at 7:00 p.m. The 15 highest-scoring riders from today’s Grand Prix Special have qualified for their final ride of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
“Normally the freestyle is my best test, but I hope I can show it under the lights on Friday night,” said Gal.

2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Featuring Microsoft Innovations

Posted in 2010 Games, Technology, World Equestrian Games at 8:42 pm by Press Release

Internet Café, Gaming Xbox Kiosks Add High Tech Buzz to the Games

LEXINGTON, KY— September 29, 2010 — The 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games  now in full swing are featuring a number of new innovations and guest services this year, compliments of Microsoft Corp.

Working with the Games, Microsoft developed aVIP Business Center at the Maker’s Mark Bourbon Village Hospitality Pavilion and created an Internet Café, filled with computing and gaming stations, including Xbox kiosks.  Students from the Kentucky Student Technology Leadership Program are providing technical support in the Internet Café and Business Center.  The students’ technology understanding and customer service skills are strong indicators of the state’s ability to develop the next generation of technical leaders.

In the spirit of the Games, technology reuse, and Microsoft’s own green initiatives, Microsoft has also erected a barn to house the Internet Café. The barn is already a prominent landmark for spectators. After the Games, Microsoft will donate the barn to the Lexington Humane Society.

“We are thrilled to be part of such a prestigious event,” said Microsoft General Manager Nancy Holliday, who was born and raised in Lexington, KY. “There are many Microsoft employees who call Kentucky home or who have their roots here, so supporting the state with world class software and services is extremely exciting for us all.”  Currently, Microsoft provides email services to over 800,000 students and teachers throughout the state.

“The services that Microsoft is bringing to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games will not only be helpful to guests but will also display Microsoft’s commitment to help others through technology,” said Terry Johnson, vice president of marketing and sales at the World Games 2010 Foundation.

Eventing World Championship Gets Underway at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games

Posted in 2006 Games, 2010 Games, Disciplines, Eventing, World Equestrian Games at 8:34 pm by Press Release

Nearly 81 competitors from 22 countries presented horses at today’s first horse inspection just 24 hours before the start of the Eventing World Championships, presented by Reem Acra, at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.  One horse from Mexico was the only competitor not accepted at the jog, leaving just 80 competitors from 21 countries competing in the championship.

Two horses—one from Portugal and one from Poland —were held and then accepted upon re-presentation.

None of the individual medalists from the 2006 World Games in Aachen are here to defend their medals, but the teams that medaled in Aachen are all here to see if they can improve upon their results from four years ago.
Countries that will field full teams include Great Britain, Japan, South Africa, Belgium, Brazil, Sweden, Australia, Italy, France, Ireland, USA, Germany, Canada and New Zealand. Those countries will also aim for individual medals in addition to Austria, The Netherlands, Portugal, Finland, Poland, Argentina and Denmark.
Eventing officials presiding over today’s horse inspection included: Judges Marilyn Payne (USA), Anne-Mette Binder (DEN) and David Lee (IRL); chief steward Sally O’Connor (USA); technical delegate Tom Ryckewaert (BEL); assistant technical delegate Gretchen Butts (USA); foreign veterinary delegate Gerit Matthesen (GER); associate veterinarian Lisa Krump (USA); and president of the veterinary commission Catherine Kohn (USA).
The competition will begin tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. with Day 1 of the dressage phase.

Qualifying Complete For Reining Individual Finals At Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games

Posted in 2010 Games, Disciplines, Reining, Results, World Equestrian Games at 3:30 am by Press Release

Lexington, Ky., Set. 28 — Great Britain dominated the second individual qualifying round at the World Reining Championship, presented by John Deere, today at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. The top qualifying score of 217.5 went to Great Britain’s Lee Rutter, riding Setting Off Sparks, while his countryman Doug Allen with Don Julio Whiz had the second-highest score of 216.5.

Twenty horses were given this second chance at qualifying for Thursday’s individual finals. Sixteen horse-and-rider teams had already qualified by posting high marks during the team reining competition.

Other riders qualifying Tuesday included Fredrik Thomsson of Sweden, marking the first time his country has ever sent a rider to the individual finals. Australia’s Warren Backhouse and the Netherlands’ Hubertus Heule rounded out the qualifiers.

Anneli Silverstope, the Swedish chef d’equipe, was thrilled about the historic qualification. “I was sitting up there [in the stands] and was so nervous for Fred, counting the riders and [thinking)] ,’oh, I hope, I hope,’ and I did make a text just to make it clear that he is in the finals. When we knew he was, I just texted away, and I hope it’s all over Sweden now,” she said.

Riders who qualified for the individual finals during the team reining competition are:

Shawn Flarida, USA, riding RC Fancy Step
Stefano Massignan, Italy, riding Yellow Jersey
Tom McCutcheon, USA, riding Gunners Special Nite
Bernard Fonck, Belgium, riding BA Reckless Chick
Craig Schmersal, USA, riding Mister Montana Nic
Duane Latimer, Canada, riding Dun Playin Tag
Sylvia Rzepka, Germany, riding Doctor Zip Nic
Rudolf Kronsteiner, Austria, riding Einsteins Revolution
Grischa Ludwig, Germany, riding Hot Smokin Chex
Tim McQuay, USA, riding Hollywoodstinseltown
Martin Mühlstätter, Austria, riding Wimpys Little Buddy
Ann Poels, Belgium, riding Whizdom Shines

Rieky Young-Van Osch, the Netherlands, riding Burnt Starlight

Shawna Sapergia, Canada, riding This Chics On Top
Wellington Jesus Teixeira, Brazil, riding SJ Rodopio
Martin Larcombe, Australia, riding Top Prize Prince
The individual finals will be at 1 p.m. on Thursday.

Dutch Team Wins Gold Medal For First Time At Dressage World Championships, presented by Alltech

Posted in 2010 Games, Disciplines, Dressage, Results, World Equestrian Games at 3:26 am by Press Release

Lexington, Ky., Sept. 28 — The teams from the Netherlands and Great Britain each did something they’ve never done before in the Dressage World Championships, presented by Alltech, at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

The Netherlands won the team gold medal (229.74) for the first time ever, and Great Britain won the team silver medal (224.67), the first team medal they’ve ever won in the World Games.

Germany earned the team bronze medal (220.59), marking the first time they have not won the team gold medal since 1970.

The United States finished close behind in fourth (218.12).

As expected, superstar Moorlands Totilas, with Edward Gal, led the Dutch team to victory by topping the individual standings with a score of 84.04 percent. Teammates Imke Schellekens-Bartels, on Hunter Douglas Sunrise, and Hans Peter Minderhoud, on Exquis Nadine, provided scores of 73.44 percent and 72.25 percent to secure the gold medal.

Both of their scores became absolutely necessary this morning when their fourth teammate, Adelinde Cornelissen, on Jerich Parzival, was eliminated by the ground jury because the horse had blood visible in his saliva. Immediate examination found only a small cut on the tip of his tongue. Cornelissen rode Jerich Parzival in the awards ceremony and received her gold medal.

“It has been a difficult but exciting day for all of us,” said Gal. “We have mixed feelings and have had a great many tears. On one side, we are very happy to finally win the gold medal, but on one side we are certainly very sad for Adelinde.”

Laura Bechtolsheimer and Mistal Hojris propelled the British team to their silver medal by scoring 82.51 percent, a performance that put her second individually. “It was definitely the best test and the best score of my life,” she said. “I’ve never been able to ride him so full of energy and really relaxed before.”

Teammates Carl Hester, on Liebling II, Maria Eilberg, on Two Sox, and Fiona Bigwood, on Wie-Atlantico Ymas, backed up Bechtolsheimer’s outstanding score.

“British dressage has been waiting for a superstar like Laura,” said Hester, a British team member for more than 20 years. “I think the other three of us feel our horses couldn’t have gone any better, and we’re very proud.”

Isabell Werth, the former World Champion and Olympic gold medalist, led the German team, scoring 75.40 percent on Warum Nicht. She has been a German team member for more than 20 years, and this is the first time Germany has not won the team gold medal at the World Championships since 1970. She noted that this was the first World Championship start for her three teammates.

“We needed a lot more points. We did a good job, but Laura did a super job. The Dutch and the British were just better this time, and we have to work harder,” said Werth.

Stephen Clarke, of Great Britain, the president of the ground jury who judged at C, had high praise for the riders in the Dressage World Championships. “I think the level of riding was fantastic. They all really took risks and made it exciting to watch and for us to judge. It was a real nail-biter, especially from where I was,” he said.

The Dressage World Championships, presented by Alltech, continue tomorrow (Sept. 29) with the Grand Prix Special, after which individual medals will be presented. The top 30 riders in the Grand Prix will go forward to the Grand Prix Special. Dressage concludes with the musical freestyle on Friday night.


Jerich Parzival Eliminated From Dressage World Championships At The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games

Posted in 2010 Games, Disciplines, Dressage, World Equestrian Games at 5:29 pm by Press Release

Lexington, Ky., Day 4 — Jerich Parzival, ridden by Adelinde Cornelissen of the Netherlands, was eliminated during Tuesday morning’s team Grand Prix at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. The elimination occurred following movement number 5 of 33, the halt and rein-back, when the ground jury observed blood in the horse’s saliva.

Dr. Wojtek Markowski (POL), the competition’s technical delegate, said, “The rule is clear, and it is written to protect the welfare of the horse: blood coming from the mouth is contrary to the welfare of the horse and the horse must be eliminated for veterinary reasons.”

Dr. Markowski added that the FEI rule does not specify what amount of blood must be present; elimination is automatic if blood is visible in the horse’s mouth. There was no suggestion that any abuse of the horse had occurred.

Cornelissen said that Dr. Jan Greve, the Dutch team’s veterinarian, examined the horse immediately after he returned to the stable. “There was a tiny spot on the tip of his tongue. It had stopped bleeding on the way back to the stable,” she said.

Jerich Parzival was receiving scores of 80 percent when he was eliminated. Cornelissen added, “I am very disappointed. The horse was doing amazing at that moment. I am very happy that there is nothing seriously wrong with him”

Sjef Janssen, the Dutch team chef d’equipe, said, “We are very disappointed, but we understand the rule and accept the decision.”

If the Dutch team is in the top three at the end of today’s competition, Cornelissen will join them in the medal ceremony and will receive a medal.

Dutch Riders Lead Dressage World Championships, presented by Alltech

Posted in 2010 Games, Disciplines, Dressage, Results, World Equestrian Games at 8:06 am by Press Release

Lexington, Ky., Sept. 27, 2010 — Dutch riders Imke Schellekens-Bartels and Hans Peter Minderhoud gave the Netherlands a strong lead today over Germany in the Dressage World Championships, presented by Alltech.

Riding Hunter Douglas Sunrise, Schellekens-Bartels, 33, took the individual lead by scoring 73.44 percent. Aboard Exquis Nadine, Minderhoud, 36, moved into third place individually by scoring 72.25 percent. Their team total of 145.70 has put their team more than 5 points ahead of Germany (140.34) at the halfway point of the team competition.

German rider Christoph Koschel, riding Donnperignon, sits between the two Dutch riders, scoring 72.63 percent. Two of the five judges preferred Koschel’s test to Schellekens-Bartels’ test. Teammate Anabel Balkenhol scored 67.70 percent to place 12th.

Great Britain (138.34) is third in the team standings, the United States is fourth (136.17), and Canada is fifth (135.70).

The Dutch riders are not ready to celebrate yet. “We still have two riders to go tomorrow, and anything can develop. We will see what happens,” said Minderhoud.

Each was satisfied with their performances today, though. Minderhoud was especially pleased because only two days ago, Exquis Nadine slipped while walking back to the stables with Minderhoud after training. “She did the splits, with her hind legs out behind her, and she scraped her hind legs and her knee. But she was not lame and had no swelling, and she really did her job today. She has such a good attitude in the ring,” said Minderhoud.

Schellekens-Bartels explained that an error in the canter zigzag was her fault, not her horse’s fault. “It was a really, really good test, but I forgot to prepare for the change [of lead], and she just went sideways. She did what I told her to do. I just made a mistake,” said Schellekens-Bartels.

Germany has won the team gold medal at every World Equestrian Games. The Netherlands won the team silver medal in 1994, 1998 and 2006.

U.S. riders Katherine Bateson-Chandler, on Nartan, and Todd Flettrich, on Otto, scored 69.61 percent and 66.25 percent to currently stand fifth and 16th of today’s 20 starters. The U.S. team claimed the silver medal at the 2002 World Games.

The Grand Prix team competition will climax tomorrow (Sept. 28), with sessions starting at 8:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. The awards ceremony will immediately follow the competition.

2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Receives Definite Entries for Eventing

Posted in 2010 Games, Disciplines, Eventing, World Equestrian Games at 8:01 am by Press Release

LEXINGTON, KY—The 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games have announced the definite entries for the Eventing World Championship, presented by Reem Acra.

Twenty-three countries have submitted definite entries, resulting in 85 riders and 85 horses and a total of 14 teams.

The Eventing competition will begin with part one of the Dressage phase on September 30 at 9:00 a.m. EDT. Part two of the Dressage phase will continue on October 1, with the Cross Country and Show Jumping phases following October 2 and 3, respectively.

Definite entries for Jumping, Para-Dressage, Driving and Vaulting will be available within the coming days.

Tickets to the 2010 Games are still available but selling quickly. Experience it in person by securing your tickets today at www.alltechfeigames.com/tickets or 1-888-934-2010.

UAE Grabs Gold Medal At Endurance World Championships, presented by Meydan

Posted in 2010 Games, Disciplines, Endurance, Results, World Equestrian Games at 7:57 am by Press Release

Lexington, Ky., Sept. 27 — After their riders finished third, sixth and seventh individually in the Endurance World Championships, presented by Meydan, the United Arab Emirates today accepted their team gold medals in the Main Stadium at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

The UAE team’s total time (23:53:36) was nearly 55 minutes faster than silver medalist France (24:49:46), while Germany surprised the world by claiming the bronze medal (25:34:16). It was Germany’s first medal in endurance at a World Equestrian Games.

The UAE team members were HE Sheikh Hamdan Mohammed Al Maktoum, HE Sheikh Majid Mohammed Al Maktoum, and Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum. They had trained in Newmarket, England, to prepare for the World Games, because the grass training gallops and the climate there are far more similar to Lexington than Dubai, said Jaume Punti-Dachs, one of the team’s trainers.

The French team members were Sarah Chakil, Virgnie Atger and Cecile Miletto Mosti.

The German team members were Gabriela Foster, Sabrina Arnold and Belinda Hitzler.

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the individual silver medalist, elected not to be a member of his country’s team for these World Games. He said before the ride began that he’d made this decision because it was “in the best interest of the team.”

Maria Mercedes Alvarez Ponton, the individual gold medalist, also trained her mount, Nobby, in Newmarket since Punti-Dachs is her husband. She gave birth to their daughter, Maria Punti-Alvarez, just seven weeks ago. “I feel no different today than after any other ride,” she said. “The only difference was that I could not sleep all night because I had to feed the baby.”

With a 55-percent completion rate (55 finishers of 100 starters)—the highest completion rate ever for an endurance championship at the World Games— riders and team officials hailed the 100-mile course around the Kentucky Horse Park as a great success. The course crossed land owned by 26 different owners and passed through 256 gates, all of which had to be manned by officials or volunteers to control equine, pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

Riders wore global-positioning-system tracking devices throughout the race, allowing spectators to follow them on television screens throughout the Kentucky Horse Park. “It was not part of the official timing or scoring system, but I think it worked well to keep the spectators interested in following the race as it progressed,” said endurance discipline manager Emmett Ross.

Hanaba du Bois, the horse ridden by Jean-Philippe Frances of France to fourth place, earned the best-condition award, determined this morning by the ride’s veterinarians.

About Meydan – One dynamic location, many possibilities

Meydan City is the brainchild of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. It is the culmination of his vision to create not just the ultimate venue for horseracing, but also an integrated city that is sustainable, environmentally responsible and also one that positions Dubai at the centre of the competitive global business stage.

Meydan City will feature four distinct sub-districts – Meydan Racecourse; where the Meydan Grandstand takes centre stage and is home to the Dubai World Cup, Meydan Metropolis; a series of state-of-the-art business parks, Meydan Horizons; where business towers intermingle with luxury waterfront developments, and Meydan Godolphin Parks; with its distinctive Godolphin Tower created in the image of a thoroughbred and also where the shopping destination Signature Mall is located.

Meydan Grandstand and Racecourse can accommodate a capacity of over 60,000, and features fine-dining restaurants, covered car parking for 8,600, the Meydan Museum and Gallery, an IMAX Theatre, the Meydan Boathouse, and the world’s largest and longest trackside LED panel. The Dubai Racing Club, Emirates Racing Authority and Meydan Freezone Falcon Commercial Park Freezone offices are located here. Meydan Racecourse district will also feature a 9-hole golf course, showroom district and luxury residential villas to rival those in any cosmopolitan city.

Meydan Grandstand also houses the world’s first five-star trackside hotel, Jumeirah The Meydan. With 285 luxuriously appointed rooms and suites, a Rooftop Infinity pool, a variety of F&B establishments, business, conference, banqueting facilities and a spa and fitness centre, most of these facilities offering stunning views of the racecourse.

The seamlessly interconnected indoor and outdoor spaces at Meydan Grandstand and Racecourse provide excellent venues for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions. These include unique facilities such as the Sky Bubble, which accommodates up to 4,500 guests, 72 Grandstand Corporate Suites with full track views, the Parade Ring, Receiving Barns, an indoor food court, extensive infield space, and the Apron Views.

With its Free zone status geared to businesses who are looking to be at the gateway to Europe and Asia, Meydan City is one location that offers a myriad of investment opportunities and experiences, delivering a perfect platform for business, entertainment and lifestyle.


Spain’s Ponton Flies To Endurance World Championship, Presented by Meydan

Posted in 2010 Games, Disciplines, Endurance, World Equestrian Games at 10:11 am by Press Release

Maria Mercedes Alvarez Ponton of Spain, riding Nobby

Lexington, Ky., Sept. 27, 2010 — Maria Mercedes Alvarez Ponton of Spain, riding Nobby, literally out-galloped her rivals to win the individual gold medal at the Endurance World Championships, presented by Meydan, at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

But HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, on Ciel Oriental, and his son, HE Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, on SAS Alexis, sprinted through the finish line only 1:55 later to claim the silver and bronze individual medals and lead the United Arab Emirates to their first team gold medal at a World Equestrian Games.

Ponton completed the last loop at an average speed of 29.44 kilometers per hour, while her UAE competitors chased her at an average speed of 31.66 kph. Ponton’s average time throughout the 100-mile race was a speedy 21.07 kph.

Heather Reynolds of the United States started the race’s climactic loop 6 in second place, but her mount Ssamiam, could not hold off the UAE charge and finished fourth. However, officials determined that Ssamiam was not fit to continue and eliminated him at the post-finish veterinary examination. Consequently, Jean-Philippe Frances of France claimed fourth on Hanaba du Bois.

With three riders unable to complete the course because of lameness or metabolic conditions, the U.S. team did not complete the competition.

“It’s really a strange feeling, because I really wanted Sheikh Mohammed to be the World Champion,” said Ponton immediately after the race. “I think he deserves it. He’s the person doing more for this sport in the world. This sport is what it is now because of him. But I didn’t know he was behind. I thought it was the American and the French guy.”

Still, Ponton added, “I’m not going to change” medals.

Ponton, 34, and Nobby have now won three championships in the last three years—the 2008 Endurance World Championships, the 2009 European Championships, and now the World Games.

But in between her European Championship and her victory at these 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, she gave birth to a daughter, Maria Punti-Alvarez, just seven weeks ago.

“It’s been really difficult to train and feed the baby and everything,” Ponton admitted.  “Last year when I got pregnant, I thought I could do [the 2010 World Games]. But everybody kept telling me it was impossible. I feel well. It’s like it never happened, having a baby.”

Ponton’s gold medal was even sweeter because her husband, Jaume Punti-Dachs, trains Sheikh Mohammed, 60, and his sons.

Sheikh Mohammed, the prime minister of the UAE, hosted the 1998 World Championships in Dubai and regularly hosts other important endurance races. He had high praise for the course that crisscrossed the Kentucky Horse Park and crossed over numerous neighboring farms.

“I just took care of my horse. I enjoyed myself very much on this course today,” he said.

Ponton was pleased with how well Nobby, 15, handled 100 miles of the Kentucky bluegrass countryside.

“‘[The course] was really, really difficult. Really fast for me and really difficult. People say it is flat. It’s not flat at all. It was the most difficult race I’ve won with Nobby,” she said.

Team USA Wins First Gold Medal Of 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games

Posted in 2010 Games, Disciplines, Reining, World Equestrian Games at 10:03 am by Press Release

Lexington, Ky., Sept. 26, 2010 — The powerhouse team from the United States took the gold medal at the FEI Reining World Championship, presented by John Deere. Their victory made it a three-peat, since they’ve been victorious in each World Equestrian Games that has included reining.
Belgium won the team silver medal, while Italy earned the bronze.
The order of finish for the remaining top-10 teams was: Austria, Canada, Germany, Brazil, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Mexico.
U.S. Reining chef d’equipe Jeff Petska noted how tough the competition was at this year’s World Games, but he said the United States “brought a bunch of heavyweights to a heavyweight fight.”
Veteran rider Tim McQuay – who also won the individual silver medal in reining at the 2006 World Equestrian Games – said, “The difference in quality of the overall exhibitors at this event has grown so much.  It’s just unbelievable how much better they’ve gotten.”
But Team USA, as Petska said, brought its best. In order of their runs, McQuay and Hollywoodstinseltown scored a 220.5; Craig Schmersal and Mister Montana Nic scored 223.5; Tom McCutcheon and Gunners Special Nite scored 224; and Shawn Flarida and RC Fancy Step earned a team-competition high score of 227.
Flarida’s performance came after the United States had effectively sewn up the gold medal, so his score wasn’t even necessary for the win. But it’s not like Flarida, who claimed the 2002 WEG individual gold medal and has earned more than $3 million in National Reining Horse Association competition, to back down.
“I’m not good when I go in there and cruise around,” he said. “I need to go in there and do my job.”
For Belgium, which has a small but developing reining community, the 2010 World Games brought the country’s first-ever team reining medal.
“We were dreaming for third place, but getting silver is like a dream come true,” said Belgian chef d’equipe Susy Baeck, whose sister, Cira Baeck, is a team member. “Tomorrow morning when we wake up, we will realize, and we will have a headache for sure.”
For the Italians, however, international success is nothing new. They have claimed reining bronze medals in each of the previous World Equestrian Games. In 2008, they bested the U.S. team by winning the FEI World Reining Championships.
“We’re tired of being third for the third time. It’s time to move up!” said Italian chef d’equipe Mario Sbrana.
The Belgium team members were Baeck, Jan Boogaerts and Bernard Fonck and his wife, Ann Poels. Italy’s team members were Nicola Brunelli, Dario Carmignani, Stefano Massignan and Marco Ricotta.
A “second-chance” qualifying competition for the individual finals will be held Tuesday. The top five riders will advance to the finals, which will be held on Thursday, along with   the top 15 horses from the team competition.


Volunteering: Day 1

Posted in 2010 Games, Updates, Volunteerism, World Equestrian Games at 10:59 am by Thomas

My first day volunteering was about what I expected, actually it went better then I expected though I did spend 8 hours standing on asphalt at the first security check point prior to the Main Entry.  From my station I was directing people to the Main Entry or the ticket office if they didn’t have tickets, and I can say the ticket office stayed busy all day which is a very good sign for the numbers.  The video I saw of the Main Stadium showed that the stands were pretty full, so guessing their had to be more then 15,000 spectators which is a very good sign.  At the start of the month there was only a little more then 10,000 tickets sold for Opening Ceremonies so the fact that there was over a 50% increase in 3 weeks time bodes well for the rest of the Games because its an indication of the economy and that people are wanting to buy their tickets on the day of as opposed to prior to an event.  So I would not expect the numbers to be as dire as what was said at the beginning of the month and I think there is a good chance everyone will be presently surprised.

Italy Takes Day 1 Lead In Reining World Championships, Presented By John Deere

Posted in 2010 Games, Disciplines, Reining, Results, World Equestrian Games at 8:53 am by Press Release

Lexington, Ky., Sept. 25, 2010 — With roughly half of the rides completed in the team Reining competition of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, Team Italy is on top in the Reining World Championships, presented by John Deere.

Italian Stefano Massignan scored a chart-topping 224 aboard Yellow Jersey, winner of the 2009 Italian Reining Horse Association Level 4 Open Derby. Yellow Jersey is a 6-year-old American Quarter Horse stallion sired by Wimpys Little Step and owned by Arcese Quarter Horses USA.

“He’s an easy horse, but he has a big heart, a big mind,” Massignan said of his mount. “He’s phenomenal. You can make that go-round if you ride a special horse, (and) he’s special – for the rest of my life.”

The team Reining competition continues Sunday, September 26, with the remaining 35 riders.

U.S. team rider Craig Schmersal is sitting in the second-place slot with a score of 223.5 aboard his “old faithful” horse, Mister Montana Nic, a 12-year-old American Quarter Horse stallion who was the 2005 FEI World Reining Master silver medalist.

Tim McQuay of the United States and Grischa Ludwig of Germany are tied for third with scores of 220.5.

Ludwig, who was the last rider of the day Saturday, admitted to having some nerves as he entered the World Equestrian Games arena, but midway through his run, he was actually smiling.

“When I saw the second stop there, I knew, exactly, we were going to have a good run. And then I was trying to get the German corner [of fans] a little bit loud,” he said.

The adrenaline even got to veteran rider McQuay, who earned a team gold and individual silver at the 2006 WEG in Aachen, Germany.

“When I quit getting nervous, I won’t do it anymore,” he said.

Another highlight of Saturday’s reining competition was the performance of dressage star Anky van Grunsven of the Netherlands. She scored a 211, her personal best.

“I know it can be much better than this, but for me, I am very happy that I was here and that I did the equestrian games in Reining. It’s a new challenge. … I love it,” she said.

She rode Whizashiningwalla BB, an American Quarter Horse bred in Belgium. As most of the horses in the reining competition are Quarter Horses, the American Quarter Horse Association is the official breed sponsor of reining at the games.

Countries competing with full reining teams include: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, Sweden and the United States. Eleven of those countries will field four riders, allowing them one drop score while the remaining three teams will have three competitors.  Countries competing as individuals include: Columbia, Dominican Republic, Spain, Ireland, Israel, Poland, South Africa and Uruguay.


Posted in 2010 Games, Results, World Equestrian Games at 8:49 am by Press Release

LEXINGTON, KY—DAY ONE—Follow the World Championship competitions of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games with start lists, live scoring and results online at www.alltechfeigames.com/results.


T-0 Sunrise 7:28 AM The Games are Here

Posted in 2010 Games, World Equestrian Games at 7:28 am by Thomas

After more then 4 1/2 years the day we have waited for has finally arrived, Opening Day of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games … Kentucky’s World Equestrian Games.  It is a beautiful morning, Temperature is a cool 59º F in Lexington.

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