In the Eventing competition, Germany’s Michael Jung remained dominant and claimed the individual gold medal as Great Britain took the team gold medal. Canada claimed the team silver medal, just ahead of New Zealand in the bronze-medal position. The United States finished fourth. Great Britain last won the World Championship team gold at the 1994 World Games, while Canada had not won a World Championship medal at all since winning the team gold medal at the 1978 World Championships here at the Kentucky Horse Park. In the Reining competition, the powerhouse team from the United States took the gold medal, the third time in a row that they have been victorious. Belgium won the team silver medal, while Italy earned the bronze.
In the Endurance competition, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) claimed the team gold medals last week, after their riders finished third, sixth and seventh individually in the Endurance World Championships. The UAE team’s total time was nearly 55 minutes faster than silver medalist France, while Germany surprised the world by claiming the bronze medal. It was Germany’s first medal in endurance at a World Equestrian Games. With a 55% completion rate – 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.
In the Dressage competition, U.S. rider Steffen Peters made history when he rode Ravel to the Grand Prix Special individual bronze medal – the first American ever to win an individual medal in the World Championships. The Dressage World Championships climax with the musical freestyle on Friday night, when the 15 highest-scoring riders from the Grand Prix Special will compete. Great Britain, the team expected to win the gold medal at the Para Dressage World Championships, has taken the lead halfway through the team competition. Germany stands second, with the Netherlands third and Denmark fourth.
Germany rose to the top of the leaderboard on the second day of team competition in the Jumping World Championship after U.S. riders Mario Deslauriers, on Urico, and McLain Ward, on Sapphire, set the pace in the first leg of the team competition. The Vaulting World Championship begins today.
The World Equestrian Games are held every four years, two years prior to the Olympic Games, and are governed by the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI). The concept of a World Equestrian Games, at which all the FEI disciplines would decide their World Championships at one time and place, was first proposed to the FEI in 1983.
Photograph courtesy Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games