Some 23 Reining horse-and-rider combinations came back to the Parc des Expositions in Caen, France, today for the second individual qualifying competition at the World Equestrian Games. The top 15 pairs after the first individual qualifier had already earned their ticket to the Final which will be held on Saturday, August 30.
Second last to go, Troy Heikes, representing the USA as an individual, walked in aboard Lil Gun Dunit (Colonels Lil Gun x Hollywood Baby Dunit). Riding the eight-year-old stallion, owned by Denise Bixler and Steve Tarani, Heikes was set on making it to the Final and closed his run with a score of 220, the highest of the day.
“In the first qualifier we had a problem in his right circles,” Heikes said. “Today, though he felt really good, we also had one point lead penalty on that side. After that I knew we had to earn it back and he gave me all he had. Though I am not on the US team, I am part of the squad and am really happy with the way my horse went. For me, getting my horse ready for an FEI event is all very new and it has been a great experience,” he pointed out.
In a competition that buzzed with excitement from start to finish, Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro claimed Dressage Grand Prix Special gold at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Normandy, France, today. It wasn’t a flawless performance from the dynamic British duo, with mistakes that Dujardin afterwards described as “silly," but such was the quality of the rest of the work she produced with her extraordinary gelding that she still headed silver medalist Helen Langehanenberg with Damon Hill NRW, whose German team-mate, Kristina Sprehe, earned bronze with Desperados FRH.
“We made three expensive mistakes and I thought ‘Oh it’s cost me the medal!’, so I knew after each one that I had to go for a bit more to try and catch up on what I had already lost,” she said afterwards. “But he's such a fantastic horse, he's got a heart of gold. If I need to go for a bit more he tries to go for a bit more, he never says no I can't do it,” said the rider who now holds the Grand Prix Special title at Olympic, European and World Championship level.
They almost fell victim to their own enormous popularity however, as Dujardin found the enthusiasm of the spectators in the D’Ornano Stadium quite distracting throughout her test.
After a very competitive weekend, Michael Pollard takes the spotlight and wins the Adequan USEA Gold Cup division at the Richland Park CIC***. Mensa G, a 16-year-old Thoroughbred gelding owned by Andrea Leatherman, Nelson Leatherman, and Jeannine Gingras, had a foot-perfect cross-country round with only 2 time faults to end the weekend on a 51.6.
It’s a stressful world out there and your horse’s digestive system takes the brunt of it. It doesn’t take much to unbalance intestinal microflora—anything from a change in forage to a course of antibiotics can do it. Help your horse maintain the proper balance necessary for digestive health with Farnam’s New DigestAid™ Synbiotic, available in powder and paste formulas.
Equine Journal announces their 2014 media partnership with the Silver Oak Jumper Tournament, which starts today, August 13, 2014. Silver Oak has moved to Halifax, Massachusetts this year and features more than $175,000 of prize money during a week of excitement that culminates with a Grand Prix event on August 17th. The event is televised by NESN in a taped special set to air on August 23rd.