When NRHA’s only 2 Million Dollar lady rider, Mandy McCutcheon, rode in the Parc Expo arena this morning, Team USA was leading the competition rankings during the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy after Andrea Fappani had obtained the top score (224) and Jordan Larson the third best (221) in the first day of competition on Monday.
Mandy slid Yellow Jersey, a 10-year-old Quarter Horse stallion by Wimpys Little Step and out of Ms Clara Melody (owned by father Tim McQuay), to a score of 224 and brought the total to a 669. The last rider representing the USA, Shawn Flarida, riding Michel Kimball’s Spooks Gotta Whiz (Spooks Gotta Gun x Prettywhizprettydoes), was draw 75 this afternoon. The only NRHA 5 Million Dollar Rider performed pattern n.6 to perfection and after his performance, a 229.5 appeared on the scoreboard bringing Team USA’s total to a 677.5. The United States of America thus conquered their fourth consecutive WEG team Gold medal! “This is an awesome horse and I’ve been so fortunate to have been able to ride him for the last three years. I trust him a lot and I know that he is very talented so I was afraid to be the one to make a mistake. The crowd here was wonderful and being able to show in front of such an enthusiastic audience was just great,” said Flarida. “My team mates couldn’t have been any better and I am once again proud to be able to represent my country with such a great group of horsemen.”
TEAM BELGIUM CLAIMS THE SILVER MEDAL:
Team Belgium saw NRHA professional Cira Baeck ride Colonels Shining Gun, owned by Katarzyna Roleska, to a 221. The talented pair were second to go this morning: “We started off really well today then I made a little couple of little mistakes, so I am not super happy, but I did my best,” said Cira following her pattern. “Four years ago we won the silver medal in Kentucky it would be very nice if we could bring home the second one.”
And so they did! NRHA Million Dollar Rider Bernard Fonck, aboard past NRHA Open World Champion Sail On Top Whizard (Whizard Jac x Miss N Sis), owned by Danny Cerato, closed his run with a 219.5 and Belgium held the second highest total score, a 663. Ann Poels Fonck, riding Nic Ricochet, and Piet Mesdagh, riding RS Spat Man O War, had scored a 221 and a 216.5 respectively on the first day of competition. Once again, great ‘little’ Belgium conquered their second FEI Team Silver medal.
THE BRONZE MEDAL IS FOR TEAM AUSTRIA:
Who the bronze medal would go to was determined after the third to last combination showed today and that was Alex Ripper (GER) riding Awesome Paleboy. Possible contenders for the podium were infact Team Australia (653), Team Germany (646.5) and Team Austria (644.5). Thanks to Martin Muehlstaetter’s score of 224, aboard Wimpys Little Buddy, Austria slid to the third step of the podium and conquered the bronze medal. Martin is based in the US and qualified for the 2014 Games last year in Europe and in the States. “My horse was pretty good today! We purchased him from Andrea Fappani (who trained him) as a 4-year-old. He’s always been with us and always will be,” said the Austrian rider about his 10-year-old gelding by Wimpys Little Step and out of All That’s Dun (owned by Kim & Martin Muehlstaetter).” Winning this medal here today is awesome.” Austrian team members were Rudi Kronsteiner and Dr Lee Hook (221), Tina Kuenstner-Mantl and Cashn Rooster (214.5) and Markus Morawitz with Dun It Whiz Gerry (210).
Once the curtain fell, Team Germany took fourth place honours in the overall standings.
THE INDIVIDUAL COMPETITION:
Reining competition at the Games will be once again on the stage on Thursday when the 2ND Individual Competition qualifier will take place. The first 15 riders plus ties after the 1st individual competition are qualified for the Individual final which will be held on Saturday.
The following 20 riders plus ties may compete in the 2nd qualifier. The top 5 scores plus ties will also advance to the Individual final.