WEG Dressage Test Event Begins, Eventing & Jumping Later This Week
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
LEXINGTON, Kentucky, Apr. 19–The dressage test event for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky kicks off Tuesday with 26 horse and rider combinations from eight nations taking part, but last-minute changes had to be made to the judging panel when two Europeans were caught in the volcanic dust created no-fly zone.
Most of the riders, including the foreign competitors, are based in Florida during the winter and opted to compete at this Kentucky Cup 2010 CDI3*, one of the last shows that can be used as a qualifier on the way to WEG that will be held at this venue Sept. 25 to Oct. 10.
Competitors from the USA, Canada, Germany, Denmark, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Israel and Puerto Rico will ride in the Grand Prix Tuesday that will be held in the main stadium which is also the venue for the WEG itself. The Grand Prix Special is scheduled for Wednesday and that Freestyle Thursday night under lights. Nine Americans and eight Canadians are the two largest groups. Tina Konyot, who is riding the stallion Calecto V, said the test event provided an opportunity for good competition and to experience the Kentucky Horse Park which has undergone a major renovation for WEG. Also, she admitted, her boy friend, Canadian Thoroughbred horse trainer, Roger Attfield, is in Lexington for the Keeneland race meeting.
Mikala Munter Gundersen who is riding the stallion Leonberg as well as Lars Petersen riding Beemer are both seeking a place on the Danish WEG squad. “I love coming to Kentucky where I have shown young horses twice and I was dying to see the new show grounds,” Mikala said. “This is also the last chance to show well and, I hope, to be able to compete at Aachen before the Danish championships at the end of July.” Robert Dover, the Canadian coach for WEG, said this event is the final qualifier for the six-member squad that will make a funded tour of Europe, competing at Wiesbaden, Lingen and Aachen in Germany, and Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Ashley Holzer and Pop Art, Belinda Trussell and Anton, Wendy Christoff and Pfalstaff and Shannon Dueck and Ayscha have already qualified for the European tour. So, too, has Victoria Winter and Proton, but she has opted to remain in North America to try to qualify for the final team. The judges for this competition are Janet Foy, Linda Zang and Charlotte Bredahl of the USA, Mary Seefried of Australia and Joan Macartney of Canada. Stephen Clarke of Great Britain and Wotjek Markowski of Poland were unable to make the trip because of the ban on flights on Europe,