USA WEG Selection Trial Schedule Announced

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USET Foundation headquarters in Gladstone, New Jersey
USET Foundation headquarters in Gladstone, New Jersey

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

The schedule for the selection trials for the U.S. team for the World Equestrian Games has been announced, as part of the Collecting Gaits Farm Festival of Champions over two weekends at Gladstone, New Jersey, from Aug. 6 to Aug. 15.

The Grand Prix National Championship that is also the selection trials will be held over both weekends with the Grand Prix on Saturday, Aug. 7 and the Grand Prix Special on Sunday, Aug. 8.

A second Grand Prix will be held on Friday, Aug. 13, and the Grand Prix Freestyle on Sunday, Aug. 15.

Meantime, plans to keep the U.S. WEG team of four horse and rider pairs and reserves at Gladstone until departure for Kentucky have reportedly been dropped.

The original plans contained in the U.S. WEG selection procedures, if implemented, would have meant that the combinations for the WEG would have had to commit to almost two months away from their homes and businesses–from the first week of August for the selection trials until the end of dressage competition at WEG, the Grand Prix Freestyle, on Oct. 1.

Opposition to the plan by some riders and owners ranged from issues of costs and complications of training with their own coaches, health care and maintenance such as use of their own veterinarians and farriers as well as the cost of living in hotels for a long period and the impact on personal lives and businesses.

According to sources, the U.S. Equestrian Federation’s High Performance Dressage Committee decided this week that the riders selected as team and reserve members can leave Gladstone after the trials and return about 10 days before departure for Kentucky.

Since the 2009 Festival of Champions when heavy rains disruped the Festival of Champions, the Gladstone facility has undergone a major overhaul including new warmup, footing and drainage. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Since the 2009 Festival of Champions when heavy rains disruped the Festival of Champions, the Gladstone facility has undergone a major overhaul including new warmup, footing and drainage. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Gladstone was originally built as the lavish stables for “Diamond” Jim Brady in 1916 and is now the headquarters of the U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation that raises funds for America’s international competitions. After heavy rains that disrupted the 2009 Festival of Champions, the facility is undergoing an overhaul, including a facelift for an indoor arena, new footing in the competition arena and schooling rings.

The competition schedule for the festival is:

Friday, Aug. 6 – Prix St. Georges

Saturday, Aug. 7 – Grand Prix, Intermediaire I

Sunday, Aug. 8 – Grand Prix Special, Intermediaire I Freestyle

Friday, Aug. 13 – Junior Team, Grand Prix

Saturday, Aug. 14 – Young Rider Team, Junior Individual, Brentina Cup

Sunday, Aug. 15 – Grand Prix Freestyle, Young Rider Individual, Young Rider Grand Prix