Update: World Games Dressage Test Event Gets Strong Endorsement from Veterans
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CAEN, France, June 24, 2014–Olympic gold medal rider Carl Hester of Great Britian and Nip Tuck won the FEI Alltech World Equestrian Games CDI3* Grand Prix Special Tuesday while Spain’s Cristobal Belmonte and Diavolo II de Laubry captured the Freestyle.
Carl and the 10-year-old KWPN gelding placed first with a score of 73.866 per cent over the field of nine starting combinations that was designed to test the newly created competition arena of sand and fiber footing replacing the usual grass in the d’Ornano football stadium.
Gareth Hughes, also of Great Britain, and DV Stenjkers Nadonna were second 73.655 per cent and Denmark’s Olympic medalist Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein and Fabienne were third on 67.745 per cent.
The Spanish pair of Cristobal and the 11-year-old gelding were awarded 70.017 per cent by the panel of seven judges that will have the same number for the championship two months from now.
Germany’s Isabelle Steidle and Long Drink 2 placed second on 68.928 per cent and Alizee Fromont of France and Mistral du Coussoul were third on 68.321 per cent. Only four horses and riders contested the Freestyle.
The stadium will be the centerpiece of the world championships of the eight international horse sports governed by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI).
Carl, who was foreign rider representative for dressage, said of the facilities:
“It’s going to be brilliant. It’s absolutely spot-on from a structural perspective.
“The footing is excellent and it will only improve for staying in place between now and the Games so that we can really ride to the maximum. It was definitely worth coming here and it should give the riders lots of confidence going into the Games.”
Nathalie said: “I came here with no expectations and have been really positively surprised. The footing is really nice, the stables are good and the access is excellent. I’m very confident that things are going to work out well here.”
The Olympic disciplines of dressage, jumping and the jumping phase of eventing will be staged at the stadium.
A CSI2* jumping competition of up to 100 horses will be held Wednesday and Thursday to test the arenas, stables and infrastructure.