USA’s Four Combinations Only World Games Team Ranked in Top 30 in Latest Standings, Germany Not But Favored for Top of Podium
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Aug. 29, 2018
By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
Not that it will make a difference to the outcome of the World Equestrian Games, but the United States will start the championships team medal competition as the only nation with its entire squad in the top 30 of the rankings while the top two German combinations that are favored to lead the country to the podium are not in the top 50.
Laura Graves and Verdades of the USA will be the highest ranked at No. 3 in the world in the lineup when dressage starts at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina in two weeks on a team that coach Robert Dover says is the best the Americans have ever assembled for a world championships.
Adrienne Lyle, 2012 Olympic and 2014 World Games veteran on Wizard but this year riding the championship rookie horse, Salvino, will be ranked No. 18 in the latest standings as of the end of August when released by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) later this week.
Kasey Perry-Glass on Dublet, on the American team that captured bronze at the 2016 Olympics, has staged a comeback after a re-set following an intense two years of trans-Atlantic Big Tour competition ranks 20th in the world. Steffen Peters on Rosamunde that is a successor to Ravel and Legolas as team mounts, will be ranked No. 25 in the world, according to unofficial calculations by dressage-news.com.
The team medals will be decided by the Grand Prix competition over two days–teams of up to four combnations with the top three scores counting–with the Grand Prix Special for individaul medals and the musical perfomances for Freestyle awards.
Isabell Werth, although ranked No.1 on Weihegold OLD, No. 2 on Emilio and No. 8 on Don Johnson FRH, has instead been selected on Bella Rose for the German team.
Isabell and Bella Rose, the favored mount of the most successful equestrian in Olympic history, led the German team to gold at the Normandy World Games in 2014 but an injury kept the Westfalen mare from competition for almost four years until the spectatcular return to competition three months ago at the age of 14.
Tha pair may not make into the top 50 in the latest world rankings but their record of victories against the best in the most recent premier competitions indicates a finish at Tryon at or near the top.
The same goes for Sönke Rothenberger on Cosmo, barely within the top 100 in the rankings because of time away from the show ring, but whose record is impressive–2016 Olympic gold medal team as well as at the European Championships in 2017 that also saw a freestyle ride that scored above 90 per cent and among the top five in the history of the sport.
WEG team members Dorothee Schneider and Sammy Davis Jr. are ranked fifth in the world while Jessica von Bredow-Werndl on TSF Dalera is well outside the top echelon.
Cathrine Dufour who was expected to give Denmark a shot at making the medals podium with Cassidy is still ranked No. 4 in the world in the latest standings though the 15-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding won’t be in Tryon because of an injury. Daniel Bachmann Andersen on Blue Hors Zack will be the highest ranked Danish combination at 12th.
Patrik Kittel, with three horses in the top 25 in the world matched only by Isabell Werth, has chosen Well Done de la Roche CMF as his WEG partner, ranked No. 24.
Edward Gal on Glock’s Zonik is the top duo for the Netherlands at No. 9.
Charlotte Dujardin on Mount St. John Freestyle is the highest ranked pair for Great Britain at No. 10.