Aug. 28—Caen, France
Four years ago para-dresage rider Lee Pearson earned the individual Grade Ib gold medal for Great Britain, and at this year’s Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, he managed the same result. This time around Pearson tacked up Zion, a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood by Flemming H to score a 77.31 percent.
“To maintain a world championship position is absolutely brilliant,” said Pearson, who missed out on individual gold at the 2012 London Paralympics, and wasn’t selected to represent Britain at last year’s European Championship (Denmark). “These last four years haven’t been the easiest. In London I got a medal of each color, which wasn’t the plan and was quite tough for me. And then I was campaigning both horses for the Europeans but we didn’t get selected and I’ve been fighting for my place on the British squad which is a challenge.”
Reigning European Champion, Austrian Pepo Puch, who’s ridden at previous World Games in both endurance and eventing, was happy to finish with the silver medal on Fine Feeling S. The Netherlands’ Nicole Den Dulk took bronze aboard Wallace.
Sydney Collier, 16, represented Team USA as an individual in the Ib division with Willi Wesley. She wrapped up her games with marks of 65.96 percent in the Grade Ib Team Test and 68.10 percent in the Individual Test.
“That made me so happy,” and the Ann Arbor, Mich., rider. “I really took Monday to just figure out what I needed to improve. I schooled him with that in mind. I was really happy with how that all came out,” said Collier. “My whole career has been leading up to this so far. For my first Games, I would be extremely thrilled with this outcome.”
Another Repeat Gold
Germany’s Hannelore Brenner also repeated her 2010 gold medal performance in the Grade III individual category aboard Women Of The World, scoring a 73.61 on that 19-year old mare. The Netherlands’ Sanne Voets claimed silver, and Susanne Jensby Sunsen of Denmark took bronze.
“I am really happy,” said Brenner. “The ride was wonderful and I am so happy that it was enough for the first place. You don’t know till the end of the competition and I didn’t stay to watch as I don’t have the nerves for that, but I looked at the live score when Sanne was riding. I think it took a year off my life!”
U.S. rider Angela Peavy, riding as an individual, scored a 65.31 percent in the Grade III Team Test, and followed up with a 63.56 percent in the Grade III Individual Test.
“I thought it went very well,” she said. “He was very focused with me; more energetic, up and powerful. I was very happy with him, and I was more relaxed than the first day.”
Team USA Weighs In
Team tests for para-dressage wrapped up yesterday, with Team USA standing 15th at the halfway mark. Susan Treabess, Rebecca Hart, and Roxanne Trunnell are riding for Team U.S. in Grade IV, II, and 1a competition.
Six-time national champion and paralympic veteran Hart tacked up Schroeter’s Romani for the occasion, riding to seventh in the Grade II Team Test.
“I was really happy with her. She got a little nervous in there, but tried hard,” said Hart. “She’s a young horse, a talented horse. So I’m really excited.”
Trunnell, Rowlett, Texas, and Nice Touch finished the Grade 1a Team Test in eighth place (68.08%).
“This is her first international competition,” said Trunell of the 19-year-old mare. “She has always been good. She’s been there and done that. I want to be consistent and have my next test be the same.”
Treabess, Winters, Calif., and Kamiakin finished 10th in their team test (65.83%).
“It’s nice to have one under the belt, this is his (Kamiakin) first time competing overseas,” said Treabess. “There were a couple mistakes, but I’m still happy.”
Individual and team medals wrap up today, and the freestyles continue through Sat. Aug. 30.
Follow along with The Chronicle as we keep you up to speed on all eight sports at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.