Photo courtesy of the official Facebook page for the World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018
After two weeks of thrilling, multi-disciplinary competition, the World Equestrian Games (WEG) have come to an end, but the excitement, camaraderie, and national pride that has emerged from the games will last for years to come.
Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), located in the scenic North Carolina town of Mill Spring, hosted this year’s international championship. Horses arrived by plane into the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport from over 70 different countries, all with the goal of performing their best and walking away with a coveted WEG medal. Horses and riders at the WEG compete in one of eight disciplines sanctioned by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI). This includes Show Jumping, Dressage, Eventing, Para-Dressage, Driving, Endurance, Reining, and Vaulting.
An Ambitious Project, Pulled Off After Months of Work
With only 18 months to prepare for this massive undertaking, the TIEC has been preparing non-stop to give spectators, competitors, and horses alike an experience they will never forget. Balancing a massive influx of visitors to the area, logistical complications with newly built facilities, and Hurricane Florence brewing off the coast, the competition management had their fair share of challenges to deal with. However, despite the setbacks and criticism, the WEG displayed horsemanship and riding skill at the highest level. The games provided an unforgettable experience for spectators and competitors from around the world.
The Games commenced with a 2-hour opening ceremony and concert on September 11. This event was made free to the public to encourage people of all backgrounds, horse-related or other, to come out and enjoy the entertainment from Grammy-Nominated artist Hunter Hayes and others.
Twelve days of competition saw impressive results from our riders on the United States team. Some of the highlights included:
Team Reining Gold from Cade McCutcheon & Custom Made Gun, Casey Deary & Heavy Duty Chex, Daniel L. Huss & Ms Dreamy, and Jordan Larson & ARC Gunnabeabigstar.
Daniel L. Huss took Silver, while 18-year-old Cade McCutheon took Bronze, in the Individual Reining Championship.
Team Dressage Silver from Steffen Peters & Suppenkasper, Adrienne Lyle & Salvino, Kasey Perry-Glass & Goerklintgaards Dublet, and anchored by Laura Graves & Verdades. This victory earned Team USA a spot in the Team Dressage competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The next day, Laura Graves and Verdades were also awarded the Silver medal in the Dressage Individual Grand Prix Special.
In a historic first for Team USA Para-Dressage, Rebecca Hart earned a Bronze medal with El Corona Texel in the Grade III Individual Test. This is the first time an American has earned a medal in Para-Dressage at a World Equestrian Games.
The Para-Dressage riders from Team USA continued their hot streak with three individual medals in the Para-Dressage Freestyle. Roxanne Trunnell & Dolton took Bronze in Grade I, Rebecca Hart & El Corona Texel earned a second medal, this time Silver, in Grade III, and Kate Shoemaker and Solitaer were awarded the Bronze in Grade IV.
Drivers on the US Driving Team captured the Gold medal in the Team Driving Competition by less than 4 points. James Fairclough, Misdee Wrigley-Miller, and Chester Weber made up this winning team.
Following on an exciting team victory, Chester Weber also earned Silver in the Individual Driving.
The Vaulters from Team USA 1 finished just off the podium in the Squad Vaulting Championship, with lunger Carolyn Bland and horse Diva 506.
In another historic victory, the Show Jumping team comprised of Devin Ryan & Eddie Blue, Adrienne Sternlicht & Cristalline, Laura Kraut & Zeremonie, and McLain Ward & Clinta took home the Gold medal for the first time in 32 years. This victory was a feather in the cap of USA Show Jumping, having already qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics during the 2016 games in Rio de Janiero.
Anchor rider for the Gold medal-winning US team, and beloved FarmVet customer, McLain Ward finished just shy of a medal in the Individual Jumping Final. He and his mount Clinta earned 4th place overall.
Watch McLain’s jump-off round from the team show jumping final below!
We are sending out congratulations to all the riders, horses, grooms, owners, and trainers who were involved in making the World Equestrian Games so exciting. FarmVet is especially proud of our Team USA riders, many of them beloved customers, that rode, drove, and vaulted their hearts out for their country.
Some days at the World Equestrian Games this year were HOT! For tips on keeping your horse cool during hot weather, check out our blog post here!
You don’t have to be an FEI equestrian to shop like one! Visit FarmVet’s online store for all your favorite horse care products! Click here to shop!
Tryon 2018 Media Center, https://tryon2018.com/category/news
Horses Arriving for 2018 WEG in Tryon, Edited Press Release, https://thehorse.com/160263/horses-arriving-for-2018-weg-in-tryon/