World Equestrian Games

I finally got a few pics together from the World Equestrian Games. What a time it was - I wish I'd taken more pictures!

This is just a small representation of the HUGE number of vendor booths - everything from artwork and jewelry all the way up to carriages and vacations. 

The approach to the main stadium where the largest events were held. All the folks were headed over for the Freestyle dressage final.

The main stadium, all decked out :)

The view from our seats as the daylight fades. 

The main event about to begin - two, ginormous screens were placed on opposite sides of the stadium to display replays, scores and the sponsorship commercials :)

For any dressage fans out there, this is the order of go - the riders that we had the privilege of seeing that night (Oct. 1, 2010). Some of the world's best - so exciting!!!!

7:04pm- Peter Gmoser and Cointreau (AUT)
7:14pm- Fiona Bigwood and Wie-Atlantico De Ymas (GBR)
7:24pm- Marcela Krinke Susmelj and Corinth (SUI)
7:34pm- Michal Parcewicz and Randon (POL)
7:44pm- Ashley Holzer and Pop Art (CAN)

8:04pm- Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein and Digby (DEN)
8:14pm- Christoph Koschel and Donnperignon (GER)
8:24pm- Brett Parbery and Victory Salute (AUS)
8:34pm- Anabel Balkenhol and Dablino (GER)
8:44pm- Isabell Werth and Warum Nicht FRH (GER)

9:04pm- Laura Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Hojris (GBR)
9:14pm- Juan Manuel Munoz Diaz and Fuego XII (ESP)
9:24pm- Edward Gal and Moorlands Totilas (NED)
9:34pm- Steffen Peters and Ravel (USA)
9:44pm- Imke Schellekens-Bartels and Hunter Douglas Sunrise (NED)

Dressage is my favorite!!! Horses and riders complete a series of movements of varying difficulty. The pair is assessed based on how they perform the movements. Something like how figure skating and gymnastics are assessed. At the end of the ride, they are given a score. The event we saw were rides set to music - riders have to complete a number of moves but they can do it in any order and it's choreographed to music! I know it sounds boring (while watching dressage on tv once, my hubby said it was like watching cement set :) but he did enjoy the live version) but knowing how much training goes into these horses and the moves they complete, it's absolutely amazing to watch!
This first picture is of an extended trot by Laura Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Hojris from Great Britain. 

Canter pirouette by Germnay's Isabell Werth and Warum Nicht

Canada's own Ashely Holzer and Pop Art. She had a great ride and was smiling from ear to ear the entire time!

This was Fuego XII and Juan Manuel Munoz Diaz from Spain - they were truly the crowd favorites! Here's a you tube video of the ride (not my own sadly). At the end, the crowd cheered and Juan waved his arm and the horse spooked! It certainly made for a light moment :)

When riders finish their performance, they stop and salute to the judges. A nice, square halt by Anabel Balkenhol and Dablino from Germany.

Steffen Peters and Ravel from the US enter the ring to begin their ride. They did a brilliant job and finished 3rd in the medal standings.

This next picture is of Edward Gal and Moorlands Totilas - they were just jaw-droppingly good! It was a pleasure to watch this amazing pair perform. Watch the video on youtube here. Even people not into horse can appreciate how amazing this looks!

Edward Gal and Totilas won gold with their stunning performance. The following picture is of the victory gallop following the medal ceremony with Edward Gal and Totilas leading the way!!!! So glad we stayed to watch this part!


On Wed, Oct 6, we saw the Team Show Jumping Finals. Lots of impressive riding and huge jumps!!! In this competition, 4 riders from each country take turns riding the course. For every fence rail that gets knocked down, the riders (therefore the teams) get penalized - the penalties are called faults. The team that finishes with the lowest number of faults wins. Germany won this year with just a total of 17 faults for the entire team! We proudly cheered on Canada - they finished 5th overall with some strong rides.

This was a big double oxer in front of our side of the stands. There was also a very impressive combination including a triple bar (which is basically three fences close together that the horse and rider jump over in one very big leap :)) followed by a single vertical fence (doesn't sound that hard but you only have a short space to slow the horse down enough to jump the single fence cleanly after getting up the momentum to jump that huge triple bar). Wish I'd taken good pictures of that....

A rider jumping the final fence of the course. 

There were also a few other free events that we had the opportunity to take in while we were there.
There was a demonstration by 4 hunter jumper riders with commentary by a judge. This was great - I'd never been to a hunter jumper show, so hearing what the riders are trying to accomplish and how things are scored was really nice. Basically, these riders jump fences like the show jumpers, but the fences are smaller. The riders and horses are judged on their appearance and how they go around the course (for example, does the horse have a good attitude and does he jump with jump with nice form, etc) in addition to keeping all the fence rails up. In show jumping, the horses and riders are penalized only if they knock a fence rail down, refuse to go over a fence or exceed a time allowed to go around the course. They don't get penalized for form over fences or if the horse has a bad attitude. There's so much more to hunter jumper then my simplified explanation but one thing's for sure, these horses were GORGEOUS!

Well that's about it! Hope you enjoyed pictures of our experience at the World Equestrian Games! 

Thanks so much for stopping by!


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