Chef’s Review and Wrap of March 31, Texas Team Trials
April 16, 2012, Texas, USA
A new system to change the selection process was initiated this year in an attempt to bring the six soundest and fittest horses possible to the August 25, 2012 World Endurance Championship in Euston Park England, and regain some lost pride and improve the poor results of the last 14 years. As the new Chef d’Equipe, I felt a head-to-head challenge was the best way to remove the subjectivity of prior selection processes.
Top Five Finish March 31
1. Jeremy Reynolds–A Kutt Above–19.35 km/h
2. Wendy MacCoubrey—Reach for the Gold–19.35 km/h—Wendy was a proxy rider for Valerie Kanavy who had 3 entries—Valerie will campaign this horse
3. Becky Hart—No Repeat–19.34 km/h
4. Heather Reynolds–Riverwatch–18.40 km/h
5. Nicki Meuton–Not Tonight—18.22 km/h
Rider Long List
A long list of 20 riders resulted from the 160 km FEI 3* event. In about 8-10 weeks, in the last weeks of June, the long listed riders will be required to gather in one of three different locations throughout the US depending on where the horse/rider combinations are domiciled, to continue demonstrating their soundness and fitness. From the results of the test event, the fitness and soundness reviews, and rider/horse combination history, an elite group of 12 will be chosen to become the Nominated list which must be submitted no later (in our case sooner) than July 24, 2012, to the Organizing Committee. Shortly after selecting the Nominated candidates the traveling squad of 6 and possibly a spare combination will be prepared to travel to a stable and training center nearby Euston Park near the village of Thetford.
Flight to Stansted
Fortunately the horses will only have to endure a 6-7 hour flight to Stansted from Newark, New Jersey. This entry is only about an hour drive to the UK stables. The new team veterinarian, Dr. Dwight Hooton, who is no stranger to world endurance needs and support, will lead a much needed effort to ensure the horses are ready to go at full strength.
As Chef I am tremendously pleased with the results of our trial event and look forward to initiating a new approach to racing and gaining better results. The trial course in the town of Mt Pleasant in northeast Texas was hosted so generously by the PRIEFERT RANCH EQUIPMENT Co. and the Priefert family. The trial provided numerous challenges, mostly due to the soggy portion of the trail, the result of several hard rains of 4-6 inches just weeks before the event—but wise race management prevailed and good solid times resulted– giving me much hope and encouragement. There was nearly 100% humidity and fairly hot weather for the time of year. Another bonus was the addition of several new international FEI participants, including three Young Riders, which bodes well for our future.
As is the case in most of the world endurance community, none of our efforts and dreams could be achieved without the tireless contributions of many volunteers and FEI officials. My sincere thanks goes to all who contributed to our new dawn of US Endurance racing. We are coming to England to renew old friendships with our endurance brethren, take the best care of our equine friends, and make no mistake about it—we want to race and achieve our goals. Good luck to all.
USA Chef d’Equipe, Emmett Ross
Photo by Donna Shifflette Award Ceremony: Jeremy Reynolds, Becky Hart (l) and Wendy MacCoubrey (r)