28 August 2014, Sartilly, France ~ The endurance race at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games kicked off at 7:00 a.m.local time on Friday, as 165 horse-and-rider combinations headed out on the five-loop track, all hoping to be the first to finish at the end of the day. A sloppy trail from rain all week tested teams’ strategies and riding tactics, resulting in numerous problems throughout the day. On Thursday, the U.S. was represented by Ellen Olson, Jeremy Olson, Heather Reynolds, Jeremy Reynolds, and Kelsey Russell.
Jeremy Olson (La Motte, Iowa) and his and Amy Wallace-Whelan’s Wallace Hill Shade flew the flag for the United States as the sole American finisher. Originally the team alternate, the pair finished the race in 10:46:16, finishing in 31st.
The remaining four U.S. competitors did not finish the race as the welfare of the horse was held as the utmost priority; Jeremy Reynolds (Dunnellon, Fla.) and his own RR Gold Dust Rising were pulled at the first vet gate, and Ellen Olson (La Motte, Iowa) riding Farzad Faryadi’s Hot Desert Knight was pulled at the second vet gate. Heather Reynolds (Dunnellon, Fla.) riding her own Chanses, as well as Kelsey Russell (Williston, Fla.) and her and Valerie Kanavy’s My Wild Irish Gold were pulled at the third vet gate.
Text by By Mark Cole