May 19, 2014, California ~ On April 20, USA Endurance hopefuls gathered at Broxton Bridge Plantation in Ehrhardt, South Carolina, to take part in the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Endurance Team Selection Trial CEI2* 120km. The race was scheduled to take place April 19, but heavy downpours caused the race to be rescheduled to April 20 and run under a new format.
Under the guidance of Chef d’Equipe Emmett Ross, 14 applicants for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games plus an additional three proxy riders riding in two groups headed out onto the three-loop trail which totaled 69.44km. Riders had to maintain a specified speed, use their GPS units, and work together as instructed. On April 21, all horses completed a post-event veterinary inspection.
Chef Ross was pleased with the results and the next step will decide the Nominated list by June 12.
“Most of the candidates are seasoned horses and have had a fairly rigorous year leading up to this selection,” he said. “Early June the vets and I will do a triple check on soundness and by June 12th the top ten, the Nominated List, will be decided. This will be a ranked list so that the top 5 of these 10 will be designated as the initial travelling squad. Real training to bring the horses up to a decent peak will commence quietly in mid-June.”
The travelling squad will ship horses Aug 12 and be located close to the venue in a private stable in Normandy, according to Ross.
“Our team vet, Dr Hooton, and I are leaving no stone unturned in terms of soundness,” Ross continued. “We are confident we have great riders and some very competitive horses. But like in all World Championships one needs some luck as well. We are determined to create our own luck. Additionally, due to the current Endurance discipline status, I had all 17 of our team finalist go through a rigorous drug panel exam at the Trials several weeks ago. We plan to run hard and clean as always.”
~ follow as the Nominated List riders are selected.