April 29, Lexington, Kentucky ~ The top U.S. athletes in endurance headed to Broxton Bridge Plantation in Ehrhardt, S.C., 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 and an additional three proxy riders were divided into two groups, riding three loops equaling 69.44km. Riders had to ride at certain speeds, use their GPS units, and work in groups, allowing the selectors to assess how each rider followed instructions. On April 21, all horses completed a post-event veterinary inspection.
“Our team trials achieved the goals that the selectors and I set out to accomplish, which included principally significant veterinarian criteria established by Team Veterinarian, Dr. Dwight Hooton,” Ross said. “Our goal was not to crown a winner or loser but to assess each rider’s fitness and each horse’s fitness and soundness, especially soundness. A great job was done by all riders, staff, volunteers, crew, and hosts, especially considering the immense weather deluge that caused a huge shift in plans.”
While the Selection Trial was not run as originally anticipated, the selectors gained valuable insight into the preparedness of the horses and riders who hope to claim a spot on the team that will compete in the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
Fifteen will be chosen for the team that will compete in Normandy, France, on a course from Sartilly to the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel on Thursday, August 28.