America captured gold in the reining world championships today in Aachen, for the second time in the sport’s WEG history.
Dell Hendricks (Starbucks Sidekick), Aaron Ralston (Smart Paul Olena), Tim McQuay (Mister Nicadual) and Matt Mills (Easy Otie Whiz) put on a characteristically slick performance to snatch gold over second-placed Canada.
“We had four solid competitors, so if one stumbled the others would take over,” said Matt Mills, the youngest of the team.
Italy took the bronze, despite a last-minute change of horses for Marco Ricotta.
Germany failed to cling on to a slot on the podium after its two best horses, Coeur D Wright Stuff and Solanoswarlee Boy, were spun lame at Thursday’s trot-up.
Fifteen teams entered today’s competition, which also served as a qualifier to the individual final on Sunday. The top 20 horses from today’s event go through to Sunday.
Britain finished in seventh place after a disappointing performance from two riders, Mark How and Doug Allen. Doug’s first ride, Jac’s Little Sunrise, was also spun at the trot-up, leaving him to compete on the chestnut Yelena My Way.
“I hadn’t spent as much time preparing ‘Milo’,” said Doug. “We missed the first stop and he panicked, it’s a shame.”
Mark also commented that his ride, Whiz Worth, had “stopped better”. But sisters Rosanne and Francesca Sternberg were pleased with their performances, especially in front of such a large crowd.
Francesca goes through to Sunday’s final.