International drivers give the thumbs up to WEG organisers after the test driving trial at Jerez, in Spain

Fifteen horse teams and 12 horse pairs from Spain, France, Belgium,Holland, Switzerland and Portugal took part in the recent CAIA driving trials in Jerez, Spain, part of the test trials for the 2002 World Equestrian Games.

The equestrian complex at Chapin will be the venue for show jumping, dressage, vaulting, reining, the dressage phase of the three-day event and horse teams driving.

The marathon was staged 17km north of Jerez in a scenic venue, centred on a military stud and the sandy course and six solidly-constructed obstacles, designed by Dutch builder, Arjan Brink, were well received by officials and drivers alike.

“While in Chapin there is still a lot of work to be completed in the next 12 months, the marathon venue is already excellent,” said local driver Juan Robles Marchena, winner of the horse teams.

FEI secretary general Bo Helander acclaimed this first important test trial, saying: “I am absolutely thrilled with the venue; the organisers have done a fantastic job.”

“The event was very well run,” said George Bowman, Britain’s leading international horse teams driver, who acted as one of the judges for dressage phase.

“It was very hot, but it was amazing how all the horses finished well and full of running. The obstacles were well built and the water obstacle was particularly beautifully made. The organisation was very efficient – it was a first-class event and I’m certain it will be a good World Championships.”

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