Medal contenders announced for World Equestrian Games

  • Several teams expected to fight it out for the medals have been announced for September’s World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Tryon, North Carolina. The battle will also be on to achieve one of the five qualification spots for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

    The home side looks particularly strong, with current world number three combination Laura Graves and the 16-year-old gelding Verdades leading the charge after their grand prix victory in Aachen in July. Joining her are three combinations who all performed strongly in Aachen: Kasey Parry-Glass with the Diamond Hit 15-year-old Goerklintgaards Dublet, Adrienne Lyle with Salvino, by Sandro Hit, and Steffen Peters with the Rock Forever mare Rosamunde.

    The Netherlands will also be sending a strong quartet to Tryon, hoping to win their first team medal since 2015. Edward Gal will spearhead the team on the impressive 10-year-old stallion Glock’s Zonik, by Blue Hors Zack. Edward will be joined by his partner Hans Peter Minderhoud, riding another exciting young stallion, Glock’s Dream Boy, by Vivaldi.

    Also selected are Emmelie Scholtens and the UB40 stallion Apache, who had super results in Aachen, and Madeleine Witte-Vrees with her 2017 European Championships ride Cennin.

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    Denmark and Sweden, who took European silver and bronze respectively in 2017, have also put forward strong sides that will be vying for the podium.

    Patrik Kittel has booked his place at his third WEG, and 11th senior championship, with two rides: his Rio Olympic partner Deja and the exciting 10-year-old mare Well Done De La Roche CMF. Championship veteran Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén has also been selected with her 2017 Europeans ride Paridon Magi as well as her double Olympic and 2014 WEG horse Don Auriello, who returned to competition at the Rotterdam CDI in June after nearly two years out.

    Therese Nilshagen and the 11-year-old Danone stallion Dante Weltino — who are currently ranked 12th in the world after taking individual European fourth and fifth in Gothenburg last year — will head to their first WEG. Juliette Ramel and her Rio partner Buriel KH complete the Swedish team.

    The double individual European bronze medallists Cathrine Dufour and Atterupgaards Cassidy will lead the Danish quartet, which also features Daniel Bachmann Andersen with Blue Hors Zack, who banked a personal best kür score of plus-82% in Aachen. Betina Jaeger (Belstaff) and Britain-based Anders Dahl (Selten HW) complete the team.

    Gold medal favourites Germany are yet to announce their team, as are Great Britain. Stay up to date with all the WEG team announcements as they come in here.

    Don’t miss our full preview of the FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, on sale Thursday 30 August

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