After months of anticipation and planning, last-minute preparations for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games have now been completed and the six-strong British eventing team flies out to Kentucky this week.
The horses are leaving today (Tuesday 21 September) to travel by road and ferry to Liege, in Belgium, and will fly to Cincinnati early on Wednesday morning (22 Sept). They will stay at the airport in quarantine for 42hr before the last leg of the journey, a 45min drive to the Kentucky Horse Park. The riders will fly out on Friday.
Mary King will take her ride, Imperial Cavalier, plus Tina Cook’s Miners Frolic and William Fox-Pitt’s Cool Mountain in her lorry to Liege. She said: “I just can’t wait; I’ve been looking forward to this for years. ‘Archie’ has his bags packed and is ready to go. My groom, Jodie Summer, is beside herself with excitement as this is her first trip abroad with a team.”
The second group of horses — Pippa Funnell’s Redesigned, Nicola Wilson’s Opposition Buzz and Piggy French’s Jakata — will travel to Belgium in Pippa’s lorry.
Pippa said: “I’m excited, but I’m also rather nervous now. I’ll be happy once I know the horses have arrived and are settled.”
This will be Nicola Wilson’s second team appearance for Great Britain.
She said: “Opposition Buzz is fitter than he’s ever been. He’s got everything he needs in his flight bag and quarantine trunk. We’ve done all we can to prepare and I can’t wait to get out there now and get started.”
World Class Performance Manager Yogi Breisner added: “We have a very exciting team with a nice balance between experience and youth in terms of riders and horses. We know the venue well and we are delighted to be going out to compete at such a wonderful place.”
The eventing competition starts on Thursday 30 September with two days of dressage, followed by the cross-country phase on Saturday and showjumping on Sunday 3 October.
Follow all the action from WEG on H&H’s dedicated WEG microsite at www.horseandhound.co.uk/weg/ from 25 September until 10 October