Team GBR goes into the reining at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France with its largest ever contingent of horses and riders after all their horses passed the trot-up on Sunday 24 August.
The team of Doug Allen, Francesca Sternberg, Jessica Sternberg and Josh Collins, plus individual Shane Borland, will compete on Monday (25 August) and Tuesday (26 August) when team honours will be decided and the first slots for the individual final claimed.
The trot-up is held on a hard surface overlaid with a thin layer of sand to help the horses grip, as they are shod with special ‘sliding plates’ on their hind feet, designed to enhance reining’s ‘sliding stop’ manoeuvre.
Four horses ruled out
Four horses were eliminated at this stage, including Sweden Rocks Gopher (Isabell Silverstolpe) and Mister Sure Whiz (Fredrik Thomsson). This leaves Sweden with just three team members after their reserve horse was ruled out earlier by injury. All three Swedish scores must now count towards the team competition, which is judged on the best three from a maximum four starters from each country.
Also spun by the reining ground jury and taking their team down to three was Lil Uss Peppy (Susanne Skovrinder) for Denmark.
Italy’s PC Sliderina For Me (Manuel Cortesi) was the final horse to fail the trot-up. However, as the Italians have six horses and riders entered, they will still be able to field a full team of four, plus an individual.
British order of go
Josh Collins (Spook A Little) and Jessica Sternberg (Smart Like Valentino) will be the pathfinders for Team GBR on Monday, with Francesca Sternberg (Ten Reasons), Doug Allen (Hangten Shiner) and Shane Borland (Chex N Flashy) competing on Tuesday.
Chef d’equipe Adam Heaton said: “We have five very capable horse and rider combinations and potentially five finalists, although it’s even more competitive this year with more entrants and just 20 going into the individual final. The riders and their support team have worked exceptionally well together to prepare these very talented horses for WEG.”
The United States are the favourites for the team competition, having won gold at the previous three WEGs at which reining has been an FEI discipline.
Horse & Hound explains all you need to know to enjoy the reining in Normandy