- Sophie Wells MBE wins first gold medal in para-dressage for Great Britain in Tryon
- The vaulting squad and female individuals get their competitions underway
- The jumping squad train in the main arena ahead of the start of their competition tomorrow
Today saw the para-dressage individual tests get underway at the FEI World Equestrian Games, as Lee Pearson and Sophie Wells both began their championship campaigns.
It was a golden start for Sophie Wells in the Grade V class, as she took the top honours after a fabulous test with Charlotte Hogg’s C Fatal Attraction, to be rewarded with 75.429%.
Commenting, an ecstatic Sophie said; “I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet to be honest; sitting there and watching [the final riders] was awful, but it’s amazing I’m so chuffed. We’re going to build on from today; we’ve had a really great first week of WEG, and I’m just excited to get back in there for my team test and Freestyle on Saturday.”
Earlier in the afternoon, Sir Lee Pearson got his WEG underway in the Grade II class with Styletta. Unfortunately, during his test with the nine-year old mare, Lee made the difficult decision to retire.
Commenting afterwards, he said; “She [Styletta] seems to be struggling a bit with the humidity here. She’s only nine years old; she’s a spectacularly powerful horse and each day she’s been here she’s been feeling like she’s struggling a bit with the weather.
“I didn’t want to retire; I’m passionate about doing my best in the arena for my country but felt that it was the right thing to do.”
Great Britain’s remaining combinations, Natasha Baker and Erin Orford, get their championships underway tomorrow when the Grade III individual test takes place.
Times for tomorrow (BST):
14.30: Natasha Baker & The Mount St John Stud’s Mount St John Diva Dannebrog
17.18: Erin Orford & Annabel Whittet’s Dior
Great Britain’s vaulters got their WEG campaign underway today, competing in the team compulsory and the female individual compulsory competitions. Representing GBR in the team competition was the English Vaulting Squad, made up of Imogen Bexon, Ricky Davies, Romily Hatton, Carys Morgan, Sara Shorthand and Luke Smith. For the squad, this was the first time that they had all performed in the compulsory competition but they showed no signs of nerves and put in a great routine.
Lunger Julie Newell said; “I’m chuffed to bits I think the team did a really good job. We’ve come out here to have loads of fun and so far we have done that. This is the first time that Harry [Demezza] has flown and I was a little stressed but the team vet flew with him which was really assuring and I think he was better than we were! Me and Ricky don’t fly!”
Vaulter, Ricky Davies said; “Leading up to the Games we trained every weekend and twice in the week. As long as we perform the routines as best as we can, that’s all we can ask for.”
Vaulter, Carys Morgan added; “Harry is about 18 hands high [6 foot] and he is really big and lovely. He’s lovely to train on and he has settled so well since he got here and I think he’s having fun too!”
Next in were the female individuals; Rebecca Norval and Lucy Phillips. For Rebecca this is her first World Equestrian Games whereas for Lucy this is her fifth Games. First in was Lucy and Demezza, owned by Ben Aucott and lunged by Julie Newell, who scored 6.953 with her stand and mill movement a particular highlight from her routine.
Lucy said afterwards; “This is my fifth World Equestrian Games and possibly my last as an individual. I’ve been partnered with Harry for just over a year now so this is a very new thing for him but we go out there and have fun. He felt really good and he wasn’t scared of the crowd so I am really proud of him.
“These Games feel really similar to the ones in Kentucky in 2010 but each Games have their own different things that you enjoy and the arena here feels great – it’s very spacious. The organising committee are also very helpful so we are really happy to be here.”
Rebecca followed just a few combinations after with Deborah Bentzen’s Edinburgh 23, lunged by Saacha de Amborossio. With good movements throughout, the pair finished on a final score of 6.233.
“I really enjoyed it in there; it’s such a great feeling to be here,” said Rebecca. “This is my first ever World Equestrian Games and this is something I have been working towards for a while so it’s good to get here.”
Both the team and the individuals will compete again tomorrow, performing freestyle routines for the Nations Cup competition.
Times for tomorrow:
17.18: Lucy Phillips, Rebecca Norval and the English Vaulting Squad
Great Britain’s jumping squad all trained today in the U.S. Trust Arena for the first time ahead of the day of competition getting underway tomorrow. The speed round not only signals the start of the individual event, but also contributes towards the team competition.
Order for tomorrow:
9) William Funnell & The Billy Stud's Billy Buckingham
39) Holly Smith & Graham Smith, T J Hall and her own Hearts Destiny
76) Amanda Derbyshire & Gochman Sport Horse LLC Luibanta BH
104) William Whitaker & Ludwig Criel's Utamaro d'Ecaussines
Equestrian Team GBR is supported by the UK Sport National Lottery funded World Class Programme; the British teams are very grateful to the support they receive from the British Equestrian Federation Fund and official partners Dodson and Horrell, Equi-Trek, FALPRO England, Musto, NAF and Point Two.
Full results from Tryon can be found online at: https://tryon2018.com/officialresults