Successful Week of Dressage, Driving, and Para-Dressage FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 Test Events Conclude at Tryon International Equestrian Center
TRYON, NC, USA - April 23, 2018 - Chester Weber (USA) maintained his hold on the lead through the Cones phase of FEI CAI 2* Four-in-Hand competition as part of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG) Dressage, Driving, and Para-Dressage Test Events at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), guiding his team to victory after blazing cleanly through the Richard Nicoll (USA)-designed course. The all-American podium remained unchanged from day two: Weber landed on 159.38 points after three days, while Misdee Wrigley-Miller (USA) maintained second place after driving Bravour, Beau, Bolino D, and Calipso to a score of 173.34 on a clean run, and James Fairclough (USA) finished in third with Bento V, Citens, Dapper and Zenden on a final penalty score of 180.21.
Weber spoke highly of his day-three team, consisting of Amadeus, Asjemenou, Gouveneur, and Ultra, and explained that he added Gouvenuer into the team after testing potential WEG contender, Reno, in his place for the Marathon phase. "I drove the Dressage team again, which was my plan from the beginning and they were really nice," he said. "I have a sort of inexperienced seven-year-old in the group [Gouvenuer], and I wanted to know what I had in him for a Cones leader and he actually did really well. I was really pleased with him."
Wrigley-Miller maintained her podium spot with a speedy round through the Cones phase and complimented the noticeable improvement in harmony for her team this week. "The team is really starting to gel and come together to work as a team and that was really what I noticed. They were all balanced together. I could really drive more forward, they felt great in my hands, and the obstacles drove so well," she emphasized. "I just feel like we've been a work in progress and we made huge strides yesterday. I was really pleased with our Marathon, but I went back and watched the videos and thought, 'I can go faster!' So, I think the horses and I have good timing going forward."
Wrigley-Miller was eager to contest the Marathon course this past weekend and had good things to report: "From what I've heard, there will not be a lot of change in the obstacles - I think they're beautifully built, and Richard [Nicoll] does such a great job of flagging them. He asks the right questions of horses and drivers. I think it's going to be really great."
While she made adjustments to the team between Dressage and Marathon, her horses remained as consistent as their results, and she used the same pairings for the final two days of competition.
"It was a good course," she said of the final phase. "It was what I've come to expect from Richard - that you drive the lines. It's Dressage training in Cones. The horses have to be supple and flexible and move forward with nice curves - it was a nice course. It had its little pieces that made us drivers think!"
Perry-Glass Victorious in FEI CDI 3* Grand Prix Special Presented by Adequan
The FEI Grand Prix podium remained unchanged from Friday's lineup, as the FEI CDI 3* Grand Prix Special presented by Adequan®, saw Kasey Perry-Glass (USA) dance with partner Goerklintgaards Dublet to an impressive score of 75.830%, taking the victory ahead of Adrienne Lyle (USA) and Horizon who finished in second on a score of 71.660%. Belinda Trussell (CAN) rode her own Tattoo 15 to third place honors with a score of 69.319%.
Perry-Glass and the 2003 Danish Warmblood gelding (Diamond Hit x Ferro) owned by Diane Perry put in a more relaxed effort without losing the energy of Friday's winning ride. "My test, I felt, was a lot more thought out. After the Grand Prix, I was just really challenging myself to go in there and focus on what we do in the warm-up and get it in the show ring. That was my highlight. He's so talented as it is, that he does everything really well, but I think the passage tour was really good, as well as his changes."
Regarding "Dublet's" reaction to the arena after a weekend of acclimation, she continued, "He's still a spring chicken in there - he didn't lose any motivation or any kind of spark. He was actually more relaxed, but with energy. That's what all of his pre-show training was for, getting his mind really good, the aqua-tread, and all the work we do outside the arena. I feel like it's really translated to his stamina and how he holds his energy."
The atmosphere was exuberant at the in-gate, especially for the large support wearing red, white and blue - the American entourage was in full force and both Lyle and Perry-Glass expressed gratitude for the strength of the USA contingent.
"We have an incredible support staff from all of USEF," said Lyle. "They're absolutely amazing and take care of any question you may have. You can call them in the middle of the night and they're here to help you! It really helps to have such great backing, then beyond that, we have an incredible camaraderie between us as teammates," she continued. "Laura [Graves] is here watching and cheering on, and we're all really good friends. We say that all the time, but it's not just for show - we all are really good friends. It's really exciting to see everyone be so successful. It only elevates your own riding and your own training when you can be around people like that, and I feel very blessed that we are that way."
Perry-Glass agreed, "You look down the ranking list, and even people that are not on the ranking list or that are on the B squad, it's amazing to see that you're so close to them." She also noted the importance of this strong team unit as a team sport.
"There's only one class that's individual. Growing up in team sports, you have to have that camaraderie and be to be a team player. I think it elevates everyone's sportsmanship and I think it makes you perform better. Plus, you can lean on them when you have questions or concerns or ideas, and especially in stressful situations."