Local Alltech 2010 World Equestrian Games Qualifiers Featured at Southern Pines Event
With excitement building for the 2010 Alltech World Equestrian Games, the most watched division of the recent Southern Pines Combined Driving Event was the four-in-hand division.
Three local drivers -- Gary Stover, Bill Long and Cindy O'Reilly qualified their teams for the games before the home event held April 10-12, at the Carolina Horse Park.
Anna Nordin, a native of Sweden, now residing in Wilson, also qualified Patsy and Seth Wooten's team.
Gary Stover had the lead in the horse team division going into the cones phase of the combined driving event. Stover scored a 69.76 in Dressage, putting him in second place behind Anna Nordin. For the marathon, Stover switched one of his Dutch Warmblood (five-year-old Voldemort) horses to a leader position to up the speed potential of the team. It paid off, as Stover won the marathon moving him up to first place.
"The horses were really forward in the marathon phase," said Stover. "For the cones phase, I used one of the horses I used at Live Oak. The horse gets a little upset with the loud speakers and sometimes gets more forward than I would like. I stuffed his ears so the loudspeaker noise would be less of a bother to him. But the strategy backfired as when I got in the cones, he wouldn't go forward."
Stover had three balls down and time penalties in the tight cones course designed by Jamie O'Rourke, dropping Stover to second place behind Anna Nordin. Yet Stover still has all seven of his horses qualified for the World Equestrian Games.
"It's all coming together now. I'm pretty excited," Stover said after scoring 213.71 overall.
In order to qualify for the WEG games, a driver must score 70 penalty points or less in a Dressage competition at an FEI approved event driving Test 8A. Drivers and horses that have competed in the previous 2008 Four-in-Hand world championships are automatically qualified.
Bill Long, having competed at the 2008 championships, is automatically qualified for the 2010 World games. But Long still had to qualify Jack Wetzel's team of Gelderlanders, which he did at a previous event in Florida. Long finished third in the Southern Pines CDE, scoring a 221.74 overall. Cindy O'Reilly of Vass has also qualified her father's (Bob Cook) four horses. O'Reilly finished fourth, scoring a 225.39 overall.
Swede Anna Nordin has qualified Patsy and Seth Wooten's young Dutch Warmblood/ Holsteiner team. Nordin hopes to represent her native country at the World Equestrian Games, to be held for the first time in the United States at the Lexington, Ky., Horse Park.
Nordin was sitting in first place after scoring a 65.28 in Dressage. Nordin had a little problem at hazard five in the marathon phase when one of the leaders went to the left of a tree and she had to stop and back up. That dropped her to second place.
Nordin also experienced a little trouble in the cones course, taking two balls down at the off-set cones and incurring some time faults. But she went back into the lead, scoring a 202.16 overall, after Stover dropped three balls and incurred time faults at the same off-set.
"I tried a new horse Hermes in the lead in the marathon," said Nordin. "He had always been a wheeler but I wanted a horse that was more in charge in one of the leader positions. He was like 'let's go.' Now I know he'll go through water. It was a great show to try a new position for a horse."
Other local drivers finishing in the top three in their respective divisions were:
Randy Cadwell who was second, scoring a 213.71, driving her sister's (Keady) pair in the Advanced Pair Horse division. Randy and Lisa Singer (PA) traded between first and second place in the Dressage and cones phases but Randy couldn't quite catch Singer who beat her by 1.34 points.
Penny Stuckey was third in the Intermediate Single Pony division driving her Fjord pony, scoring a 204.39 overall. Marcie Quist of Vass was second in the Intermediate Single Horse division, scoring a 133.62 with her hackney, Halsteads Shale or Hal the Hackney as he is affectionately known.
Full results are posted on the Internet at www.drivingnews.us
Pat Smith can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.
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