They’re going to be dancing and prancing, jogging and spinning, jumping, galloping and giving it everything they’ve got when the horses and athletes in the first four disciplines take centre stage at the much-anticipated FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 in North Carolina, USA next week.
A total of 349 athletes from 54 countries will be chasing down the first-week medals in dressage, endurance, eventing, and reining, and it’s going to be fast and furious from the outset.
The definite entry list for the first week is now complete, so here’s what we can expect once the action gets underway on September 12.
When it comes to eventing, which begins on Thursday, September 13, all eyes will be on the New Zealand husband-and-wife duo of Tim and Jonelle Price because the pair of them are on fire right now, Jonelle bagging the big prize at Badminton in May and Tim topping the line-up at Burghley last weekend. And Jonelle will be saddling up her brilliant Badminton winner, Classic Moet.
Remarkably the Kiwi team will also include both Blyth Tait who claimed double-gold at the first WEG in Stockholm 1990 and his team-mate, the legendary Mark Todd, who was already a double-Olympic champion. The New Zealand record at the WEG is highly impressive, Vaughn Jefferis taking all the individual glory in 1994 and Tait pipping Todd for the individual honours in 1998 when they again topped the team table.
The phenomenal Michael Jung gave Germany its first taste of individual success in 2010 and was just pipped by team-mate Sandra Auffarth last time around in France. Auffarth comes back to defend her title and even in Jung’s absence the German side looks more than formidable as 83 riders from 23 countries set off in their quest for that coveted top step of the eventing medal podium.
About FEI World Equestrian Games™
The FEI World Equestrian Games™, held every four years in the middle of the summer Olympic cycle, is the property of the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the world governing body for horse sport recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It is one of the biggest events on the global sporting calendar, combining World Championships in the Olympic disciplines of Jumping, Dressage and Eventing, the Paralympic discipline of Para-Equestrian Dressage, as well as Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining.
The inaugural FEI World Equestrian Games™ were hosted in Stockholm (SWE) in 1990. Since then the Games have been staged in The Hague (NED) in 1994, Rome (ITA) in 1998, Jerez (ESP) in 2002, and Aachen (GER) in 2006. The first Games to be organised outside Europe were the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky (USA) 2010. The Games came back to Europe for the 2014 edition, the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Normandy (FRA), which attracted more than 500,000 on-site spectators and a worldwide television audience of 350 million, as well as delivering an economic impact of €368 million to the French economy.
The FEI World Equestrian Games™ History Hub can be viewed here
It’s the turn of the world’s best eventing athletes to stand under the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games spotlight over the next few days as all but one of the horses presented at this morning’s horse inspection at Baji Koen Equestrian Park were confirmed for action by the Ground Jury.
And they're off! Eventing kicks off today in Tokyo (Thursday, July 29 – 7:30 p.m. ET), with the first of three Olympic dressage sessions. Competitors from 29 nations will go head to head, vying for a spot on the coveted Olympic podium.
There were a few last-minute dramas at the first horse inspection for the Tokyo Olympics which took place in the main equestrian park at Baji Koen Equestrian Centre at 9:30 a.m. JST today.