The Norka squad from Cologne, Germany successfully defended their Gold medal in the Team Final of the Christie's International Real Estate's Vaulting competition at the FEI World Equestrian Game™ Tryon 2018 on Saturday, to conclude the discipline. The team earned a total score of 8.638 and repeated their ranking in the FEI Nations Cup™, keeping Switzerland and Austria at bay.
The dual Gold medalists beat their result from WEG 2014, showing a truly magical performance interpreting the magician's known from the movie 'Now You See Me'. Spectators were treated to a class performance with Danny Boy OLD and lunger Patric Looser, a WEG Gold medalist himself in 2010 for Switzerland. The endless hours of training that went into their show were obvious.
"We know each other since many years and we are one. We could trust each other," the team explained when asked how they kept their nerves.
The Team Gold medal was hard to earn especially for anchor vaulter Thomas Brüsewitz, who sustained an injury during the Individual Male Final earlier in the day, in which he secured third.
"There is a large team behind us. It is impossible not to win with them. If need be, somebody would carry me onto the circle," said Brüsewitz following the medal presentation in TIEC's Indoor Arena.
Team Switzerland, defending their Silver medal from WEG 2014 behind Germany, had trailed the overnight leaders by the smallest possible margin, only 0.001 points but could not stand the pressure. Several of their intricate moves collapsed, leaving them disappointed, but later happy with their second place finish.
The Bronze medalists from Austria showed the second-best Freestyle of the day, finishing on 8.198. They earned overall 9's for technical execution and artistic value, but missed out on a top score for their horse Alessio L'Amabile with lunger Maria Lehrman.
"It is so amazing to be here and have this chance to show our Freestyle. We were the perfect team and the harmony was awesome," the Austrian Vaulters raved.
Team USA took fourth place, overtaking Italy who had showed their beautiful aerials to a medley of catchy Italian records, wowing the crowds.
Germany's Kristina Boe Takes Top Honors in Female Vaulting at WEG 2018
Germany's Kristina Boe won Gold in the Individual Female Final during the Christie's International Real Estate's Vaulting discipline of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 on Saturday, retaining her lead in the overall ranking after the first Freestyle. Vaulting for a score of 8.388 over four rounds, followed by Germany's Janika Derks and Austria's Lisa Wild.
The current FEI World Cup™ winner, Boe, wowed the crowd with her Freestyle routine with a British scientist Jane Goodall-themed routine. The 32-year old doctor was dressed appropriately for her choice of music and showed extraordinary artistic movements requiring all of her ability to show perfect balance. Don de la Mare, lunged by Winnie Schlüter, carried her easily and she landed her dismount perfectly.
"I can't even put that into words. It feels fantastic. I had a good feeling in the preparation; we had three hard rounds before but I just set myself one goal to get a harmonic round and to feel the music and the atmosphere of this beautiful freestyle and we managed and getting Gold on top is unbelievable," said Boe.
Janika Derks, already decorated with a medal on Thursday and known for her technical powers had a great Individual Final Freestyle scoring 8.810 - better than Boe, but paid for a rocky start in the Compulsory where she had been ranked only with a 7. She made up for everything with her Freestyle with Carousso Hit and lunger Jessica Lichtenberg.
"It feels very good, I'm so happy I can't believe it," said Derks afterwards.
Austria's Lisa Wild secured Bronze on a total average of 8.363 after four rounds.
"I was so nervous before I went in, I knew it was the last round. In the rest day I was not really resting in my head - I knew it would be the last chance to show what I can do," she said after her competition with Fairytale and lunger Maria Lehrmann.
Germany's Sarah Kay missed the podium by 0.055 points. She had presented the best freestyle of the final after the first one was messed-up, letting her sit in tenth place.
Leclezio Makes Mark in Male Individual Vaulting Final for France
Lambert Leclezio took Gold for France in the Individual Male Freestyle Final at Christie's International Real Estate's Vaulting discipline. Leclezio earned the win with a score of 8.744 points after four rounds, beating Germany's Jannik Heiland and Thomas Brüsewitz, who claimed second and third, respectively.
The talented 20-year-old Leclezio moved to Saumur, France to improve his sporting aspirations and it has clearly paid off.
"It's very difficult. I have no words to describe what we did - I'm very, very happy. I want to take a moment to thank my lunger and the horse because it was his last competition. He really deserved to show on this because he's just at the top of the game and he's allowed me to win this competition," he said, praiseing Athimon and his horse, Poivre Vert.
"The most difficult thing is to stay calm when entering the ring and today we did a good job with it and we didn't let the pressure of this competition get too much."
Jannik Heiland came a close second with 8.606. He commented, "It's amazing to win this Silver medal, I didn't imagine it before - four fantastic rounds with a fantastic horse and a fantastic lunger and a fantastic German team. It was such an honor to be part of this event. During the performance, I know how it feels and how the exercises are going and I had a little mistake, but it wasn't a big problem and I felt very good."
Thomas Brüsewitz, aboard Danny Boy OLD with World Champion from WEG 2010, Patric Looser on the other end of the lunge, repeated his interpretation of the Truman show again, but had his mind already set on the team competition, where he had a lead role as well.
"I'm quite happy about what we achieved today. I am preparing now for the team competition in the evening. The team, that's what's running through my mind."
Fourth place was awarded to the third German Vaulter Jannis Drewell, who performed with good balance and fluidity.
Triple Gold For Dutch Riders As Netherlands End Para-Dressage Competition In Majestic Form
Dutch stars Sanne Voets and Rixt van der Horst both made it triple Gold in a memorable closing session of Adequan® Para-Dressage at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 on Saturday to conclude competition.
Having won their respective individual championship titles and helped the Netherlands end Great Britain's reign as World Champions, they each signed off by claiming Freestyle Gold medals and completing a perfect set.
Voets launched another successful day at Tryon Stadium for the Dutch in Grade IV, edging out Brazil's Rodolpho Rixalla with a score of 79.645% on Demantur N.O.P, to take top spot, and in doing so she became the first non-British rider to win three Gold medals at one Paralympic, World or European event. American Kate Shoemaker and Solitaer took Bronze.
"It is so amazing," a tearful Voets said. "It was my dream, and now it is real. This horse two years ago won the first ever Paralympic gold medal for the Netherlands and he contributed very much to our first ever Team Gold medal on Friday, and now he is the first one taking home triple gold for the Netherlands in the World Games."
Van der Horst, riding Findsley, followed suit in Grade III, but there was a dramatic twist as her main rival - Great Britain's Natasha Baker - fell from her horse Mount St John Diva Dannebrog early in her test and was eliminated. The United States' Rebecca Hart took second place, while Germany's Dr, Angelika Trabert was third.
"To win three medals is amazing," said van der Horst, who successfully defended her Individual and Freestyle titles from the 2014 WEG. "It really is something else. I have no words, really."
Baker was unhurt in the fall, and she said, "I absolutely have no idea what happened. It was so out of character for her. She is an angel. We walked in and the crowd were massively cheering for Rixt after her test, which was great for her, but that set Diva off in the tunnel. I have watched the video back and it's hilarious! I am fine. My ego is bruised and my backside probably is as well. At least I hit the center line when I landed!"
There was an emotional Grade I victory for Italy's Sara Morganti, who added Freestyle Gold to the Individual title she won earlier in the week, just two years after being eliminated from the Rio Paralympics when her horse Royal Delight failed the first horse inspection.
Morganti saw off the challenge of Latvia's Rihards Snikus and Lord Of The Dance by almost three percent, and there was another Bronze medal for the United States - their third in Para-Dressage at Tryon, before Hart's silver made it four in total - as Roxanne Trunnell completed the podium after a fine ride on Dolton.
"It's incredible and so emotional that I can't describe it," Morganti said. "I think it puts Rio in the past now. I needed to come out with my horse again and show how good she is."
Grade II also produced a golden double for Denmark's Stinna Tange Kaastrup, as she enjoyed a clear victory on Horsebo Smarties from Austrian Pepo Puch, while the Bronze medal went to the Netherlands' Nicole den Dulk.
"I gave it all I got in there," Kaastrup said. "I had no more left in me. I think we have gone to another level in terms of the partnership with my horse. I knew I had a really good horse and I know I am a decent rider, but to do all the work together really takes time. Coming here, we have found a new level."
Britain's Sophie Wells also secured a double Gold performance by adding Grade V Freestyle success to her individual triumph on C Fatal Attraction, which more than compensated for the two Silver medals she won at the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games™.
Wells posted an outstanding score of 80.755%, with the Netherlands' Frank Hosmar and Alphaville N.O.P. taking second on 79.155%, and there was a first Para-Dressage medal for Japan as Tomoko Nakamura, riding Djazz F, took Bronze.
Wells said, "My horse has given me everything, with Thursday (Team Test) being the highlight for me. I am so proud of him. The standard of the riding here, the horses, the training is amazing for the sport. It makes you proud to be part of it, but you literally have to fight every second. We all have the same dream, but only one person can win."
Boyd Exell Leads as Top Placed Individual While Team USA Bests Marathon Competition in Polaris RANGER Driving Competition
It was an action-packed day on the Marathon course at the Polaris RANGER Driving competition at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 on Saturday. Leading world champion Boyd Exell (AUS), is still in the lead, despite his brakes failing him on the downhill stretches of the course at TIEC.
Team Gold is now up for grabs for Team USA, leading on 338.98 points, trailed by Belgium (353.80) and the Netherlands (357.67).
Dutch Koos de Ronde, competing at his fourth WEG saved the team standing for the Dutch. The Marathon winner of the day was the fastest in four of the eight obstacles, built beautifully by course designer Richard Nicoll. De Ronde and his chestnut team won the Marathon phase, but teammates, father Ijsbrand and son Bram Chardon, were not so lucky.
"It all went great. I did not have a good Dressage result because I brought a team of good Marathon horses. I knew I could win it with them and let Bram and Ijsbrand do the dressage. That was my tactic," said de Ronde.
All three US-drivers put in solid rounds, with Chester Weber finishing fifth in the Marathon. In the overall ranking, he kept his second place from Dressage, now seven points behind leading title-holder Boyd Exell. That is two balls and two seconds in the cones phase on Sunday.
"We did not win the Marathon, but are sitting in a good place."
The three young Belgian drivers put in a stunning team performance. At his second WEG, 29-year-old Edouard Simonet ranks third after Dressage and Marathon.
"We are not just three guys from one country. We are all close friends, all under 30 years old", said teammate Glenn Geerts, who currently holds seventh place.
"My grandfather was an international driver and I always wanted to follow him. Drees' father was a driver, as well and Simonet was a backstepper for Boyd Exell. We all go back a long way."
Boyd Exell had a hairy drive having to go without brakes for portions of his trip around the Marathon course, but his team continued to prove their standing, making easy work of several obstacles. "In Obstacle 1 at Gate 1, I had the first mistake. That was not a perfect ride by a long shot. The horses had lots of power. I could have done two more obstacles." The four-time world champion had his carriage converted for Aachen to support a broken leg. The carriage then was reverted and shipped out to the States only two days after the competition and was in the container for about six weeks. "We tested the carriage here a lot and today there might have been air in the lines. We were on two wheels out of No. 6," said Exell. He finished third in the marathon, behind Swiss Jerome Voutaz (SUI) who was fastest through the gates of two obstacles.
For more information on the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 and to view start lists and results, please visit www.Tryon2018.com.
About the Tryon International Equestrian Center
Tryon International Equestrian Center at Tryon Resort, host of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, is one of the world's premier equestrian lifestyle destinations, with first-class facilities for all eight FEI disciplines. From carousel to competition, the mission of Tryon Resort is to celebrate the magic of the horse, grow equestrian sport, and increase access to this majestic animal. Tryon Resort is a spring, summer and fall haven for equestrian competitors and enthusiasts, and a year-round destination for connoisseurs of diverse cuisine and shopping, lodging getaways, and family entertainment. Learn more at www.Tryon.com.
About the 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 organized 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 organized 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 Tryon 2018 Games offer qualifying slots for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The FEI World Equestrian Games™ History Hub can be viewed here.
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