WEG Tryon 2018 Vaulters Reignite Friendly Rivalry

The Vaulting team competition is underway at the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018, where horses play a key role in scoring.
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Swiss vaulting team WEG

The Swiss vaulting squad finished first in the compulsory.

European neighbors Switzerland, Germany and Austria are taking on the rivalry again in the Christie's International Real Estate's Vaulting discipline at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 Vaulting team competition. The Swiss squad finished first in the compulsory, scoring 7.979. Germany ranks second on 7.794 and Austria (7.355) is third.

The score for the horses decided first and second place, with Swiss gelding Rayo de la Luz getting an average of 8.3. Germany's Danny Boy Old collected 8.11 from two of the eight judges whose task it is to solely assess the horses' performances.

"With four years of vaulting under his belt, we [have been] vaulting him since two years and he has developed fantastically," said lunger Monika Winkler-Bischofberger on the 13-year-old gelding.

The U.S. team of Pacific Coast Vaulters finished fourth on their squad horse, Diva, with lunger Carolyn Bland.

"The horse and the lunger were amazing," the vaulters raved afterwards. "That was the best it has gone all year and it is great to be on home turf."

Fifth-placed Italy had a bad start when going over time and therefore the last movement was not scored.

"That was not our best compulsory, but we are better in the Freestyle anyway. We are Italians!" said Laura Carnabuci, lunger for former dressage horse Hot Tek Date.

The confrontation at the top of the field of eleven teams even goes down to a personal level, with Swiss lunger Monika Winkler-Bischofsberger and counterpart Patric Looser for Germany originally coming from the same club in Switzerland, in Luetisburg near the city of St. Gallen.

"It is a friendly rivalry between us, but we both treat it as a fair competition. I wished Monika lots of luck back at the stables before we started out," said Patric Looser, who won the individual World championship title at WEG 2010 in Kentucky for Switzerland and founded the German team based in Cologne three years later. He still carries a Swiss passport.

"But I am at home there now. And vaulters are one big family anyway," Looser said.

Austria's Katharina Luschin scored 8.506 in the Christie's International Real Estate's Vaulting discipline at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 on Tuesday, thus topping the winning compulsory result from the previous WEG in France. All three Austrian female competitors are in the top four spots with Germany's Kristina Boe wedged in between on second position (8.347).

"It was a super feeling to go in here. I just did my thing, but I never thought this result could be possible," said leading Luschin after the first of three more rounds to come towards the individual title. The 26-year-old is at her second WEG, after finishing 4th individually in Normandy and taking Bronze at the previous World Championship in Le Mans 2016.

With Daniela Fritz on 8.294 in third place and 23-year-old Lisa Wild sitting fourth, Austria has set a solid foundation for their road to medal success.

"We took a risk, putting all three of them on this one horse, Fairytale, but it worked out," said Manfred Rebel, team chief for Austria.

Germany's Vaulting World Cup winner Kristina Boe showed extraordinary elevation in her compulsory and led the competition until Luschin took over.

"The higher the pressure, the better I do," said the 32-year-old trauma surgeon. female vaulters of 30 in total all scored above 8.0, showing the new class of the sport.

The top ten female vaulters of 30 in total all scored above 8.0, showing the new class of the sport. The placing also shows how tight the competition at the top has developed. Germany places all three female vaulters in the top 10, with Sarah Kay and Janina Derks trailing Boe in sixth and seventh place. Switzerland has Nadja Büttiker, Marina Mohar and Ilona Haennich placed in a row up to currently rank 11th.

World's No.1 Anna Cavallaro, silver medalist at WEG 2014, is sitting with Derks on 7th place. The medical doctor is known for her freestyle abilities.

German Thomas Brüsewitz Earns Vaulting Male Compulsory's Top Score

Germany's Thomas Brüsewitz took the lead in the Christie's International Real Estate's Individual Male Compulsory at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 on Tuesday. The No. 3-ranked athlete scored a 8.480 in the Individual Male Compulsory, besting compatriot Jannik Heiland on 8.468 and Lambert Leclezio (8.440) representing France.

Thomas Brusewitz and Danny Boy Old

Germany's Thomas Brüsewitz took the lead in the Christie's International Real Estate's Individual Male Compulsory at the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018 on Tuesday. 

The compulsory was the second appearance for Brüsewitz on Danny Boy Old after he had competed within the team in the morning.

"The double burden does not phase me. I am used to it. It is like that since two years," said the 24-year-old who comes from a vaulting family. Danny Boy got out much fresher the second time and helped Thomas to a good score after he had to be on as the first vaulter this morning because he knows the horse best and could set him up for the others in the team," said lunger Patric Looser.

Jannik Heiland, twice an FEI World Cup™ Bronze medal winner, might have lost the lead in the first part of the compulsory, he acknowledged. "The scissors could have been a bit better, but the rest went okay. I felt very well-prepared and was mentally up to it," Heiland said

France's Lambert Leclezio, the 21-year-old World Champion 2016, had to go out first. His 8.440 average was the lead until Brüsewitz performed.

World's No.1 Jannis Drewell from Germany sits fourth, competing for the first time without his mother at the lunge line. He opted for Lars Hansen and experienced Feliciano 44 instead.

"We did not want to overstrain our young horse at this world championship level," said Drewell, who serves in the German military and devotes his time professionally to vaulting.

The surprise of the day was young Juan Martin Clavijo from Colombia, scoring 8.146 and finishing within the top six vaulters out of 19 who finished above 8.0. The 18-year-old is one of only around 150 vaulters in Colombia. After he had finished school near Bogota in June, he is now preparing for a year in Switzerland and spends his time either vaulting or learning German.

Christie's International Real Estate Vaulting continues on Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. EST with further qualifications. The Freestyle for the FEI Nations Cup™ starts at 5:30 p.m. EST.

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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