The numbers are in for week 2 of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 when 365 athletes from 53 countries will compete in the four remaining disciplines at Tryon International Equestrian Centre in North Carolina, USA from 18 to 23 September.
Can the dashing Australian daredevil, Boyd Exell, secure his fifth World Championship and third consecutive World Equestrian Games titles? Will the British stranglehold on the Para-Dressage medal table ever be broken? Is it time for Italy’s Anna Cavallaro to take Female Vaulting gold at last? And can the 2014 double-champions from The Netherlands dominate in Jumping once again?
Jumping will round up the final week and it looks wide open for both the team and individual medals.
There will be 125 riders from 49 countries battling it out, and 25 nations will contest the coveted team title that has been claimed four times by Germany – the Dutch the only ones to wrest it from their grasp in 2014. Global expansion in recent years sees a whole range of new countries competing this time around, with the flags of Bahrain, Bolivia, Ecuador, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Romania and Thailand joining the start-list for the very first time. And it will be a double-history-making moment for Bolivia, Lebanon, Macedonia and Romania as these four countries will make their debut in any sport at the WEG.
The Netherlands’ Jeroen Dubbeldam will not be defending his individual title but it’s hard to look past his fellow-countryman and Dutch team-member Harrie Smolders as a major contender, because the world no. 1, who saddles up Don VHP Z with whom he claimed individual silver at the FEI European Championships last summer, is in formidable form. However world no. 2, America’s McLain Ward, and his compatriot Beezie Madden are likely to try to get in his way.
Double Olympic gold medallist Madden has WEG team silver and bronze, and individual silver and bronze medals in her list of achievements along with the 2018 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping title. And Ward also has two Olympic golds, WEG team silver and bronze and victory in the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping series under his belt. The presentation of the individual Jumping medals will bring the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 to a close on Sunday 23 September, and the Americans will be determined to get their feet onto that podium on home soil.
Source: Press release by Louise Parkes for FEI – Fédération Equestre Internationale
Photo: © FEI / Jon Stroud