Two of the four Canadian reiners competed in the Team and First Individual Qualifying Competition on August 25. Josiane Gauthier of Lucama, NC, USA, and Lisa Coulter of Princeton, BC rode a seven manoeuvre pattern during the run, including sliding stops, straight lopes and the fan-favourite spins – placing Team Canada in sixth going into day two of the first qualifier.
Gauthier and Ju Juzz Gunslinger (Colones Lil Gun X Jujo`s Jay Bar), William M. Bradley’s 10-year-old Quarter Horse stallion, scored 214.5 for their first run of the qualifiers. Starting off with spins, the pair took on each manoeuvre with determination. They did their run downs swiftly to complete sliding stops, and executed smooth rollbacks. They also showcased relaxed lopes around the arena, and finished with a fluid back-up, placing them tied for 11th.
“These are my first FEI World Equestrian Games, so I got to feel the effect of everyone cheering in the stands. It was such an exciting ambiance and I really enjoyed that part of it,” commented Gauthier. “I felt like we had a really nice run. My horse was good; he turned well, he was relaxed in the centre and stayed with me for the whole run. That is very important to me.”
Riding A Smokin Whiz (Topsail Whiz X Royal Silver King), a six-year-old Quarter Horse stallion owned by Bob Thompson, Coulter finished the run with a score of 214. The duo absorbed the energy of the crowd as they completed the patterns. With such powerful momentum A Smokin Whiz over spun causing his hind end to slip underneath him. As they progressed through the run, the pair grew stronger and more precise. Their final run downs and stops demonstrated the ability of Coulter to adapt to the horse underneath her for a strong finish. At the end of day one of the First Qualifying Competition, the pair is close behind Gauthier tied for 13.
“I had a great ride. I got A Smokin Whiz less than two months ago. He is very powerful, has great responses to feel, and an amazing, explosive energy that I am still getting used to. He did get a little nervous as the crowd was very intense and the TV screens got his energy up, but he rallied and it came together,” said Coulter. “My first spin was really strong and I loved it. My second spin was just as strong and dynamic, but he slipped and lost his hind. To come out to the Games for the first time, I am very proud of him and I feel like I had a great ride.”
“Josiane did a really good job. The horse was different than he was in the warm-up, but Josiane has great horsemanship, so she did the right things and rode him well,” commented the Canadian Reining Team Chef d’Equipe, Lyne Laforme. “Lisa did really well, her last two stops were fantastic and they improved throughout the run. She handled the pressure well and was confident. So far, we are very happy with both their scores, and we are looking forward to the men, Matthew and Cody, riding next.”
The remaining two Canadians, Matthew Hudson of Mareville, QC aboard Its All About Smart, and Saskatchewan native Cody Sapergia who currently resides in Lermoos, AUT with Nu Chexomatic will complete the Canadian Reining Team scores for the Team Competition and First Individual Qualifying round part two August 26.
A total of 41 reiners participated in today’s competition with another 41 set to complete the first qualifying round on August 26. The final results will determine which riders will compete in the Consolation round, and which riders will compete in the second qualifying round on August 27. Reining finals will be held August 30th.
Currently leading after day one is Andrea Fappani of the United States. In second place is Ann Poels of Belgium, and Jordan Larson of the United States is in third.
The judging panel for the Reining competitions at the Games consists of a panel of FEI 4* -level judges, Pierre Ouellet (ITA), Rick LeMay (SWE), Sylvia Katschker (AUT), Rick Weaver (USA) and Maik Bartmann (GER)
For a complete schedule of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014, as well as full information and results, visit www.normandy2014.com.
For a full list of Canadians competing at the Games, rider bios, and more, visit www.equinecanada.ca/cet.
Live broadcasts of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 will be available for viewing at through FEI TV.