Wednesday, September 22, 2010

WEG Banking Sponsor Announced

LEXINGTON, KY—2 Days To Go—Rabobank, a leading bank in the global food and agriculture industry, is the Official Agribusiness Bank and sponsor of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

 “We are pleased to have Rabobank join our family of sponsors,” said Terry Johnson, vice president of marketing and sales for the World Games 2010 Foundation. “Their commitment to financing agribusiness around the world makes them a perfect fit for the 2010 Games.”

As a premier financial services provider to the global food and agribusiness industry, Rabobank is the bank of choice to many leading animal feed companies in the U.S. and in key international markets.  Rabobank is also an active supporter of equestrian sports in its parent country, the Netherlands, sponsoring the Royal Dutch Equestrian Federation and Dutch Olympic Equestrian Teams, as well as talent development programs for young Dutch equestrians.

“Rabobank is delighted to be a part of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games,” said Adriaan Weststrate, Managing Director, Rabobank North America Wholesale banking. “We are thrilled to lend our support as Official Agribusiness Bank to an event which will bring together world leaders in the areas of equestrian health, nutrition and sports.  This sponsorship is a wonderful way to continue and extend our commitment to our many valued clients in the global animal feed industry, and to showcase the talent of the Dutch equestrian team.   We are especially pleased to be involved with the Games for their debut in the U.S., a country in which we have established a leadership position in the F&A market over the course of our 30-year presence.”

WEG Carriage Driving Preview

Carriage Driving (7-10 October)
Reigning WEG champions: Germany (team) and Felix Marie Brasseur, BEL (Individual)

 Driving is a growing sport in the USA and the goal of World Championship Course Designer Richard Nicoll is to stir the enthusiasm of the large number of spectators at Kentucky Horse Park during the forthcoming Games.

 Dutch, German, Swedish, Swiss and American sides will battle it out for the team medals, and will be joined by Australia's Boyd Exell, twice winner of the Rolex FEI World Cup™ Driving Final, who will be bidding for the individual title.

 There are three phases of competition - Dressage, Marathon and Obstacle Cones – similar to Eventing, but with four horses!

(Courtesy FEI)

WEG Vaulting Preview

Vaulting (6-10 October)
 Reigning WEG champions: Germany (team) and Megan Benjamin, USA (Female Individual), Kai Vorberg, GER (Male Individual).

 In this demanding sport, judged over two rounds consisting of compulsory and freestyle  tests, competitors must show technique, balance and athleticism along with  creativity. The performance of the horse has become much more important since the  last  World Equestrian Games in Aachen, as this vital member of the Vaulting  team  must  remain  calm,  controlled,  balanced  and  happy  while  being lunged by a longeur who ensures a steady, true canter is maintained on a circle as
 the vaulter executes their movements. The horse's way of going now accounts for
 20% of the overall score.

 The Austrian team won the 2009 European Championships at Bokeberg in Sweden, where Joanne Eccles claimed the Individual Female title and the British rider goes to Kentucky  as  one of the favourites. Germany's Kai Vorberg, defending Male Vaulting  Champion  at  the  Alltech  FEI  World  Equestrian  Games™,  was  silver medallist at last year's European fixture where Nicolas Andreani from France took gold.

(Courtesy FEI)

WEG Para Dressage Preview

Para-Dressage (5-10 October)

 This continually evolving sport, included for the first time at the World Equestrian Games,  will break new ground if other nations can beat the British stranglehold. Great Britain has won team gold in every championship since the sport began, and fields the most medalled rider in history, Lee Pearson, plus Anne Dunham, the only rider to have competed at every Paralympics.

 Para-Dressage,  which  joined  the  FEI  disciplines  in  2006,  provides  riders  with physical  disabilities the opportunity to compete in high performance equestrian sport alongside able-bodied riders from all over the world.  The FEI was one of the first international  governing bodies to regulate sport for both able-bodied and disabled athletes.

(Courtesy FEI)

Weg Jumping Preview

Jumping (4-9 October)
Reigning  WEG  champions: Netherlands (team) and Jos Lansink/Cumano/BEL (Individual)

 The defending Jumping champions from The Netherlands had a tough year avoiding relegation from the top-level Meydan FEI Nations Cup™ series in 2010 so don't look the force they were four years ago.  Both Germany and France have won the World Equestrian Games team title twice, and the French are on form having claimed the Meydan title for  the second successive season this summer. However the host nation and reigning Olympic champions are the ones to be reckoned with on their home ground in Kentucky.  And never discount the Irish. They scored a surprise victory at Aachen in July and are fielding the same team.

 The USA will also challenge strongly for the individual honours, with McLain Ward and  Sapphire  in  sparkling  form  in  recent  months.  Frenchman  Kevin  Staut  is currently  leading the Rolex World Rankings and other major contenders include 2010 Rolex FEI World Cup™ champion Marcus Ehning from Germany and Olympic champion, Canada's Eric Lamaze. But the individual title is a wide-open affair. Riders must have a really talented horse to make it to the closing stages when it all comes down  to  horsemanship as the top four go head-to-head in the deciding competition during  which they exchange mounts.    Experience, and the ability to adapt to a horse you have never ridden, are key to victory.

(Courtesy FEI)

WEG Eventing Preview

Eventing (30 September – 3 October)
Reigning WEG champions: Germany (team) and Zara Phillips/Toytown/GBR (Individual)

 Eventing is a familiar sport at Kentucky, home of the world-famous Rolex CCI4*, but the Cross-Country course, across the Horse Park’s magnificent rolling acres, will have been given a totally new look by Course Designer Mike Etherington-Smith (GBR).

 Once again, Germany looks the nation to beat, with three members of the winning team from Aachen 2006 returning to the fray – Ingrid Klimke, Andreas Dibowski and Frank Ostholt.

 Other former gold medalists in the field include Mark Todd and Andrew Nicholson, members of the winning New Zealand squads in Stockholm 1990 and Rome 1998;
 Mary King (GBR) and Kristina Cook (GBR), members of the winning British team in The Hague (NED) in 1994; and Jean Teulere, France’s Individual World Champion at Jerez (ESP) in 2002.

(Courtesy FEI)

WEG Dressage Preview

Dressage (27 September – 1 October)

Reigning  WEG  champions:Germany (team) and Isabell Werth/Satchmo/GER (Individual Grand Prix Special), Anky Van Grunsven/Salinero/NED (Individual Freestyle)

The burning question will be whether the mighty Dressage nation of Germany can regain supremacy from the Netherlands, current European Champions, but yet to win a World team title.

The supreme artist Isabell Werth is back in action, following the birth of her child last year, but the Dutch, in the form of Edward Gal and the record-breaking stallion Totilas and  Adelinde Cornellissen on the breathtaking Parcival, now have the bit between their teeth and may be hard to beat.

The host nation, too, is expected to produce a competitive showing, especially from the 2009 World Cup winners Stefan Peters and Ravel, while Laura Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Hojris have been making waves for Great Britain.

(Courtesy FEI)

WEG Reining Preview

Reining (25-30 September)
Reigning WEG champions: USA (Team) and Duane Latimer/Hang Ten Surprize/CAN (Individual)

 This is sure to be the most exciting World Equestrian Games yet for Reining with so much emerging talent. The discipline is keen to show the world the progress and expansion that has been made in the sport over the last eight years. The Americans are strong favourites for team gold having won in Aachen in 2006, but Canada so narrowly missed out that day - losing by just 0.5 points - and are likely to return with something to prove.

 South American reiners have been working long and hard to step up their game along with many of the other well known reining nations, including Germany, Italy and  Australia.  In  the  Individual  Championship,  Rudi  Kronsteiner  (AUT)  will  be looking  to  put  in  a  great  performance  with  his  consistent  partner  Einstein’s Revolution, but there will be plenty of strong opposition. This year really is an open playing field, and it will take steady nerve and strong horse power to reach the top of Reining’s 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ podium.

(Courtesy FEI)

WEG Endurance Preview

Endurance (26-27 September)
Reigning WEG champions: France (team) and Miguel Vila Ubach/Hungares, ESP (Individual)

 Clear favourite to take individual gold at the 2010 WEG is Spain's Maria Alvares Ponton with her incredible bay gelding Nobby. Together this pair has already written their names into the Endurance history-books having topped both the 2008 World Championships in Teraengganu (MAS) and last year's European Championships in Assisi (ITA). Can they make it a hat-trick of titles?

 The consistent performances of the French sees them hotly tipped for the team honours, but the UAE will be giving it their best shot to retain the World title they claimed in 2008.  Endurance tests the speed and stamina of the horse and the skill of the rider  who  must temper the pace in order to complete the course in good condition. The competition is run over a distance of 160 kilometres, with regular veterinary stops to  check the horse's fitness to continue. The competitor who finishes in the quickest  time  is the winner, but there is still a final veterinary inspection to get through.

 The sport of Endurance has grown rapidly since the 2006 World Equestrian Games and is now the FEI’s fastest growing discipline.

(courtesy FEI)