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Dana Diemer

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Pony World Driving Championships Marathon Preview

Obstacle 6. Photo by Dana Diemer.

Today is the final day of dressage here in Minden, Germany. The weather has decided to be somewhat uncooperative, a steady drizzle to dampen the four in hands competing today. US drivers are taking advantage of the time off to finalize plans for marathon tomorrow.

The marathon course consists of a 5200 meter Section A, 900 meter transfer section and an 8800 meter Section B.  Total distance is 14.9 kilometers or 9.26 miles.

The eight hazards are tight, technical with the minimum clearance allowed. Routes are long. There are numerous knockdowns in each obstacle, and several with double lettered gates. The tracks, due to the compact nature of the venue, double back on one another. Proper preparation on the part of drivers and navigators will be essential for a successful run. Check out the course below:

First US driver on course tomorrow will be Miranda “Randy” Cadwell at approximately 9:30 am local.

For live results check out www.hoefnet.nl

EN’s coverage of the FEI Pony World Driving Championships is proudly presented by Nupafeed!

USA’s Katie Whaley Sitting 6th at Pony World Driving Championships

Photo by Miranda Cadwell

Competition in dressage at the Pony World Driving Championships continued today for pair ponies. Thirty-three pairs are entered in this division demonstrating their skill with test 3*BHP2. This test requires collection and extension at the trot, and also has five movements in which the reins must be held in one hand.

Temperatures were a bit warmer and breezy this morning. The judging panel remained the same, but the five judges switched positions. The leaderboard saw scores drop into the 40s, with the division leader Jan-Felix Pfeffer of Germany at the head of the class with a score of 44.01. Germany holds the top four positions at the close of pairs dressage.

Sunny this morning, the clouds rolled in around noon and the drizzle began just before lone U.S. pairs driver Katie Whaley with Tommy and Night Flyer rolled down the centerline. A consistent and accurate test earned the final USA competitor a 51.06 placing her 6th for the day. This score was a 12-point improvement from the CAI3* at Beekbergen two weeks ago.

U.S. drivers have the day off tomorrow as we are not fielding a four-in-hand team this year. Tonight is Nations Night, a traditional gathering in which each of the participating countries offer food selections to try specific to that country. USE Director of Driving Danielle Aamodt rounded up some American fare to sample and the large American contingent is looking forward to a good time.

For further information and live scores go to www.hoefnet.net.

EN’s coverage of the FEI Pony World Driving Championships is proudly presented by Nupafeed!

Team USA Holding Their Own at Pony World Driving Championships

Miranda Cadwell and Canon’s Majestic Leyla. Photo by Meghan Benge.

Reporting from the beautiful northern German town of Minden, site of the 2017 FEI Pony World Driving Championships. The weather here today was pleasant and cool with highs in the low 70s.

Today was single pony day, and competitors drove the 3*BHP1 test. That’s three-star test B for single horses and ponies. This test was new to the international scene in 2015. The test contains 33 transitions, four halts, a rein back, five movements requiring performance with the reins in one hand, two diagonal yields and canter work with the left lead canter coming off of a twenty meter half circle to the right. The bulk of the trot work is in collection or extension and asks transitions directly from one to the other.

Tracey Morgan and her own Fuego 88. Photo by Danielle Aamodt.

Tracey Morgan and her own Fuego 88 led off for the Americans scoring a 53.61. They produced a steady, fairly error-free test. Rooster is a seasoned campaigner; he and Tracy were the sole U.S. representatives at the 2015 Pony Worlds and are the current U.S. Single pony champions. They end the day sitting in sixth place.

Miranda Cadwell and Canon’s Majestic Leyla drew the last slot of the day. Leyla and Randy are Marathon specialists and Randy did a terrific job keeping the lid on her super fit mare. They earned a score of 64.97 placing her 36th.

The judging panel gave nothing away, and scores were very tight with less than 18 points over the entire division. Team coach Thorsten Zarembowicz mentioned that despite the overall higher scores one must look at the spread. He feels the marathon will be very influential and both drivers have all to play for come Saturday.

For live scoring go to www.hoefnet.nl.

EN’s coverage of the FEI Pony World Driving Championships is proudly presented by Nupafeed!

Team USA Ready to Go at Pony World Driving Championships

Miranda Cadwell and Canon’s Majestic Leyla ready to jog. Photo by Keady Cadwell.

Lots and lots of ponies as far as the eye can see! The site of the 2017 Pony World Driving Championships in Minden, Germany is a spectator’s dream. The eight marathon obstacles and dressage/cones arena are within easy walking distance and allow up close and personal viewing. The entire venue is groomed to a T and includes the requisite beer stands selling locally brewed Herforder brews.

The first pony inspection took place Tuesday morning, with 262 ponies presented to ground jury members: Dr. Klaus Christ (GER), Barna Fej’er (HUN), Henk Van Amerongen (NED), Hanspeter Rüschlin (GER), Danuta Nowicka (POL) and Anne-Marie Turbe (FRA). The record entry required two jog lanes. Six ponies were sent to the hold; all were accepted upon re-inspection.

Single pony dressage begins tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. local time (2 a.m. EST). The weather is forecast to be sunny with temps in the mid-60s.

Tracey Morgan and Fuego 88 lead off the American contingent at 11:38 a.m. local (5:38 am EST).
Miranda Cadwell and Cannon’s Majestic Leyla have the last test of the day at 5:40 p.m. local (11:40 am EST).

For live scoring go to www.hoefnet.nl.

Go Ponyteamusa!

EN’s coverage of the FEI Pony World Driving Championships is proudly presented by Nupafeed!

Team USA Drivers Hold Their Own at Beekbergen CAI3*

Katie Whaley with her Tommy and Tanner leaving the seventh obstacle at Beekbergen CAI3*. Photo by Madison Saylor.

While the American eventing community was focused on Millbrook this past weekend, combined drivers were looking across the pond to the Netherlands. The Beekbergen CAI3* hosted a strong contingent of U.S. drivers. This is a gorgeous venue located a little over 60 miles from Amsterdam, free to the public with top notch viewing.

Hungarian wunderkind Martin Hölle, 20, crushed the competition in Pair Horses leading wire-to-wire. American pair drivers Katherine and Scott Dancer, along with Steve Wilson, had respectable showings. U.S. coach Thorsten Zarembowicz expressed pleasure at the improvement in dressage for all three pairs.

In the Four-in-hand division, powerhouse Boyd Excell (AUS) drove the American team owned by Misdee Wrigley Miller to victory, with Chester Weber (USA) taking second. Boyd has the box seat while Misdee recovers from an injury, and one really has to ask what is it about Aussies named Boyd?!

Pony Team USA members Tracy Morgan and Katie Whaley took advantage of the opportunity to compete in a special VIP division as a final outing before the Pony World Championships in Minden, Germany in two weeks. Both competitors posted double clear rounds in cones to end on a high note.

The third US driver, Miranda “Randy” Cadwell, arrived on the continent earlier this week … followed several days later by her luggage! Pony Team USA will spend the next week prepping at the Riant Equestrian Center in Beekbergen before moving to Minden next Monday, Aug. 14.

For complete driving coverage, go to www.hoefnet.nl. The English version available by clicking on the British flag in the upper right hand corner.

Red on the right, white on the left and a different kind of insanity in the middle! Go combined driving!

Year of the Pony: Team USA Heads to Germany for Pony World Driving Championships

Combined driving features three-phases of competition: dressage, marathon (like our cross country) and cones (like our show jumping). A driver may compete with a single horse or pony, two in hand or four in hand. As Pony Team USA makes their way to Germany for the 2017 Pony World Driving Championships, we’re thrilled to learn a bit more about eventing’s sister sport.

Tracy Morgan and Fuego 88 at Live Oak International. Photo courtesy of picsofyou.com

According to the Chinese calendar this is the Year of the Rooster, but combined driving enthusiasts know better. It is the Year of the Pony!

The 2017 Pony World Driving Championships will be held in Minden, Germany on August 15-20. Minden is located about 40 miles west of Hanover in northeastern North Rhine-Westphalia, and the venue is unique among combined driving locations. Designed solely with smaller equines in mind, Minden hosts ponies and only ponies. Organizer Christof Wiehe and his team have been hard at work–this year’s competition will offer three new obstacles including a new water complex. Current entries include over 93 competitors from 13 nations with seven nations in the team competition.

The first pony inspection takes place on Tuesday, August 15, followed by singles dressage on Wednesday, pairs dressage on Thursday and four in hand dressage on Friday. Marathon will be held on Saturday followed by cones as the grand finale on Sunday.

Meet Pony Team USA!

This year the U.S. is sending three individual competitors and they are deep in international experience.

Pony pairs driver Katie Whaley hails from Paris, Kentucky and is competing her own Tommy and Tanner, Welsh cross geldings, along with Barbara Sims’ Night Flyer, a section C Welsh gelding. This turnout has made steady improvement in all three phases, and with young driver Colten Parker on the back step Katie is hoping for a strong performance. She is the reigning U.S. Pony Pairs Champion and undefeated in competition this year.

This is Katie’s fourth appearance at a world championship, having previously participated in both pair and four-in-hand competition. Among Katie’s staunchest supporters is her 80-year-old mom Kate, who helps out with driving and barn chores. Kate is a competitor in her own right on the pleasure circuit.

Tracy Morgan, of Beallsville, Maryland, and her own Fuego 88, a 2001 German Riding Pony, are making their third consecutive appearance on the world stage. Tracy and Fuego were the sole American representatives in the 2015 championship and finished in 19th place with top ten dressage and cones scores. As a pairs competitor Tracy was a member of the bronze medal winning U.S. team in 2007.

This year Tracy and Fuego, with long time navigator Kenny Cox, have chalked up impressive wins at the CAI** at Palm Tree CDE in January and the CAI** at Live Oak this past March, earning her the title of U.S. Single Pony Champion.

Rounding out the U.S. contingent is Miranda Cadwell from Southern Pines, North Carolina. “Randy” and her own Cannon’s Majestic Leyla, a 2003 Welsh cross mare, have been together for about three years. They were on track to go to the 2015 Worlds when Randy was sidelined with breast cancer. A double mastectomy and a solid year of chemotherapy followed. Randy and Leyla have come back stronger than ever, their spring season culminating with a big win over top competitors at the Southern Pines CAN*** selection trials in April.

Randy is a marathon specialist, and she is the first American (and one of only two) ever to win the marathon at a world championship. With veteran Matt Harmon as her navigator she is a strong contender for top honors on the day. She won the individual gold medal for pony pairs in 2007, as well as being a member of the bronze medal team for the U.S.

Team Coach is Thorsten Zarembowicz from Viernhiem Germany and Chef d’ Equipe is Jennifer Matheson from Windsor, South Carolina.
Eventing Nation will have on site coverage of the Pony Worlds starting August 15th. Check out www.psg-gewe-minden.de and www.hoefnet.nl for the latest in information and scores.

For information on how you can help support Pony Team USA, please contact Danielle Aamodt, Director of Driving, [email protected]