All 83 Pairs Accepted at WEG 2018 First Horse Inspection

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

All 83 pairs presented to the eventing ground jury of Anne-Mette Binder (DEN), Jane Hamlin (USA) and Andrew Bennie (NZL) were accepted at this afternoon’s first horse inspection here at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games at Tryon.

After a heavy downpour earlier in the afternoon, Mother Nature mercifully held off for the duration of the horse inspection. A sizable group of spectators gathered to watch the horses and riders parade down the jog strip and cheer for their countries, with especially exuberant support for the home team. Go USA!

Two horses were sent to the holding box: Joris Vanspringel’s mount Imperial van de Holtkakkers for Belgium and Merel Blom’s mount Rumour Has It N.O.P. for the Netherlands. It was an especially tense moment for the Belgian contingent, as they only have three horses in the competition and would be unable to field a team if one was not accepted. Thankfully, both horses were accepted upon re-presentation.

Lisa Marie Fergusson and Honor Me. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

That sends 83 total combinations and 16 teams forward to dressage, which starts tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. EST. The deadline to declare final starters is at 5 p.m. EST. Chefs d’equipe are set to meet at 6 p.m. EST to declare the starting orders for their teams, as well as which pairs will serve as individuals. Start times will be released for dressage soon after.

The U.S. has already confirmed that Lauren Kieffer and Vermiculus will serve as the individual combination.

While we anxiously await other team announcements, we’re cautiously optimistic in bringing you the latest update on Hurricane Florence. The National Weather Service has pushed back the timeline for when heavy rains will reach the WEG venue.

The latest weather update released this afternoon by Tryon “shows that Hurricane Florence is now expected to make landfall near the North and South Carolina coastal border on Friday evening. The projected weather pattern here at TIEC will be heavy rain on Sunday evening into Monday and possibly Tuesday, with winds peaking on Sunday evening at 30mph with gusts of up to 40mph. Thunderstorms today and tomorrow afternoon are not related to Hurricane Florence.”

Pietro Roman and Barraduff. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

We are absolutely going to see more rain between now and cross country day on Saturday, but the timeline for Florence’s heaviest impact has now been pushed back to Sunday evening. While the track has already endured quite a pounding from severe thunderstorms, the footing is holding up well overall. With more rain on the way, we can definitely expect the footing to be impacted come Saturday.

Stay tuned for a full photo gallery from the first horse inspection, plus EN’s full cross country course preview coming your way later today. Keep it locked on EN for the latest and greatest from WEG. Go Eventing.

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