Fourth World Equestrian Games Officially Begin In Jerez
de la Frontera, SpainAugust, 10, 2002The 2002 World
Equestrian Games, the fourth ever held, officially began on Tuesday
with a spectacular opening ceremony that included a special message
from HRH La Infanta Dona Pilar, the President of the International
Equestrian Federation (FEI) and HRH King Juan Carlos I of Spain,
who declared the Games open. Over fifty nations are expected to
compete in the WEG, which hosts World Championships in seven disciplines
of equestrian sport.
US athletes from all seven disciplines dressage, driving,
endurance, eventing, reining, show jumping, and vaulting
were well represented in the Parade of Nations, entering the arena
just before the home country of Spain.
The theme of the ceremony was the Pure Spanish Horse (PRE) which
included the Royal Guard, Jerez Military Stud, and the Royal Andalusian
School of Equestrian Art that performed a series of incredible
movements featuring the airs above the ground and
the cobra, all representative of the Andalusian equestrian
culture. The unique ceremonys message was to show the enthusiasm
of Jerez, known as the horse capital of Spain.
Competition begins on Wednesday with the first day of Grand Prix
(team) Dressage and Team Vaulting. Riding on Wednesday for the
United States Equestrian Team (USET) will be Susan Blinks, riding
Flim Flam, owned by Fritz Kundrun and Dressage Sponsor Corporation,
and Debbie McDonald and Brentina, owned by Peggy and Parry Thomas.
Guenter Seidel riding Nikolaus 7, owned by Dick and Jane Brown,
and Lisa Wilcox on Relevant, owned by Gundula Vorwerk and Dr.
Claus Crone-Munzebrock, will ride on Thursday.
USET Vaulting squad, represented by the Free Artists Creative
Equestrians (FACE) Team of California, will also be competing
on Wednesday. For more information on the teams of all seven disciplines
and for complete WEG coverage, visit the USET website at www.uset.org.
The United States Equestrian Team is a non-profit organization
that selects, trains, equips and finances equestrians of the highest
possible standard to represent our country in major international
competition, including the Olympic Games and the World Championships.
To accomplish this, the USET seeks out and nurtures the development
of talented athletes - riders, drivers and horses - and provides
the support and guidance they need to help them attain their fullest
potential. For more information on the USET, please call (908)
234-1251, or visit USET ONLINE at www.uset.org