Saturday, August 25 started out pleasant at Euston Park in England, but throughout the day the weather deteriorated into heavy downpours and severe thunderstorms.
|Meg Sleeper and Syrocco Reveille (Merri Melde-Endurance.net)|
Due to the extreme weather, officials had to call the race off for the safety of the horses and riders. In an unusual finish to an endurance race, several riders were placed based on the position they were in at the time that the race was called, but the majority of the riders finished the sixth and final loop.
The U.S. Team made quite a showing against stiff competition finishing in fourth place with a combined time of 24:45:00. Valerie Kanavy (Fort Valley, VA) was the first member of the team to finish with Reach For The Gold in 20th place with a time of 08:00:06. Jeremy Reynolds (Dunnellon, FL) and A Kutt Above were right behind her, finishing in 21st place with a time of 08:00:09. Heather Reynolds (Dunnellon, FL) and Riverwatch finished in 36th place with a time of 08:44:45. John Crandell III (West River, MD) was unable to finish the race when Heraldic did not pass the mandatory re-check at Vet Check 5.
Margaret “Meg” Sleeper (Frenchtown, NJ) and Syrocco Reveille had an amazing day at Euston Park. Sleeper was the first U.S. rider to cross the finish line, finishing in 11th place with a time of 07:49:11. The pair had an average speed of 20.46 kph.
With a time of 21:22:37, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) claimed Team Gold as well as sweeping all of the Individual medals. France won Team Silver with a time of 23:24:47 and Oman won Team Bronze with a time of 23:55:46. HH Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum (UAE) rode Madji du Pont to Individual Gold with a time of 7:00:45 and an average speed of 22.82 kph, followed closely behind by UAE teammates HE Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum on Yamamah (07:01:04) and Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri on Vendaval (07:01:04). The 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Gold medalist Maria Alvarez Ponton of Spain finished fourth with her WEG partner Nobby. The Best Conditioned Horse was Ikland ridden by Alex Luque Moral of Spain. The pair finished fifth individually.
View the competition website here: http://www.eustonparkendurance.co.uk/WEC
Follow the U.S. Endurance Team here: http://www.usefnetwork.com/featured/2012Endurance/