Friday, June 20, 2014

Focusing on the World Equestrian Games

I can’t tell you how happy, relieved and excited I am to be named to the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team for the upcoming Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France with Shamwari 4. I was up against a lot, getting on this team, but thanks to a great result in Luhmuehlen we managed get the job done.

First and foremost I’m sitting on one of the best horses I’ve ever had. I’m grateful to the owners and very thankful to the people who’ve helped me along through my eight weeks of being sidelined from my broken leg.

I feel humbled by the Shamwari syndicate, especially those individuals that bankrolled the initial purchase of the horse – obviously to buy a horse at this level takes a huge amount of confidence in the person organizing the syndicate and it’s a great feeling knowing they all believe in me.

Once again I must thank everyone who has helped me to achieve this monumental goal. Obviously I have to thank my wife Silva, and while she’s been out of commission Caitlin has stepped up and taken the role training all the horses – she’s a bit of an unsung hero and the horses are doing so well thanks to all her hard work. Phillip has kept the horses up on their jump training and competing them. My groom Lindsey is also super, as always, keeping the horses in brilliant condition. Finally my physio has dedicated hours and hours to helping me regain my strength and mobility. I’m still going to physio therapy and the leg is not quite 100% but as each day goes by I’m getting stronger and stronger.

 The three horses that went to Germany, Otis Barbotiere, Shamwari 4 and Mighty Nice, arrived safely on Wednesday at JFK and will come back to the farm today. I’ll have to talk to David and Phillip about how much time off to give Shammie, but I’m expecting to put him back into light work in a week’s time.

I spoke with Phillip this morning, and on Monday Trading Aces will move down the road to True Prospect Farm, where Phillip will take over his training full-time. Both myself and the owners of “Oscar” purchased him a couple of years ago with the intention of taking him to the WEG. Everyone was on board with the idea and we’re thrilled that Phillip has been named to ride him at the WEG. We also feel that having the horse available for both Phillip and myself, since we both qualified to compete on the team with him, is an ideal situation, (he will be my backup horse, in case anything happens to Shamwari, while Mighty Nice will be standing by in the wings for Phillip to ride).

The team looks like a great choice for Normandy. [Click here for videos of all of the horses and riders]. I think the selectors have picked great cross-country riders; the last two teams I’ve been a part of, it’s the cross-country where the USA has fallen short, so it’s a good decision leaning toward this type of rider and horse. We know that all of our riders will need to be on a mission when they face the cross-country course in Normandy


1 comment:

  1. I am so happy for you and so thrilled to see Silva doing so well. Good luck to both of you!