Monday, September 01, 2014

Gold Medal Farriers: Congratulations to World Equestrian Games Team Farriers

If London was the Twitter Olympics, Normandy is the Instagram WEG. Never have we seen so many images, thanks to our phones. Never have our thumbs been so sore from scrolling through so many images. 

The image above is embedded from Instagram. It was posted today on the official account of The Games but no credit is given to the farrier who forged it--or who took the photo or how they managed to take it with all three letters hot! Perhaps official Games farrier Luc Leroy masterminded this?

In case you're keeping score, as of August 31st, The Netherlands has won the most medals; Great Britain has won the most individual gold medals and Germany has won the most team gold medals. Watch for the USA to catch up during Week 2 and build on the all-gold reining results! Go, USA!
And never has there been a greater dearth of information to report to you from the hoof brigade. Nevertheles, the Hoof Blog has patched together an international report for you that will be updated as the Games continue and more news is available.

Great Britain's Lead Farrier for World Class and Performance Dressage and Showjumping, Haydn Price of Wales, with Double Gold Individual Medalist and Silver Team Medalist in Dressage, Charlotte DuJardin and Valegro. Charlotte and Valegro are now the reigning Olympic, European, World Cup, and World Champions -- all accomplished wearing shoes carefully planned out by Haydn. (© Haydn Price photo)
Farriers Haydn Price for Great Britain and Dieter Krohnert for Germany had big jobs to do this week. And they got them done. Between Germany and Great Britain, gold medals in dressage and eventing are secure.

Haydn Price's duties as farrier to the British dressage team kept him at the big arena in Caen all last week, while Dieter's responsibilities included the endurance and eventing and other events that were located far from the main arena at Caen.

But at Caen, the two veterans of many world champtionships split the gold, with Dieter's German team taking the team medal and British rider Charlotte DuJardin capturing both individual gold medals, as well as being part of the silver medal British dressage team.

Germany won the team gold medal for dressage. From left: Chef d’Equipe Klaus Roeser, Kristina Sprehe, Helen Langehanenberg, Isabell Werth and Fabienne Lutkemeier.  (Dirk Caremans/FEI photo)

Germany won the Nations Cup in spite of losing their top horse, the defending World Champion, Totilas, who suffered a mild injury before the Games and could not compete.

Haydn Price snapped this informal and exclusive photo of the silver-medal British dressage team practicing on their day off, before the freestyle. From left: Michael Eiberg on Half Moon Delphi, Carl Hester on Nip Tuck, Charlotte DuJardin on Valegro.

Germany's team farrier Dieter
Krohnert (team website
official photo)
During the Games, the top scoring German horse in the Grand Prix, Isabell Werth's Bella Rose, suffered what was described as a "bruised foot" and was withdrawn from the Grand Prix Special and Freestyle.

But in the eventing, the tables were turned. Germany won not only Team Gold but Sandra Auffarth of Germany won Individual Gold. Great Britain earned silver in both team and individual categories, as they endured the painful death of team member Harry Meade's horse Wild Lone after the cross-country phase.

The British eventing team was overseen by longtime team farrier Brendan Murray. The venue, the national stud at Haras du Pin, was deep in mud when horses and riders arrived and had barely dried out by the time cross-country began. The course was altered to accommodate the heavy going.

German team farrier Dieter Krohnert took this photo of the gold medal winning German eventing team -- Michael Jung, Dirk Schrade, Ingrid Klimke and Sandra Auffarth--in the warmup ring as they were about to go in to receive their medals. At about exactly the same time, Dieter was on-screen on FEI TV.

British Para Dressage Team
Farrier Ian Hughes of Wales
British Eventing Team
Farrier Brendan Murray
At still another venue, the Para Dressage competition was in full swing at La Prairie Racecourse.  Rider Lee Pearson from Great Britain, shown here in an FEI press photo by Leanjo de Koster with Princess Haya, president of the FEI,  collected three gold medals for Great Britain.

At La Prairie, the British team's hooves were looked after by Ian Hughes of Wales, farrier at the University of Liverpool vet hospital and the veteran FEI head event farrier at the 2008 Olympics in Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, Team USA's Stephen Teichman was handling the transformation from discipline to discipline on an almost daily basis. Whoops and hollers and whistles are due the US reining team, which won all three individual medals and team gold, as well. Hopefully, Steve Teichman will check in with an update but he has a very big job to do with all the US teams, as do all these farriers.

Congratulations to another gold medal team farrier, Marco Villamor with the Spanish endurance team; the farrier for individual gold medalist Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum's United Arab Emirates is not known.

Other farriers more or less accounted for were Randy Pawlak for Canada, Nigel Perrott with the Irish eventers, Sandy Parker for Australia, and Gerrie de Crom for The Netherlands. Surely others will emerge.

Australia's Paul Tapner offered an exciting ride in the cross country. He outfitted his horse in bright red bell boots so his hooves were easy to follow. His bright red gloves were instructive to how and when and if he shortened his reins.

Tapner lives and trains in England, where his horses are shod by Jamie Goddard.

If they have a Nations Cup for farrier rigs at Normandy, I think Germany deserves gold. Dieter Krohnert's folds up! It probably diddn't get very far through the mud at the cross-country on Saturday, though, or look this clean! (courtesy of Dieter Krohnert)

France's Luc Leroy is heading up the FEI's farrier services for the Games. Demonstrations of horse ball have been going on as well as breed demonstrations and parades.

The famed elite Garde Republican farriers from Paris have been doing shoeing demonstrations in the Equestrian Village at the World Equestrian Games epicenter in Caen.

Meanwhile, the horses they shoe were front and center in a grand parade that deserved a gold medal. The Games assembled a grand parade through town with representatives of cavalries from around the world. It is worthy of a watch:

Can anyone identify the countries? France, Germany, Great Britain, Netherlands, Sweden and Canada, to be sure. The same video channel shows the horses after the parade. In true French style, the public was allowed up close and personal time with the horses, including that wonderful gray drum horse. People milled around among horses and the impeccably dressed riders posed for photos with anyone who wanted a grand souvenir selfie.

That's something you don't see every day--or perhaps ever--in one place. Vive la France!

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