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Sara Lieser

September 20, 2006

Peters Leads The U.S. Dressage Team To Bronze With Exciting Performances

It was no surprise that the Germans fielded an unbeatable dressage team on their home turf for the FEI World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Aug. 22-26. Nor was the Dutch team silver medal unexpected, but the bronze medal win for the United States was no lock when the team competition began.

Injuries kept some of the top U.S. horses at home, while nations like Sweden and Denmark appeared strong and hungry for that third spot.

September 19, 2006

Are We Sacrificing Sport For Spectators?

There's no place in the world like Aachen, Germany, for horse sports. The facilities, the huge, knowledgeable spectator base, and the history there make riding in Aachen a special experience. Many changes were implemented at Aachen to make this FEI World Equestrian Games (see p. 8) more exciting and more practical for the venue. While these decisions were well thought out and were great for the spectators, some of them will have a lasting impact on the sport.

August 25, 2006

These Young Riders Are Role Models

Horse management. Many kids today don't really understand these two words. George Morris bemoans the loss of it in his July 7 Between Rounds column titled "Where Did We Come From? Where Are We Going?" But what are good horse management skills, and how do we teach a child these skills when learning to ride may get sandwiched in between piano lessons, soccer practice and so much more?

One of the last bastions of horse management is undoubtedly the U.S. Pony Club. This organization places as much emphasis on the lessons of horsekeeping as it does on teaching children to ride.

August 21, 2006

The U.S. Team Features Old Pros And New Faces

Dressage in the United States is in a transition between the proven powerhouses who are on the brink of retirement and the talented newcomers on their way up. This year's World Equestrian Games team balances a few experienced pairs with exciting up-and-comers.

"We have no need to hide ourselves," said team coach Klaus Balkenhol after the selection trials. "We can be very proud internationally coming up against the other riders."

But the German and Dutch juggernauts are still in place and will be hard to bring down.

August 21, 2006

A Team Of Veterans Will Head To Aachen

Familiar faces will lead the United States charge in four-in-hand driving at this year's World Equestrian Games. Four years ago Chester Weber, Tucker Johnson and James Fairclough brought home historic team silver at the WEG, winning the first U.S. World Championship four-in-hand medal.

And those three are the most likely candidates for this year's WEG. It's anybody's guess whether or not they can repeat their medal of 2002, since world-class driving is governed by fractions of points and the top drivers are all very close.

August 14, 2006

Katerine Bateson-Chandler Is On Her Way To The Top

A radiant smile always graces Katherine Bateson-Chandler's face as she canters into the Grand Prix dressage ring at A. An up-and-coming talent, there's no place she'd rather be than on the back of a horse.

Although she's been riding Grand Prix horses for years, Bateson-Chandler is probably best known as Robert Dover's groom. She's accompanied him to the Olympics, World Cup Finals and hundreds of national competitions over their 15-year friendship.

August 14, 2006

Robert Dover's Extreme Makeover For Eventers

Traditionally, eventers scoffed at straight dressage riders. After all, who wants to go in endless circles when you could be galloping cross-country?

The dressage riders got their digs in too.

They knew those crazy eventers did something in an arena before tearing around over hill and dale, but you couldn't really compare that with the art of dressage, could you?

July 7, 2006

Dressage Is For Everyone

For the uninitiated spectator, observing a dressage show is often compared to watching paint dry. The horses go in endless circles, and the most exciting part of the day happens during the Grand Prix honor round when eight hot, enormous warmbloods plunge and rear after being crowded into a 20 x 60-meter ring and told to take a victory lap.

July 7, 2006

There's No Mystery To Tami Hoag's Rise In Dressage

It doesn't pay to tell Tami Hoag what she can and can't do. She'll just be delighted to prove you wrong.

A best-selling author and Grand Prix dressage rider, Hoag's set her sights on competing at the international level, and it would be foolish to bet against her.

Beating the odds is nothing new to Hoag. Her first pony bucked her off every time she rode him, yet she wouldn't give up her dream of riding. She never went to college, but that didn't stop her from writing seven consecutive New York Times bestsellers.

July 7, 2006

Risk Pays Off For Peters In The USEF Grand Prix Championship

Calm, almost serene, usually describes Steffen Peters' demeanor, but he couldn't help showing some strong emotion as he racked up one unbelievable score after another in the Collecting Gaits Farm/U.S. Equestrian Federation Grand Prix Championship and World Equestrian Games selection trials, June 14-18 in Gladstone, N.J.

Riding Laurelyn Browning's Floriano, Peters swept all three Grand Prix classes, finishing on an outstand-ing 83.25 percent in the freestyle and a final average of 77.20 percent for the three days.

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