2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Comes to a Close
Jeannie Blancq Putney
October 11, 2010
Lexington, KY – This afternoon marked the finale of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games as HRH Princess Haya, president of the FEI passed the flag from Kentucky’s governor to the president of the organizing committee for Normandy, France.
“The World Equestrian Games Foundation had a mission statement to stage a Games that were technically, artistically and commercially successful, and there can be no doubt that these Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games here in Kentucky have ticked every one of those boxes,” said Princess Haya.
The 16-day event marked many highs for the 632 athletes and 752 horses that came to Kentucky from 58 countries. The Kentucky Horse park welcomed 507,022 visitors from all 50 states and more than 55 countries.
U.S. athletes earned a total of eight medals in four of the eight FEI disciplines. In addition, the International Hunter Derby was introduced to thousands of spectators during six demos.
The U.S. did not medal in jumping at this WEG, but last night’s Final Four competition was nonetheless exciting. The individual gold ended up going to Belgium for the second WEG in a row. This time it was Philippe Le Jeune, who was the only rider in the Final Four to ride all four horses to clear rounds.
“When I was a young boy my father taught me to love animals,” he said. “I love animals more than people. My life is dedicated to my horses. I have two sons they are my flesh and my blood, but the rest I dedicate all my life for the horses. I prefer to have fun with the horses at home, competition I really like, but the first thing for me is to get on the horses, feel them and love them.”
The bronze medal went to Saudi Arabia’s Abdullah Al Sharbatly who was the long-shot in this Final Four. Al Sharbatly was also the only rider to come in to last night’s competition with no knock-downs, and he earned the first WEG jumping medal for a Middle East country. Eric Lamaze of Canada took the bronze medal, while his horse Hickstead was recognized with Best Horse honors for having no rails throughout last night’s competition. Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa took the fourth spot.
The next FEI World Equestrian Games will begin on August 17, 2014 in Normandy, France.
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