Dramatic Finale for Team USA in Kecskemét at 2009 FEI World Pair Driving Championships
RELEASE: August 23, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Cindy Timmer
Kecskemét, Hungary – Team USA was in fifth position of the Team standings after dressage and marathon at the 2009 FEI World Pair Driving Championship in Kecskemét, but had a dramatic Final. Best placed US driver Larry Poulin, who was lying in 10th place, missed a gate at the final obstacle driving competition and was eliminated.
Keady Cadwell, Best for the US in Hungary (Rinaldo de Craen )
Because of his elimination, Poulin’s dressage and marathon scores in the Team competition were stroked as well and this caused team USA to drop to the 12th place in the final standings of the Team competition.
“It really is a shame, I wished for a different result for Larry at his last World Championship, but this is the sport,” commented chef d’equipe Ed Young. “I have been there before and it is never nice, but there is nothing we can do. The only thing Larry could say is that he was sorry, and of course we all accepted.”
Keady Cadwell put down the best performance in the obstacle driving competition. With her French trotter Finlandio and the KWPN gelding Uniek she drove a very fast course and nearly managed to stay in the time allowed. She left the arena with only .56 penalty points for exceeding the time but the three knockdowns unfortunately dropped her from the 13th to the 18th place in the final standings.
Lisa Singer was unable to speed her pair of Morgan horses up for the extremely difficult cones course in which the time allowed was very tight. Singer, at 61years old, is one of the veterans at the World Championship in Kecskemét. She ended on the 37th place in her 8th World Championships.
Individual driver Miranda Cadwell enjoyed competing in Kecskemét and described her first participation in a World Pair Driving Championship as “a lot of fun”. Next season, Miranda will be helping her elder sister Keady, who will be driving a four-in-hand and try to qualify for the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky 2010. Miranda came 48th in the overall competition.
After a nerve-wrecking obstacle driving competition, the Dutch took home both individual and team gold. Marathon winner Harry Verstappen was on silver before the cones competition, but the leader, Zoltán Lázár, gave his gold medal away with three balls down and time penalties. Verstappen got the gold, Lázár dropped to bronze and Beat Schenk from Switzerland went home proudly with the silver individual medal.
The Dutch team kept their lead after dressage and marathon and won the Team Gold medal for the first time since the first Open World Championships in Montemaggiore in 1983. Host nation Hungary took silver and Germany won the bronze medal.