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Success for U.S.

The United States Equestrian Teams Snag 12 Medals — The Most Ever for the U.S. From a World Championship

With over 700 athletes competing in 8 disciplines from nearly 70 nations, the world came to the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, North Carolina, for the 2018 World Equestrian Games. While Hurricane Florence loomed, fans from across the globe cheered and displayed their devotional love for horse and country in a true showcasing of the best in equestrian sport.

The United States equestrian teams had great success, bringing home 12 medals — the most ever for the U.S. from a world championship. Behind every medal is a story. The hard work, sacrifice and love that makes every moment in the spotlight come to fruition. The passion and resilience of both human and equine athlete, as well as the team of people that makes it possible, makes equestrian sports so unique. It takes a village.

For being mostly a very individual sport, global championships like this require so many different forms of help to make it possible. Thank you to the riders, managers, grooms and owners. Thank you to the people of Tryon and hundreds of volunteers. Thank you to the vendors and sponsors. Thank you to the fans near and far. And thank you to the horses. It was an event to remember.

Murray Kessler, President of U.S. Equestrian, says it best, “What a fantastic two weeks of equestrian sport we witnessed at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018!”

While WEG showcased athleticism, power and grace, it was also a reminder things don’t always go as planned. When Hurricane Florence blew in, events had to be shuffled or canceled, including the endurance competition that had to be restarted and eventually canceled completely. Although disappointing, it was the best choice for the welfare of the horses and a reminder that horsemanship and love for the animal is what equestrian sport is all about.

Laura Graves and Verdades Ranked #1 in the World
Per the FEI Dressage World Ranking list, the first time ever that an American has held this honor.

Laura has been a Platinum Client since 2016
PHOTO BY SHANNON BRINKMAN

  • 700
    Athletes Competing
  • 8
    Disciplines on Display
  • 70
    Nations Represented
  • 12
    Medals for Team USA
Jordan Larson

Jordan Larson, Team Gold
U.S. Reining Team, Riding ARC Gunnabeabigstar
PHOTO BY CAM ESSICK

Reining

Americans dominated the reining arena with the U.S. Reining Team standing on top of the podium wearing gold medals at the conclusion of team competition. Teammates Jordan Larson on ARC Gunnabeabigstar, Dan Huss on Ms Dreamy, Cade McCutcheon on Custom Made Gun and Casey Deary on Heavy Duty Chex totaled a 681.0 cumulative score, winning by nearly 10 points over silver medalists from Belgium. This is the fifth consecutive team gold medal at the World Equestrian Games since the sport’s inclusion in 2002.

In the individual world reining championship, Dan Huss and Ms Dreamy earned silver in the individual standings behind Belgium’s Bernard Fonck and What a Wave by a small 1/2 point. Cade McCutcheon made a big splash riding his family’s Custom Made Gun to earn the individual bronze medal behind Huss. McCutcheon’s individual run tied him with Brazil’s Joao Felipe Andrade C S Lacerda, and they had to do a run-off pattern to determine the bronze medalist. First in, Lacerda had an excellent, clean run scoring a 227.0. Under pressure, McCutcheon produced a nearly flawless run for a 228.0 score from the judges, earning the coveted final spot on the podium.

Laura Graves

Laura Graves, Team & Individual Silver
U.S. Dressage Team, Riding Verdades
PHOTO BY SHANNON BRINKMAN

Dressage

It has been 16 long years since the last silver medal at a world championship for the U.S. Dressage Team. The team, anchored by Laura Graves and her longtime partner and fan favorite, Verdades, augmented solid scores from her teammates to earn silver medal position behind an indomitable German team. With solid scores from teammates Steffen Peters on Suppenkasper, Adrienne Lyle on Salvino and Kasey Perry-Glass on Goerklintgaards Dublet, Graves earned an 81.537 percent to clinch silver for the team. Her score was second only to Isabel Werth of Germany who scored an uncatchable 84.829 on her comeback mare, Bella Rose. The Great Britain team stood in bronze position on the podium. The hard-fought and well-deserved silver medal earned the U.S. Dressage Team a qualification spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

In a technically challenging Grand Prix Special Test, Graves and Verdades were bested only by Werth and Bella Rose to score an 81.717 percent, earning them a historic silver individual medal, the highest medal earned by an individual U.S. dressage combination at a global championship ever. The Grand Prix Freestyle individual competition was canceled due to inclement weather from Hurricane Florence, postponing the dueling dressage greats to vie for top honors at a later championship. Graves’ impressive team Grand Prix test and individual silver medal at the World Equestrian Games helped to catapult her into being number one in the world per the FEI Dressage World Ranking list, the first time ever that an American has held this honor, unseating Isabel Werth and Weihegold OLD who have held the title for nearly two years.

“Verdades just keeps confirming in everything he does, every performance he gives, that he truly does deserve this ranking. He is the best horse in the world,” Graves says of the 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood. “I’ve known [that] in my heart for a long time because I get to ride him every day and experience his generosity. And we’ve had fans appreciate him for a while, but to have the FEI and the numbers support him is great.”

McLain Ward

McLain Ward, Team Gold
U.S. Jumping Team, Riding Clinta
PHOTO BY SHANNON BRINKMAN

Jumping

The U.S. Jumping Team put on a show of grit and determination to be crowned the best in the world. Veteran anchor McLain Ward with his ultra-careful mare, Clinta, and teammates Laura Kraut on Zeremonie, Adrienne Sternlicht on Cristalline and Devin Ryan on Eddie Blue produced an incredible week of show jumping to spectators’ delight. In a very unlikely and unprecedented situation, Team USA and Team Sweden ended tied for first place after the final round when Ward’s mare Clinta uncharacteristically dropped a rail as the final rider for team competition. It meant a world-class jump-off. All four riders from both teams competed again to see who could be the cleanest and fastest over Alan Wade’s big and technical course of 1.65 meter fences with enormous spreads, very deserving of a world championship class.

In the jump off, both teams matched each other with clear rounds from Ryan and Kraut and a single rail from Sternlicht. If there is anyone that could come through in a high-pressure situation, it’s McLain Ward. The U.S. Trust Arena was electric as Ward and Clinta stepped into the ring again. One would never have guessed that this Pegasus mare had been jumping her heart out all week and finished her last course mere minutes before. Ward and Clinta jumped high and clean and had two seconds to spare, clinching gold for the U.S., with Sweden and Germany behind, respectively. For the U.S. Jumping Team, next stop: Tokyo.

From America, With Love

Chester Weber, longtime American driving phenom, did not disappoint at the World Equestrian Games with his four-in-hand team. Sitting in gold medal contention after the Dressage and Marathon phases with teammates Misdee Wrigley-Miller, James Fairclough and their teams of horses, Weber’s score from the Obstacle Cones phase solidified the team gold medal and earned him an individual silver medal as well.

Exciting news in Para-Dressage with the United States earning its first medals ever in the discipline. Rebecca Hart showed phenomenal riding throughout the week on El Corona Texel to earn the bronze medal in the Grade III Individual Test. The combination continued their winning ways capturing a silver medal in the Grade III Freestyle. Roxanne Trunnell on Dolton and Kate Shoemaker on Solitaer 40 both earned bronze medals in their respective Individual Freestyles.

The U.S. Eventing Team sat third after fantastic dressage scores. Following challenging cross country and jumping day, American eventers finished in eighth place, just missing Olympic qualification but will have another shot for a bid at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.

While the U.S. Vaulting Team finished out of the medals, they had very strong showings in individual, pas-de-deux and squad competition, with many of the athletes achieving personal best scores.

Medal or no, the heart and passion that every athlete showed throughout WEG is what makes equestrian sports so special. To witness individual riders from very different equestrian backgrounds come together, form teams and support each other was inspiring. An appreciation for other countries, other disciplines, other cultures and other breeds, all for the love of the horse is what makes these Games the best in the world.

Platinum Athletes Representing the World

Our Clients Represented Not Only the U.S. but Other Countries as Well

  • Hawley Bennett-Awad and Jollybo
    represented Canada in Eventing.
    PHOTO BY SHANNON BRINKMAN

  • Ashlee Bond and Chela LS
    represented Israel in Jumping.
    PHOTO BY SHANNON BRINKMAN

  • Karen Polle and With Wings
    represented Japan in Jumping.
    PHOTO BY MEG KEELEY

  • Hawley Bennett-Awad & Jollybo

    Eventing | Team Canada

    “Jollybo was amazing all week! I am very lucky to have represented Canada at my third world games with an amazing little horse. It has been in the plan for the last two years. It’s a great feeling to have set a goal and achieve! Huge thank you to Platinum for ALWAYS being in my horses' corner and fueling them with the best supplements on the market. Honestly, Jollybo felt like a million bucks!!!”

    Hawley supplements Jollybo with Platinum Paks® containing: Platinum Performance® CJ, Myo-Vet® and Platinum Electrolyte. She’s been a Platinum Performance® Client since 2014.

  • Ashlee Bond & Chela LS

    Jumping | Team Israel

    “A lot of things have come and gone in our program. But when something works, you stick with it. Platinum Performance has been in our barn since 1996."

    Ashlee supplements Chela LS with Platinum Performance® Equine, Healthy Weight and Platinum Gastric Support® and has been a Platinum Performance® Client since 1996.“”

  • Karen Polle & With Wings

    Jumping | Team Japan

    On her first World Championship experience with With Wings: “Wings jumped so, so well all week! I had so much fun, and it was an experience I will never forget. I’m really proud of what we achieved, and I feel so lucky that I got to experience my first World Championships with him. Each day was the biggest course both of us had ever jumped, but knowing that I had him there for me made me feel ready to fight. I think we both tried our hardest all week, and I feel very grateful and honored to have a partner like him!”

    Karen supplements With Wings with Platinum Paks® containing: Platinum Performance® CJ and Platinum Power®. She’s been a Platinum Performance® Client since 2014.

  • Jordan Larson & Big Star

    Reining | Team USA

    Americans dominated the reining arena with the U.S. Reining Team standing on top of the podium wearing gold medals at the conclusion of team competition.

    Jordan supplements Big Star with Platinum Performance® CJ, Healthy Weight and Vitamin E and has been a Platinum Performance® Client since 2008.

  • Laura Graves & Verdades

    Dressage | Team USA

    Laura Graves and Verdades took home a historic silver individual medal, the highest medal earned by an individual U.S. dressage combination at a global championship ever.

    Laura supplements Verdades with Platinum Paks® containing: Platinum Performance® CJ, Platinum Electrolyte, Vitamin E and Selenium Yeast. She's been a Platinum Performance® Client since 2016.

  • McLain Ward & Clinta

    Jumping | Team USA

    McLain Ward and Clinta jumped high and clean and had two seconds to spare, clinching gold for the U.S., with Sweden and Germany behind, respectively.

    McLain supplements Clinta with Platinum Performance® CJ, Myo-Vet® and Platinum BCAA and has been a Platinum Performance® Client since 2003.

Emily Smith, MS, Platinum Performance®
  • by Emily Smith, MS, Platinum Performance®