World Equestrian Games

The World Equestrian Games are being held in the U.S.A. at the gorgeous Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. See We bought a subscription to the online viewing and have watched much of this live. There will be highlights of top events televised on NBC October 4, 2010.

The World Equestrian Games include several disciplines including three day eventing (combination of dressage, jumping, cross country) reining competitions and pure dressage. The German dressage teams have historically dominated the WEG but their “rein” was broken this year.

A genuine Rock Star of the dressage world, Moorland’s Totilas (fondly known as Toto) ridden by Edward Gal of the Netherlands, won the Gold Medal for individual dressage at the FEI event in Kentucky on Sept 29 2010. See a video from Edward Gal’s website of this darling of the dressage world if you want to know what he looks like:

Some people might assume that watching dressage –usually in the form of a set of predetermined moves called a dressage “test” – is unexciting, but this spectacular horse performed so beautifully he brought tears to the eyes of viewers. It is a pure pleasure to see a horse perform nearly flawlessly, without swishing his tail, acting as though he is enjoying every minute of difficult and precise moves.

Friday evening, October 1, 2010, the top 15 riders from the Dressage Grand Prix Special returned to compete in the Grand Prix Freestyle. The riders selected their own music and choreographed a set of required movements to perform for the sold-out arena. This is an event in which a rider can show off the horse’s best talents and match movements to music.


Edward Gal of The Netherlands once again earned the gold medal for a musical freestyle on his horse Moorlands Totilas. Laura Bechtolsheimer of Great Britain on Mistral Hojris received the silver medal, receiving high marks despite errors, and Steffen Peters of the U.S.A. rocked along on Ravel to a set of Rolling Stones music and took home the bronze.
But the buzz was all about the performance of a pair that won no medal.

Juan Manuel Munoz Diaz of Spain and his amazing Andalusian stallion Fuego XII, placed 6th in this lineup of 15 of the world’s most accomplished dressage riders. It must be said that at dressage competitions crowds seldom make a sound. However, during his performance, the crowd was cheering, clapping and showed a huge enthusiasm for the pair’s incredible performance to Latin music. The rider featured a line of one handed tempi changes which won him a standing ovation from the ecstatic crowds. When lower than expected scores were announced there were definite sounds of disgruntlement from the sold out crowd of more than 46,000 souls. You can get a taste of this high stepping stallion’s talents on the video of his performance from the WEG, but will miss the sounds of the crowd and the electric atmosphere from last night (let it buffer):

Grand Prix Gold Medal Winner
Rider for the Netherlands, Edward Gal was born March 4 1970 Moorland’s Totilas  was born  May 23 2000

Grand Prix Crowd Pleasing Performance and 6th place
Spain’s Juan Munoz Diaz was born May 19, 1969 Still looking for the birth date of Fuego XII, born in 1998