USA Leads Reining Competition in Normandy Andrea Fappani and Custom Cash Advance lead after the first individual Reining qualifier. photo © Dirk Caremans / FEI

USA Leads Reining Competition in Normandy

by Simona Diale

Fappani thrills

The United State’s Andrea Fappani thrilled the crowd during the Reining team competition and first individual qualifying round of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014. The competition took place today in the Parc des Expositions in Caen in Normandy.

Piet Metsdagh (BEL) riding RS Spat Man O War was first in the arena. The pair closed their run with a score of 216.5, which remained unbeaten until, 12 horses later, Fappani closed his pattern with a 224 on Riding Custom Cash Advance. The eight-year-old quarter horse stallion by Custom Crome and out of Cash In Roan is owned by Silver Spurs Equine.

“This horse has been shown very successfully in the past by other professionals but I’ve only competed with him twice before coming to the Games and today I tried to do my best,” the native Italian, who now represents the USA, said. “I was careful in the spots I wasn’t confident about. I had tried to qualify for team US in 2010 and didn’t make it by one point. I was pretty disappointed at the time so I am thrilled to be here today,” he pointed out.

The second horse-rider combination for team USA, Jordan Larson and HF Mobster (Colonels Smoking Gun x Dun Its Black Gold), owned by Heritage Farms, closed their pattern number six with a 221. “I’m pretty happy with our run today,” Larson, who has been showing this horse since 2011, commented.

Team USA is currently leading on a score of 445. Fappani and his mount lead the first individual qualifier rankings and Larson is in third place.

After 41 horse-and-rider combinations performed, Ann Poels-Fonck, representing Belgium aboard Nic Ricochet (Ricochet Rooster x Minnie Nic), scored the second highest mark of the day with a 222.5.

“I’m really happy with my score and my horse’s performance today,” she said. “This was not the horse I was supposed to ride here originally. Last week I was lucky enough to have its owner, Manuel Bonzano of Italy, offer to let me ride it. It has been successfully shown by Manuel in non-pro competitions in the past and was wonderful for me today. I must admit the crowd was also fantastic!”

The total score for Team Belgium, including Poels and Mestadgh’s performances, is 439. This puts them in second place behind the USA.

Team Germany is third with 436.5 points after Ludwig Grisha’s performance aboard Ruf Tuf Juice (Little Ruf Peppy x Smart Like Juice). Riding the horse owned by Fabien Strebel, Grisha earned a score of 218.5 and is also tied for third place in the individual standings with Australian Martin Larcombe, who rode Wimpys Cute Tune (Wimpys Little Step x Gwyneth), owned by XCS Ranch LLC.

Team Australia closed with a total of 435 after a solid performance by Shaun Saunders who slid Sparkin Tinsel (Tinsel Nic x Setting Off Sparks), owned by Corinna Schumacher, to a score of 217.

The second part of the Reining team and individual competition continues tomorrow.