In the fall of 2010, Lexington, KY hosted the 5th FEI World Equestrian Games. These games serve as the world championships for eight Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) sports: eventing, combined driving, dressage, endurance riding, para-dressage, reining, show jumping, three-day eventing and vaulting. The WEG have been held every four years since 1990, and the 2010 games will be the first time they have been held outside of Europe. See all the news and results from this international event on HorseChannel’s WEG News Page.
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In the WEG, drivers compete with teams of four horses through three phases of competition. Phase I is a driven dressage test where horses are judged on their movement, form and accuracy. Phase II is the marathon, during which the teams navigate a difficult cross-country course that includes water, hills and gates. Phase III is the obstacle driving test where drivers take their teams through a course of cones in an arena.
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In dressage competition, horse and rider teams are scored on a series of movements that test their training and athleticism. Dressage competitors in the WEG will have three different opportunities to perform over four days of competition. Riders compete in Team Grand Prix, Grand Prix Special, and the spectators’ favorite, the Musical Freestyle. Dressage horses at this level of competition demonstrate the pinnacle of training.
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The Endurance Riding competition sends horse and rider teams over a 160-kilometer (100-mile) marathon race over the course of two days early in the 2010 games schedule. Winning the endurance competition requires teams to not only finish the race fastest, but to be cleared for soundness by a veterinary exam at the end of competition.
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For the first time in 2010, para-equestrian will be held as part of the WEG. Para-equestrian events of all types are held internationally, however, for the WEG riders will compete in para-dressage. Riders will compete based on their grade of disability with certain modifications allowed if necessary.
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The only western event recognized by the FEI, reining is a rapidly-growing sport and a crowd favorite. Competitors complete one of ten recognized reining patterns, which include elements such as spins, rollbacks and the trademark sliding stop. 2010 will mark the third WEG with this western presence.
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Show jumpers will compete in individual and team events throughout the WEG. At Grand Prix level competition, horse and rider teams navigate a course of 10-16 jumps that can reach heights of up to 6.5 feet. Riders are penalized when their horse knocks down poles or if they take longer than a certain time to complete the course.
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See all WEG vaulting news >>