2002 WEG: Who's Going to Medal?

September 7, 2002 -- EquiSearch taps Nancy Jaffer as our chief prognosticator by virtue of her coverage of the World Equestrian Games (WEG) trials and her 25-plus years of reporting on equestrian sport.
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September 7, 2002 -- EquiSearch taps Nancy Jaffer as our chief prognosticator by virtue of her coverage of the World Equestrian Games (WEG) trials and her 25-plus years of reporting on equestrian sport.

Show jumping
Team:
1) Germany
2) France
3) Belgium

Individual gold: Ludger Beerbaum (Gladdys S), Germany

The Germans' stumble in their dress rehearsal at Donaueschingen in August should set them on course for gold at the WEG, but the Americans could well wind up in the medals, too. Beerbaum, the number one-ranked rider in the world, should be able to take the individual contest, but the funky final-four format can turn winners into losers in a heartbeat.

Dressage
Team:
1) Germany
2) USA
3) Denmark

Individual gold: Ulla Salzgeber (Rusty), Germany

The Germans have too much depth to lose, and European Champ Salzgeber probably will trump the brilliant moments of her teammate Nadine Capellman's Farbenfroh with Rusty's correct and steady approach in the individual. Spain could threaten for a medal on its home turf, but the Dutch, perennial silver medalists, probably are too weak without the now-retired Bonfire to bring home a prize.

Eventing
Team:
1) Great Britain
2) Australia
3) New Zealand

Individual gold: Pippa Funnell (Supreme Rock), Great Britain

If all goes as expected, Great Britain will be unbeatable. Second and third places are less sure, however, so Germany and the U.S. could threaten and perhaps win medals. Individually, Supreme Rock is on a roll and is expected to take the title. In eventing, of course, you never know because the test is so demanding and many favorites have failed to make it through all the vet checks.

Reining
Team:
1) USA
2) Italy
3) Germany

Individual gold: Tom McCutcheon (Conquistador Whiz), USA

America wrote the book on this sport, and only a disaster of biblical proportions could stop them from winning. The best American in the trials was Tom McCutcheon, and it seems likely that if he's beaten, it will be one of his teammates who does it.

Four-in-Hand Driving
Team
1) Germany
2) USA
3) Netherlands

Individual gold: Michael Freund, Germany

This should be the USA's year to medal in a sport where it has been trying to make the grade for more than two decades. Tucker Johnson could well take an individual medal, but Freund will be the one to beat for anyone aspiring to gold.