September 15, 2002 -- Following three phases of competition, Bruce Mandeville of Guelph, ON, completed the equestrian discipline of three day eventing as Canada's top finisher at the World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain.
With only one fence down in stadium jumping, the third and final phase of three day eventing, Mandeville moved up in the standings to finish the World Championships with a final placing of 29th. Riding Larissa, a 13-year-old Canadian Trakehner mare owned by breeders Franz and Elke Hollenbach, Mandeville had a three-day total of 124.60 penalty points.
"She's great, but we were right beside the crowd and a lot of people were having rails," noted Mandeville, referring to the fact that only five riders were able to post a clear round in the stadium jumping phase. "It was also great to be riding a Canadian-bred horse!"
Mandeville constantly improved his position in the standings over the three phases of competition. Sitting in 65th position following the opening phase of dressage, Mandeville and Larissa moved up to 38th place following Saturday's cross-country test before finally ending in 29th.
The completion brought Mandeville and Larissa's record to three for three at major championship events. The pair were Canada's top finishers at both the 1999 Pan American Games and the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
Of the 80 horse-rider combinations that began the event, 46 were able to complete all three phases of competition. Wyndham St. John, the only other Canadian rider to complete the challenging test, finished in 43rd position overall riding Oliver, her 13-year-old American Thoroughbred gelding. Unfortunately, with only two of the four riders able to complete, Canada was unable to finish a team at the 2002 World Equestrian Games.
Led by John Williams riding the Canadian Sport Horse gelding, Carrick, the United States were the team gold medal winners with an overall total of 175.40 penalties. France repeated its silver medal performance for the third time in a row with a score of 192.40 while three day eventing powerhouse, Great Britain, earned the bronze medal with 199.00 penalties.
Individually, it was French rider Jean Teulere and Espoir de la Mare who easily clinched the gold medal with a three-day total of 45.80 penalty points. Great Britain's Jeanette Breakwell leaped to the silver medal with a four-fault stadium jumping round that brought her final total to 52.00 penalties while Finland's Piia Pantsu and Ypaja Karuso claimed the individual bronze with a three-day total of 52.60 penalties.
The World Equestrian Games, which sees seven equestrian disciplines ? dressage, driving, endurance, reining, show jumping, three day eventing and vaulting, holding their respective World Championships, are held every four years opposite the Olympic Games. For full results or more information, please visit www.jerez2002weg.com