August 28. 2014 -- The FEI World Team Para-Dressage Championships at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games came to a conclusion on Thursday, with the United States securing a 12th place finish. Team scores were determined by combining the top scores from Monday and Tuesday's Team Test with the Individual Tests performed on Wednesday and Thursday, the U.S. team of Sydney Collier, Rebecca Hart, Susan Treabess and Roxanne Trunnell finished on an overall total of 407.042.
Great Britain earned Team Gold on a score of 456.024, with The Netherlands earning Silver on a score of 436.941, while Germany secured Team Bronze on a score of 432.510.
Thursday hosted Individual Tests in Grade IV, II, and 1a competition where Treabess,
Hart, and Trunnell, respectively, also competed for their first Individual medals of the Games.
Treabess (Winters, Calif.) and Kathryn Hill's Kamiakin were first down centerline for the U.S. on Thursday earning a score of 60.667% from the Ground Jury of Eva Bachinger, Freddy Leyman, Anne Prain, Sarah Leitch, ad Kjell Myhre. The 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games veteran used all her experience to ride the promising nine-year-old stallion through moments of nerves and spookiness in a performance that demonstrated impressive work in the latter portion of the test to finish in 16th place.
"I'm disappointed but this is a building experience, he's young and he's a stallion," said Treabess. "At the very end, he settled in and let me ride. It's just a matter of experience."
Treabess has thoroughly enjoyed her second World Championship experience in Normandy and is already making plans for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
"It was fun to come to France and be part of this experience and hopefully in two years we'll be ready to rock and roll."
Belgium's Michele George and FBW Rainman earned the Gold medal in the Grade IV Team Test after earning a mark of 74.881%, while Silver went to Great Britain's Sophie Wells and Valerius on a score of 74.333% with Frank Hosmar and Alphaville NOP of The Netherland's claiming Bronze on 73.500%.
Hart (Unionville, Pa.) secured a spot in the Grade II Freestyle on Friday morning with a
strong performance on her own Schroeters Romani by earning a seventh place finish in Thursday's Individual Test. The combination earned a score of 67.486% from the Ground Jury of Marco Orsini, Sarah Leitch, Eva Bachinger, Hanneke Gerritsen, and Alison King.
The World Championship and Paralympic veteran credits her strong performance on Thursday with added rideability from the 12-year-old Danish Warmblood and a visualization earlier in the day.
"She was listening more to me, and was more on the aids. I was a little too conservative out there, but she did what I asked her to. She was not spectating today," said Hart. "I prepared mentally by doing a lot of visualization. The way that this test broke up the walk, we had to do a lot of forward thinking. I had to visualize how I am going to ride each one of those movements, and go from there."
Hart will look to add impulsion on Friday to maximize her points in her newly designed Freestyle.
"She was more settled in this one, we still needed to add more power, but the fact that she went in and did what I asked her to, I was happy with that. We did a new freestyle for this competition, so I am excited to debut that and show it off."
Great Britain's Natasha Baker and Cabral earned the Grade II Individual Test Gold medal with a score of 73.647%, with Rixt van der Horst and Uniek of The Netherlands earning Silver on a score of 72.618%, while Canada's Lauren Barwick and Off to Paris rounding out the medal podium with Bronze after earning a score of 70.176%.
Trunnell (Rowlett, Texas) and Sidney Trunnell's 19-year-old KWPN mare Nice Touch
rounded out the U.S. effort with an impressive effort in the Grade 1a Individual Test. The pair earned 69.435% from the Ground Jury of Kjell Myhre, Alison King, Freddy Leyman, Marco Orsini, and Anne Prain to finish the day in eighth place.
"She felt much more relaxed today. She is such a good girl. We warmed up as usual, I had my groom ride, and then I rode," said Trunnell. "I just try to take it all in and not worry about it."
With her strong performance on Thursday Trunnell has qualified for the Freestyle in her first World Championship appearance.
"We have a French-themed Freestyle, and we are very excited to show it off."
Great Britain's Sophie Christiansen and Janiero 6 earned the Grade 1a Individual Test Gold medal with a score of 77.565%, while Sara Morganti and Royal Delight of Italy clinched Silver on a score of 76.478%, and Singapore's Laurentia Tan taking Bronze on Ruben Delight with a score of 75.087%.
Hart will perform her Freestyle on Friday at 9:08am local time, while Trunnell will ride at 10:11am local time.
To learn more about the Para-Dressage Championship at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games visit: http://www.normandy2014.com/2014-games/the-disciplines/8/para-dressage.
Learn more about the Para-Equestrian Team click here.