September 15th, 2012 -- The United States sent three drivers onto the marathon at the FEI World Driving Championships for Singles in Lezirias, Portgual. The U.S. team now stands in eighth place after the completion of competition on Saturday that saw drivers navigate through eight hazards.
Sterling Graburn (Georgetown, Ky.) and Larry Denny's 11-year-old Dutch Harness gelding Ulano made an accent up the leaderboard following a speedy marathon phase. The 2012 USEF National Single Horse Champions posted a blistering pace through hazard number four, navigating the obstacle in less than 44 seconds; resulting in the quickest trip of the day through there. However, they incurred two point penalties for knock downs at hazards one and two keeping them from a faster marathon time.
Graburn and Ulano posted an overall time of 6:23.96 through all the hazards and now stand on a score of 80.79. They rose from 48th following the dressage to now stand 21st individually.
Leslie Berndl was the pathfinder for the U.S. on the marathon with Fritz Grupe's Uminco. Berndl (Newcastle,Callif.) and the 11-year-old KWPN gelding posted a combined time of 7:22.91 through the eight hazards. They now lay in 57th place overall heading into the final cones phase with a score of 90.58.
The final driver of the day for the U.S. was Donna Crookston (Saltsburg,Pa.) and her 16-year-old Morgan gelding RG Cowboys Black Cadillac. The combination completed the eight hazards in a combined time of 7:19.12, they pair were penalized two points at hazards one and three after knockdowns within the obstacles. They now head into Sunday on a score of 91.82 in 61st place.
For results from the 2012 FEI World Driving Championships here.
Follow the U.S. Driving Team here.