August 29, 2013--The United States heads to Topolcianky, Slovakia, this week to secure a podium finish at the 2013 FEI World Driving Championships for Pairs. The U.S. will be represented by three talented drivers at the bi-annual championship, which in 2013 is hosted at the National Stud Farm Topolcianky and runs August 28-September 1. All three members of the U.S. team were part of the fourth-place effort at CAIO Riesenbeck at the beginning of August.
Misdee Wrigley-Miller (Lakewood Ranch, FL) makes her second appearance at the FEI World Driving Championships for Pairs, having represented the U.S. two years ago in Conty, France. Wrigley-Miller and her talented horses head into these championships on strong form. In March, she claimed her first USEF National Pairs Championship before heading to Europe. Upon arriving in Europe she had successful finishes at the CAI-A2 Altenfelden and Riesenbeck.
Scott Dancer (Woodside, CA) has quickly risen through the driving ranks. A longtime navigator for his wife Kathrin, Dancer began driving competitively himself in 2009. By 2012, he was driving among the elite U.S. competitors in the FEI Pair Horse division. This year, Dancer collected third- and fifth-place finishes at the Little Everglades CDE and Live Oak International, respectively. He then traveled to Germany, where he finished 21st individually at Riesenbeck. In Slovakia he will drive his own horses.
Rachael Blanchard (Upperville, VA) makes her international championship debut in Topolcianky and looks to utilize experience recently earned competing in Europe. In her first major international competition, Blanchard not only helped the U.S. earn fourth-place honors as a team in Riesenbeck, but also finished 25th individually. She will drive Heather Briggs of Belle Grey Farm's horses.
Chester Weber will serve as Chef d'Equipe in Topolcianky.
Competition officially gets underway Thursday with the first of two days of driven dressage. Blanchard will be the first U.S. competitor, performing her test at 11:05am local time, with Dancer following her at 4:40pm local time. Wrigley-Miller completes the U.S. effort in the driven dressage on Friday at 2:45pm local time.
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