October 30, 2013 -- A strong group of U.S. pony drivers have assembled in Pau, France. this week for the 2013 FEI Pony World Driving Championships which run October 31 through November 3. Three drivers return from the 2011 squad that secured Team Bronze in Lipica, Slovenia, and will look to secure another podium finish for the United States.
Single Pony Championship
Tracey Morgan (Beallsville, Md.) heads to Pau on strong form having notched three wins this year in the United States with her own Fuego 88. In April, the pair claimed the USEF National Combined Driving Single Pony Championship after putting together three good phases at the Southern Pines CDE. Morgan brings a wealth of experience to France, having represented the U.S. in 2009 at the FEI Pony World Driving Championships in the Pony Pair division.
Paul Maye (Fairfield, Va.) will also represent the U.S. in the Single Pony division. Driving Harmony Sporthorses' Markus, he finished second behind Morgan at Southern Pines to earn the USEF National Combined Driving Single Pony Reserve Champion honors. The pair recently won at the Kentucky Classic CDE and will look to showcase their best in France.
Pair Pony Championship
Two-time USEF National Combined Driving Pair Pony Champion, Jennifer Matheson (Aiken, S.C.) is making a return trip to the FEI Pony World Driving Championships after having helped the U.S. to the Bronze medal in 2011. The reigning National Champion will drive her mother-in-law, Katrina Becker's pair of ponies in her pursuit of Team and Individual honors.
Wendy O'Brien (Aiken, S.C.) was also part of the third-place U.S. effort in Lipica and will look to add another medal to her resume this weekend. The 2012 National Champion spent the summer training and competing with her own ponies in Europe in preparation for the World Championships. Before heading overseas, O'Brien claimed wins at Little Everglades and Live Oak in addition to earning Reserve National Champion honors in Southern Pines.
Pony Team Championship
Nine-time USEF National Combined Driving Pony Team Champion, Lisa Stroud (West Grove, Pa.), will aim to secure her third medal at an FEI Pony World Driving Championship after having helped the U.S. earn podium positions in 2007 and 2011. In addition to claiming the National Championship in April, Stroud drove her own team to victory at Little Everglades, Live Oak, Glen Willow and the Kentucky Classic.
Katie Whaley (Paris, Ky.) also brings a wealth of experience to Pau this weekend having represented the U.S. at the 2003 and 2005 World Championships. Whaley has been on a tear this summer in Europe competing Mia Allo's team and will look to showcase her top form this weekend.
Competition gets underway on Thursday, October 31, with the first of two days of driven dressage.
To learn more about the 2013 FEI Pony World Driving Championships visit; http://www.couleurs-automne.com/en/welcome