Thursday, August 26, 2010

Endurance Rider Kathy Brunjes (USA) Follows the U.S. Endurance Selection Trials for the 2010 Games

Endurance riders vying for a spot to represent the U.S. endurance community at the 2010 WEG participated in three separate selection trials during the 10-day period of June 18-27th.

Central started the process off with 14 nominated riders and 17 horses gathering in Danville, IL for an 80-mile trial that would demonstrate speed and stamina. Unfortunately weather conditions cut the trial short (to 54 miles) and speed could not be demonstrated due to footing on the course – rain and wind caused mud, wet fields and slippery grass, swollen creeks and trees crashing down across trails. Heat and humidity tested the horses and riders for the 54 miles. Veteran international endurance riders Valerie Kanavy, Margaret Sleeper, DVM, Michele Roush, DVM, Jan Worthington and Ellyn Rapp, along with some newer candidates (Kim Orr, Deborah Reich) successfully completed their shortened trial.

East sponsored the next trial at the Fair Hills location (Elkton, MD) with nine horse/rider combinations presenting. The course was 80 miles, and weather cooperated this time around for riders. Heat and humidity was again a factor, and tested both horses and riders. Four riders completed the course successfully (Nicki Meuten, DVM, Lisa Green, Deborah Reich and Meg Sleeper, DVM).

The final trial was held in Prineville, OR with lower humidity factoring into the demonstration for horse/rider combinations. Five selectors, Chef d’Equippe Becky Hart, and three veterinarians traveled across the country to put the West coast nominees through the same requirements asked of the East and Central riders/horses. Jeremy and Heather Reynolds, Lindsay Graham, Ceci Stasiuk, Christoph Schork, Charisse Glen, Carol Giles and Dennis and Sue Summers were among the 18 starting the 80 mile trial, which completed nine of those starting.

The final trial (the “Observation Trial”) was held back at the Danville, IL site (during the week of August 8-12) with all those nominated riders and horses who participated in one of the earlier selection trials invited to attend. From this final trial, a short list of 10 rider/horse combinations will be invited to attend further training prior to the WEG. The short list will move into the Shaker Village complex (Harrodsburg, KY – just a short distance from the Kentucky Horse Park) and await final selection to the Endurance WEG squad. The endurance squad will be named just prior to moving into the WEG venue (week of September 20).

More to come …..!


  1. Thanks Kathy.

    Post final selection, any guess how many of the non-selectees may have their horse(s) ridden by another country?

    Particularly Tron, I have his sire.

    Tim Miller
    Sami Hills Farm

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