The dirt flew and the red, white and blue waved proudly as elite reiners for Team USA clinched the country’s fifth-consecutive gold medal at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina.
Comprised of four riders—with the top three scores tallying to the team results—Team USA earned a cumulative score of 681, besting the field of 12 teams by nearly 10 points.
Riders for Team USA were:
Team USA’s morning started off strong with a 223.5 from Casey Deary, but it was youngster Cade—just 18 years old—who brought down the house with a 229 during the first set of 30 horses aboard Custom Made Gun; the tremendous score stuck throughout the rest of the day, topping all 63 runs.
“I was really nervous, but having all these guys at the gate with me at the gate helped, and that support made a big difference,” Cade said; his ride with solid Paint-bred Custom Made Gun is a family affair, as the 2011 palomino solid stallion was bred and initially trained by his grandparents, Tim and Colleen McQuay. “My grandfather trained and showed him as a 2- and 3-year-old, and I took him over as a 4-year old. He’s been really good for me—very honest in the show pen. He’s a once-in-a-lifetime horse.”
The early lead for Team USA held steady thanks to strong efforts by Dan Huss and Ms Dreamy, a 2010 chestnut solid mare, who slid to a 226.5. While other horses might have singular stellar moves, Dan credits Ms Dreamy for her consistent talent across all maneuvers.
“She’s honest—that’s her trait,” Dan said. “She listens and she tries to stay with you. She might not be the fastest spinning horse in the pen, but she’ll make it up in other ways.”
Though his USA teammates had laid down scores high enough to clinch gold already, Jordan Larson and ARC Gunnabeabigstar pushed the lead further, charging to a 225.5.
Congratulations to the silver and bronze medal-winning teams:
Dries Verschueren and Smart N Sparkin
Ann Poels and Made In Walla
Cira Baeck and Gunners Snappy Chic (Colonels Smokingun x Chics Miss Snap)
Bernard Fonck and What A Wave
Gischa Ludwig and Ruf Lil Diamond (Jazalena Diamond x Jarmines Ruf Blonde)
Markus Suchting and Spotlight Charly
Robin Schoeller and Wimpy Kaweah
Julia Schumacher and Coeurs Little Tyke
The reining excitement at the World Equestrian Games continues throughout the week with individual competition; the second individual qualifying rides begin Thursday, September 13 at 2 p.m. ET. APHA is an official media partner of the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games. Discover more of the excitement by following APHA’s coverage of the reining events on Facebook and Instagram.