Selection Trials Take Shape

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The 2010 Alltech World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky, may still seem a ways off (they commence September 25 and conclude October 10), but for some American hopefuls, the road to the WEG begins this month.

February 25 is the first of five planned selection trials for the US WEG jumping squad. The remaining four are scheduled for February 27, March 3, March 5, and March 7. All will be held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida.

According to the selection procedures issued by the US Equestrian Federation, each trial will consist of one round, not against the clock but with a time allowed. There will be no jump-off. For those of you unfamiliar with jumping competition, a jump-off is a fast, intense, beat-the-clock tiebreaker pitting those horses and riders who “went clean” (no penalties) in the first round in order to decide the winner.

The conclusion of the selection trials is just the beginning of the process for the US jumpers. The USEF has published an exhaustive procedural document on its Web site, www.usef.org. In a nutshell, following the fiifth selection trial, an expert group consisting of the USEF jumping selection committee, the US jumping chef d’equipe, and the US team veterinarian will name fifteen horses and riders to a “long list.” The long list will comprise the top nine finishers from the trials plus an additional six to be named “at the discretion of the Selectors

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