2002 Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
Canadian Fast Facts
Melissa Brown had a great start in the show jumping competition with just one rail in each of the first two rounds, despite breaking her collarbone only weeks before at the Collingwood Horse Show. She and Karolus K finished 41st overall.
The youngest horse on the Canadian Dressage Team, 10-year-old Korona ridden by Shannon Oldham-Dueck, had the best results. The pair placed 25th individually, while the team placed 9th.
The eventing team was eliminated when two members had to withdraw: James Atkinson pulled up partway around with Revisionist, who had injured his stifle; Penny Rowland had to retire Aberdare when the mare pulled shoulder muscles during the steeplechase phase.
A Canadian-bred horse, Carrick, was the mount of fourth-placed individual eventer John Williams (USA), who also had the best result for the gold-medal-winning US team.
In endurance, five Canadians rode leased horses; none finished the slippery, muddy race route. They were forced to lease mounts when the Canadian Equestrian Federation would not cover the $30,000 per horse shipping cost plus competition expenses.
Canada won two reining medals at this WEG – Shawna Sapergia won individual bronze aboard Pretty Much Eagle, and helped the team win the silver medal. She became only the third Canadian in history to win an individual medal in World Championship competition.
Vaulter Colin Schmidt received his highest score ever in competition and placed 22nd overall among 67 competitors.
There was a lot of pressure for this fourth WEG to be a success after several organizational and/or financial near-disasters in previous years. Despite a 2001 outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Europe, Jerez organizers came through and hosted an event that was deemed very successful, despite the bouts of adverse weather that always seem to plague the Games. The event was supported by four levels of local and national government, and additional funding came from a number of sources, including a tombola (public raffle).
Jerez, located in the lovely Spanish province of Andalusia, boasts a rich history steeped in horses and equestrianism which was appreciated by the large numbers of spectators and media. Several countries took part for the first time, including Qatar, UAE, Uruguay, Jordan, Colombia, Guatemala, India, and the Philippines. The addition of reining attracted competitors from 11 countries and increased the list of disciplines to seven competing at three different venues.
- Frenchman Eric Navet brought his WEG show jumping medal total to six with an individual silver and team gold finish.
- Sweden's Helena Lundback became the first woman since the inception of WEG to make it to the Final Four in show jumping (in the previous World Championship format in Aachen in 1986, Canada's Gail Greenough was the first woman to compete in the swap-horses final). Lundback finished fourth.
- Dermott Lennon (IRL) aboard his brave mare Liscalgot was the surprise winner of the individual gold in show jumping.
- Reining made its debut at this WEG to enthusiastic response, with 49 participants taking part.
- While Germany continued to reign supreme in dressage, the hometown fans were delighted when the Spanish team wedged themselves into the medal standings, earning individual silver (Beatriz Ferrer-Salat and Beauvalais) and team bronze.
- The US Dressage Team had its best-ever WEG finish, winning the silver medal, led by Deborah McDonald and Brentina.
- Of the 80 starters in cross-country, 29 finished without jumping penalties, but none made the time allowed. One-third did not complete phase D (cross-country) – a higher attrition rate than course designer Michael Tucker had expected.
- This was the first WEG to utilize frangible pins in the cross-country obstacles.
- Jerez 2002 marked the first time since the World Championships in 1982 that neither Australia nor New Zealand were on the podium in individual or team eventing.
- 16-year-old Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed al Maktoum (UAE), riding Bowman, became the first male to win the endurance championship, an event that previously been dominated by American women Becky Hart and Valerie Kanavy.
Individual Vaulting Female
Individual Vaulting Male