2010 Lexington, Kentucky USA
Canadian Fast Facts
Eric Lamaze and the legendary Hickstead battled it out in the Final Four, with Lamaze earning the bronze medal and Hickstead being named Best Horse.
The Canadian jumping team placed 5th, securing a spot for the 2012 London Olympics.
The dressage team's 7th-place finish was the best-ever in WEG history; Ashley Holzer and Pop Art's 11th place in the Special and 8th in the Freestyle was also an individual Canadian best-ever performance in a WEG or Olympics.
The Canadian Eventing Team captured a silver medal and Olympic qualification. This was their first medal in 32 years at a world championship; Canadians won team gold at the very same location in 1978.
The reining team was at a disadvantage when Lisa Coulter's Western Whiz failed the first vet check; the team, with no drop score, placed 5th.
Duane Latimer and Dun Playin Tag earned the bronze, partly through a stroke of luck when US medal favourite Shawn Flarida's stirrup leather broke and he incurred a 5-pt penalty when he grabbed the stirrup horn to steady himself.
For the first time, the WEG was staged outside of Europe, utilizing the expansive facilities at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY. With Alltech as the title sponsor – also a first – 632 athletes and 752 horses from a record 58 countries participated in front of over half a million spectators over the 16 days. Fans in 157 countries were also able to watch over 70 hours of television coverage.
The original Alltech sponsorship package was valued at $10 million, but when organizers had a budget shortfall due to lower-than-expected ticket sales, Alltech pitched in and upped their support to a purported $32 million. Alltech is also sponsoring the 2014 WEG in Normandy, France.
Following these Games, the FEI reported that all human and equine samples tested negative for prohibited substances, a goal of the FEI's Clean Sport Campaign initiative.
- The 2010 WEG marked the first-ever inclusion of para-dressage.
- A surprise contender in the show jumping Final Four was Abdullah Al Sharbatly of Saudi Arabia aboard the talented Seldana di Campalto. The pair clinched the silver medal.
- Individual gold medal winner Philippe Le Jeune (BEL), 60, had competed in three previous WEGs, winning a bronze medal with the Belgian team in 2002.
- For the first time, the Germans did not win the team gold medal in dressage, slipping to third place behind The Netherlands and Great Britain.
- The highest dressage scores ever seen at a WEG were awarded, most notably to triple gold winner Edward Gal (NED) and Moorlands Totilas, who earned 91.800 in the freestyle.
- Medal favourite, Dutch rider Adelinde Cornelissen (NED), had to excuse Parzival from the ring when the horse bit his tongue and blood appeared in his mouth.
- Event course designer Michael Etherington-Smith had to create an entire new track on this site of the annual Rolex CCI4* every April.
- The endurance race winner, Spain's Maria Mercedes Alvaraz Ponton, had given birth to a daughter just seven weeks earlier.
- There was a scandal in driving when Ijsbrand Chardon (NED), the eventual silver medal winner, was the victim of sabotage when his marathon competition carriage had its tires, seats and oil lines slashed.