2006 Aachen, Germany
Canadian Fast Facts
Eric Lamaze and Hickstead were the best of Canada’s show jumpers, finishing 27th individually.
Canada was unable to field a dressage team when Jacqueline Brooks' mount Gran Gesto suffered a hoof abscess and Cindy Ishoy's ride Proton incurred a minor injury immediately prior to the Games. Ashley Holzer’s reserve horse, Imperioso, was loaded onto the truck on the outside chance that the FEI would allow it to compete, but that was not to be.
Ian Roberts and Napalm, who had enjoyed their best-ever dressage test, slid under the third fence on cross-country and were eliminated.
Kelli McMullen-Temple withdrew her mount, Paris, before the cross-country when the gelding seemed unlevel when jogged.
This was the first major championship at which the Canadians received help from team technical advisor David O’Connor of the US.
Clayton Fredericks (AUS), now the Canadian Eventing Team's technical advisor, won the silver medal aboard Ben Along Time.
Endurance rider Ruth Sturley, 60, was the oldest member of the Canadian contingent in all disciplines. She finished 38th aboard RBF Super Sport.
This fifth edition of WEG, held in Aachen, Germany, was a huge success. The Games attracted over 576,000 knowledgeable and enthusiastic spectators from 61 nations and garnered unprecedented media coverage – including 70 hours of television coverage broadcast in 157 countries – which exposed the excitement of top-level equestrian sport to a very large audience.
Heavy rains plagued many days of the Games, but it did not dampen the spirits of the endurance riders who were first up, with a soggy Miguel Vila Ubach of Spain entering the arena first aboard Hungares to a loud reception from the crowds.
In eventing, 25-year-old Zara Phillips, daughter of Princess Anne and Capt. Mark Phillips, won the individual gold medal aboard Toy Town, also competing in a torrential downpour. The team competition was sweet revenge for the Germans who had been stripped of double gold at the Olympics in Athens two years earlier when member Bettina Hoy had mistakenly crossed the starting line twice in the show jumping competition.
There were no real surprises in dressage, with Germany and the Netherlands dominating, and the former winning team and individual Grand Prix Speciale gold medals. Following her Freestyle gold medal win aboard Keltec Salinero, Anky van Grunsven (NED) made two announcements: one, that her long-winning freestyle routine would be retired; and two, that she was three months pregnant with her second child.
Stadium 3, a smaller indoor arena, featured reining and vaulting competitions, allowing many who had never witnessed either discipline to experience it up close. The reining competition was especially exciting, when a determined Canadian squad consisting of Lance Griffin, François Gauthier, Luke Gagnon, and Duane Latimer nearly unseated the heavily-favoured Americans. Latimer, riding Hang
Ten Surprize, managed to clinch individual gold in an exciting tie-breaker with Tim McQuay of the US.
- Despite days of heavy rain leading up to show jumping, the footing help up extremely well.
- Germany's Frank Rothenberger was the show jumping course designer.
- The newly-formed Ukrainian show jumping team, comprised of Belgian riders Jean-Claude van Geenberghe and Gregory Wathelet and former Germans Bjorn Nagel and Katherina Offel, missed out on the bronze medal by a mere .001 of a second.
- The Final Four consisted of three ladies – Beezie Madden (USA), Meredith Michaels Beerbaum (GER) and Edwina Alexander (AUS) – and a single man, Jos Lansink (BEL), who was the ultimate gold-medal winner.
- A new three-medal formula was introduced for dressage: Team, Grand Prix Speciale and Freestyle. Some suggested it was so that both Anky van Grunsven and Isabell Werth could win gold medals – which turned out to be the case in the end.
- Out of the 89 horses in the dressage competition, the nine-year-old mare Blue Hors Martine was the undisputed darling. Ridden by Andreas Helgstrand (DEN) the pair had some remarkable performances and earned the bronze medal.
- For the first time, eventing was run as short-format, with no steeplechase on cross-country day.
- Zara Phillips' eventing individual gold medal had an extra emotional attachment to it: she said she wanted to win it to honour one of her best friends, Irish eventer Sherelle Duke, who had been killed a week earlier when her horse fell on her at a horse trials in England.
- The 160-kilometre endurance course went through three countries – Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
Individual Vaulting Female
Individual Vaulting Female