Olympians Dominate World Cup Qualifier at The Fork
Norwood, NC, USA
Olympic riders finished one, two, three in the CICW*** FEI World Cup Qualifier of the Fork Farm Horse Trials held as part of BB&T Outdoor Heritage Days Presented by Southeastern Materials, Inc.
Athens Olympic Team Bronze Medalist Darren Chiacchia of Springville, NY, took the lead on the first day of competition and went without fault for the remainder of the event to win with his Dressage score of 33.80 penalty points. Chiacchia's 2004 Olympic teammate, and that year's Individual Silver Medalist, Kim Severson, also went clean in cross country and show jumping to finish with her Dressage score of 34.70 penalties. Two-time Olympic team Gold Medalist Phillip Dutton of Australia moved up from fifth in Dressage to third due to his clean performance in the last two phases and finished with his Dressage score of 39.10 penalties.
Chiacchia had a run of bad luck in previous competitions this year, but the streak was broken at the Fork. "This was my first chance to have an earnest go this year and he was super," said Chiacchia of Windfall II, his 2004 Athens Olympic mount. "The course was challenging but asked all of the right questions, giving us a good warm-up for Rolex."
Severson felt the same about her run on Winsome Adante or "Dan" as he is known around the barn. "Dan was great," said Severson. "He was much better for me today. I agree with Darren, it seems the tougher the course, the better the horses are."
The consensus of the riders at the World Cup Qualifier was that the event was a huge success with the potential to be even better. That is just fine with Jim Cogdell, owner of Fork Farm.
"This event went beyond my expectations," said Cogdell. "I hope this event will continue until eventually every Olympic rider comes to Stanly County before the Olympics."
The BB&T Outdoor Heritage Days Presented by Southeastern Materials, Inc. featured a weekend of family attractions, including equestrian competitions, outdoor sporting demonstrations with retriever demos, falconry, archery, vintage guns, and educational displays, as well as vendors, concessions, and children's entertainment. Outdoor Heritage Days highlights the increasing popularity of equestrian sport in North Carolina and the trend in many states toward multi-purpose outdoor destinations that draw recreational enthusiasts and serve as a powerful engine for local economic development.
Fork Horse Trials CIC-W*** Final Results
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