Thursday, June 07, 2012
Euston Park Bound
June 7 2012
Soundness and Fitness Trials are underway around the country for the USA WEC Team hopefuls. The first trial took place in Prescott, Arizona on June 2; following will be Wharton State Park, New Jersey on June 16, Fort Ord, California on June 22, and Brushy Creek State Rec Area, Iowa, on June 29.
Attending each trial will be US Chef d'Equipe Emmett Ross, two Vet Panel veterinarians, and at least one selector.
Horses will go through a pre-trial inspection, ride a total of 60 kilometers at assigned speeds (40 km followed by a 30 minute hold, a final loop of 20 km and a final vet check), then a post-trial inspection. "This is not a race or competition amongst us," said Ross, "[but] how the horses' current condition appears to be."
The goal is to have the horses built up to be peaked just before the team boards the plane for England on August 12/13. "Holding a real peak is difficult to do any longer than about 2 weeks - there is a very fine line," he said. The speed of the trials are not designed to place the horses under a lot of stress, but rather to provide a physical effort upon which to base a final evaluation.
After the trials are complete, Ross will announce the final selection process and announcement dates for the 12 nominated horse/rider pairs and the 6 on the traveling squad.
Read Heather Reynolds' account of the Arizona trials here: