Valeggio sul Mincio, Verona, Italy – The Distance Depot/U.S. Endurance Team met the substantial challenges of Saturday’s 2017 FEI World Endurance Championships for Young Riders and Juniors, with three riders completing the course for a successful U.S. team finish. Leading the U.S. team to finish in the 11th position against 16 other national teams, was Chef D’Equipe Mark Dial.
“The entire Team showed a lot of maturity in their riding and professionalism throughout the entirety. There were several obstacles and challenges that were overcome by the athletes and their support staff which led to the success of finishing as a team. The entire team’s preparation was outstanding and I am can’t say enough about their willingness to improve upon their previous successes. Thank you isn’t enough to the Road Crew, Crewmembers, Selectors, and the Veterinary Advisory Group for their unwavering support of the U.S. Endurance Program,” said Dial.
Leading the U.S. across the finish line was Ainsley Suskey (Iola, Wisc.). Riding Julie Jackson’s Princess Deelites MHF, a 10-year-old Arabian mare, Suskey finished 49th overall with a time of 7:40:32. Teammates Annie Whelan (Louisa, Ky.), aboard Amy Wallace-Whelan’s Wallace Hill Leo, a 13-year-old Half-Arabian gelding, and Ragan Kelly (Waco, Texas), riding Tracy Kelly’s HK Kruzier, a 10-year-old Arabian gelding, were not far behind. Whelan completed the course in 8:16:38, finishing in the 53rd position. Overcoming a mishap at the second rest period, Kelly and HK Kruzier finished on a time of 8:16:39, finishing 54th.
Katelyn Baldino (Marietta, Ga.) and Melody Blittersdorf’s Synthetic were unable to complete the race after the third vet check. Dial stated, “Katelyn and Synthetic were primed for this Championship but unfortunately, we had stroke of bad luck which led to their pull for lameness. The pair showed a strong presentation throughout their time here and we can’t thank the Blittersdorf’s and Misty McAdams enough for their care of Synthetic.”
The United Arab Emirates won the 2017 FEI World Endurance Championships for Young Riders and Juniors. Saeed Salem Atiq Khamis Almuhairi of the United Arab Emirates is the individual world champion aboard Rabdan.
The USEF International High Performance Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, USOC, and USEF Sponsors and Members.