British eventers beat US in off-road challenge

September 29, 2010

A team of British eventers has taken top honours over the local favourites from the US in a test challenge at the World Equestrian Games yesterday.


The two teams swapped their customary single horsepower for an entirely different kind of horsepower, behind the wheel of identical 375 hp Land Rover LR4's (Discovery 4) in an off-road challenge on a specially designed test track set up at the Kentucky Horse Park.

In a friendly competition between the two nations - both supported by Land Rover - the competition went down to the last round, before the British team came out on top. Team GBR posted a final score of 24 minutes and 50 seconds, to the US's 25 minutes and 33 seconds.

Run under standard equestrian cross-country rules, each rider from each of the two teams drove one lap on the challenging course. Time penalties of 10 seconds added for touching a gate, and 20 seconds for each missed gate, provided each driver's ending score.

"It's been a fun challenge and I'm thrilled the Brits won; I hope that's a sign of good things to come this week," said Will Connell, Chef de Mission, Team GBR. "It's always good to do something different during the build up to a major competition, and it was super to celebrate with Land Rover. Their support makes it all possible for us."

Members of the US event team include Chef d'Equipe, Captain Mark Phillips, Boyd Martin, Kim Sverson, Buck Davidson, Becky Holder, Karen O'Connor and Phillip Dutton. Members of the Team GBR include Chef d'Equipe, Yogi Breisner, Piggy French, Tina Cook, Pippa Funnell, William Fox-Pitt, Nicola Wilson and Mary King.

"We hope our horses perform as well the rest of the week as the Land Rovers did in the mud today," said Jim Wolf, Executive Director, Sport Programs, United States Equestrian Foundation. "The Brits are great competitors and we look forward to going head-to-head again on Saturday."

"Congratulations to the British team for edging out the US, but as the Games start to get serious, all of us at Land Rover wish both teams the best for this weekend's competition," said Finbar McFall, Vice President, Marketing, Land Rover North America.

"Having both nations competing here at the Games, as well as being able to demonstrate Land Rover's legendary capabilities in the mud, has allowed us to bring a little fun to what we hope will be an exciting and yet tense week here at the World Equestrian Games."