Four reach show jumping final


LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Canada's Eric Lamaze, Belgium's Philippe Le Jeune, Brazil's Rodrigo Pessoa and Saudi Arabia's Abdullah Al Sharbatly advanced to the show jumping final Friday in the World Equestrian Games.

The final competition Saturday is unique in that it requires the riders to complete the course four separate times. They will ride their own horse first and then each of the horses of their competitors. They will only have about three minutes in the warm-up sessions to learn about their new mounts.

"It is a different format," said Lamaze, an Olympic gold medalist. "I think it is fair play for everybody. Everyone will be very honest about what makes their horse go best. We all know when we get here what you have to do if you want to get close to a medal. The horses have to do a lot of work to get to the final four. I think it is a great way to determine a world champion. You have to be able to ride three other horses the proper way."

Para dressage continued as well Friday, with individual freestyle tests in the grade I-A and III divisions. Britain swept the grade I-A competition with Emma Sheardown taking the gold medal, Sophie Christiansen the silver and Anne Dunham the bronze.

The grade III division was won by Germany's Hannelore Brenner. Denmark's Annika Lykke Dalskov was second and Australia's Sharon Jarvis was third. There was some controversy in the grade III competition because of protests that the arena was set incorrectly. However, per the rules, as no protests were lodged at least 30 minutes prior to the competition, no re-rides will take place.

In other news, carriage driving, which is a four-day event, held its second day of dressage. In team competition, the United States and the Netherlands were tied for first, and Australia was third.

In individual competition, Australia's Boyd Exell led, while the Netherlands' Ijsbrand Chardon and America's Chester Weber were tied for second. Exell set a world record for four-in-hand driving dressage in a world championship with a score of 30.08. Chardon and Weber both scored 35.97.

Driving will continue Saturday with the marathon, and it concludes Sunday with the cones course.

In vaulting, teams competed in the freestyle competition. Germany led, while Austria was second and the United States third. Team competition will conclude Sunday.

Round two of individual competition also started. In the technical test for women, Britain's Joanne Eccles led Germany's Antje Hill and Simone Wiegele. In the men's competition, Switzerland's Patric Looser led Germany's Kai Vorberg and France's Nicolas Andreani. Both individual competitions end Saturday with freestyle programs.

The World Equestrian Games concludes its 16-day run Sunday.