USEF Release: October 15 2009
Lexington, KY - After a day that tested the will and stamina of some of the world’s best endurance athletes, it proved to be a clean sweep of the medals podium in both the two-star and three-star endurance competitions in the 2009 Kentucky Cup Endurance race. The event, held at the Kentucky Horse Park and neighboring farms, served as the test events for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. In the 100-mile ride (that was shortened to 75 miles due to inclement weather and deteriorating conditions), it was an all-American medals haul. The riders from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were dominant in the original 75-mile effort, taking the Gold, Silver and Bronze home.
Former World Champion and longtime endurance athlete Danielle McGunigal, 38, led the pack aboard Gold Raven in a final ride time of 06:30:41 to handily claim the Gold. Some 20 minutes behind her in final ride time was Iowa’s Ellyn Rapp, 27, and Berjo Smoky to pick up the Silver medal. And the competitions’ senior rider, 69-year-old Jan Worthington and her Golden Lightning, crossed the finish line nine minutes later to win the Bronze medal. In addition, her mount won the coveted Best Condition Award.
McGunigal’s mount, an eight-year-old grey Arabian mare, was tough and defiant against the very challenging atmosphere presented to her. The rider was quick to comment on just how strong and promising the horse is and how equally strong is the mare’s will.
“Raven is unique, and I’ve competed two of her sisters. They are very tough and really put their teeth into the work they are doing and get it done," she said. "Sometimes she can be such a bully. She will push you around the [vet] check, and she knows what she wants and can be difficult. But, at the same time, that is what is great about her is that she is difficult."