Saturday August 7 2010
Concern over the selection and demonstration process for the US team has prompted former multiple World Endurance Champion Valerie Kanavy to withdraw her 3 horses - King Ali Gold, Gold Raven, and Spectacular Gold, from the selection trials for the World Endurance Championship to be held September 26, 2010 in Lexington, Kentucky.
Kanavy's main concern is that the trial, to be held in Illinois next week, is too close, for the distance and speed the horses will be asked to go, to the Championship race. "If you were training your own horse, you might do a 50 mile ride in a controlled situation, to peak your horse for the WEC," Kanavy said. "I've worked really hard, and I've demonstrated that my horses are capable. I won't run them in the heat, humidity and mud at speed 5 weeks before the WEC. That's the bottom line."
Secondly, the ten horses and riders selected from the trials will go on to Shaker Village, Kentucky, and will stay there for the 3 weeks before the WEC, sitting in Shaker Village, Kentucky, until the final 5 riders and horses will be chosen 4 days before the race. "The horses would be more relaxed in their home environment; this robs them of comfort and rest before the big race."
Kanavy had raised a lot of concerns about the process all along the way, but they were not addressed. "I expect a lot out of my horses. I've worked toward this [2010 World Endurance Championship on home turf] for 3 years. I've demonstrated over the years, with all the horses in my stables, including the young ones, their capability with my training and program.
"I've been flexible and open minded, and I know I don't know everything... I've evaluated, consulted, and tested my horses, and I know they are capable of giving their best performance, but my horses can't do a good job if all the energy gets sucked out of them before the race."
Kanavy is disappointed things worked out this way, but she's moved on. "I've already got my horses booked on a flight to Europe for 2 big races, including the Young Horse Championships in France. I'm looking forward to testing my young one against the best in Europe."
- Merri Melde