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A veteran of the Canadian endurance team, Wendy Benns is no stranger to championship competition. She’s competed in three Pan American Games, the UAE World Cup in Dubai and the World Equestrian Games in Malaysia during her 20 year career. But with no seasoned horse in her stable and a wedding to plan in 2018, qualifying for this year’s WEG is an entirely new breed of challenge. Benns takes us on her whirlwind journey to qualify for Tryon 2018. As told to Carley Sparks.
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend trying to qualify for the World Equestrian Games (WEG) and plan your wedding in the same year—unless you like to take on a challenge!
Each of those things on their own require a tremendous amount of planning and preparation. Put them together and, well, let’s just say there were moments when my fiancé, Jeremy Dupuis, probably thought I was a little on edge. (Or crazy. There’s a good chance that crossed his mind…)
But, in the end, I wouldn’t change a thing. It all came together just perfectly for us!
Jeremy and I were planning our wedding for March in Mexico. It was a destination wedding, so it was a little easier than planning a traditional one at home but it’s still a lot of work. As exciting and fun as it is to dream about your wedding day, a lot goes into pulling all the different pieces together, especially when you have a full-time job—I’m an animal control officer—and a stable full of horses on your property to manage.
I was consumed with all that and really wasn’t concerned about this year’s WEG.
Plus, I didn’t have a horse to do it.
I’ve been competing in endurance or over 20 years. As with any horse sport, always you’re looking to the next horse. For me, that’s usually meant breeding.
We bred my top mare, Flirt with Fyre (an offspring of my Pan American Games mount Flirt with Ecstasy) last year. She just had her foal in June, a chestnut filly that is the first ever Canadian-born/Asgard-bred Arabian. (And gorgeous, if I do say so myself!) Competition-wise, that left me with my upcoming horse Egalite. He only started competing in FEI last year, so my focus has been bringing him along. I figured either the stars would align and I’d qualify or I’d sit out this WEG.
Then the ride on a top endurance horse just sort of materialized...
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