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Re: [RC] USA Gold Trail Blazer Lee Wittle Chef D'Equipe Report part 3 - Tom Sites

At the finish line, Gaston Mercier/Mao (8) of France won the Individual Gold with a riding time of 12 hours, 12 minutes.  Liz Finney/Show Girl (14)of Great Britian won the Individual Silver with a riding time of 12 hours 14 minutes.  And in a race for the Bronze, Bernhard Dorsiepen/Drago (18) of Germany beat Denis Pesci/Krempolis (10) of France by 36 seconds in a riding time of 12 hours 17 minutes.
Thruout the entire stay in Marloffstein we were accorded warm, friendly, open hospitality.  We saw old friends and met many new ones.  It would be nice to go back again.
As with all International FEI Endurance events, the final Vet Check is the morning after.  We took care to rest the horses without allowing them to stiffen up.  The early morning came with all horses being walked vigorously by crews and riders alike.  As we watched all the horses, it became obvious they were in great shape.  No doubt the soft footing contributed to the lack of lameness, although the mud had been a concern for muscle pulls.  However, all the horses looked better than most had in Rome.
The examinations were done in the horses stall with the veterinarians coming to the horses.  This worked very well and avoided a lot of standing arround for everyone.  The Trot Out was held outside the barn, in a very orderly and terse fashion.  If any additional horses were to be pulled, this would be the time.
The horses were trotted in order of finish.  On the cobblestones surrounding the stable they were walked up to the 12 Veterinarian
 Judges and presented.  They were then jogged down and back about 40 yards each way.  The stable lined one side, riders, crew and spectators lined the other side.
One by one the horses passed.  They really looked great.  One horse was voted on.  It did not unanimously pass all the judges.  The vote was 10 pass, 2 pull.  The USA finished 8,9 and 16.  As these horses approached the trot out the thought that was on my mind and I'm sure the minds of many others, "Will all the American  horses pass, and the Team Standings remain unchanged?"  Will the Champions of Europe not be European?