Articles: Press Release
Can you spot this 2006 WEG Team rider?
Here's a hint: She's on the WEG dressage team and
she's the new kid on the block and her stallion is showing he's
Tip Top shows top form in this cell phone photo taken
just a day ago.
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That's right it's USA's Leslie Morse. Leslie checked in with us
today with the inside scoop. The USA Dressage Team is gearing up for
WEG. They are scheduled to go to the show grounds at Aachen on
Saturday. According to Morse, today the team will have a practice
test - complete with braiding and judges. Afterwards they will have
a team meeting and evaluate the practice rides. In the evening they
have a pre-WEG celebration planned.
It sounds like the US team is working together to ride their
individual best for the team effort. Morse told us that, "We are
learning a lot from each other. I think as a team we are especially
fortunate to have Gil Merrick (USET Dressage Representative) as he is
so supportive and fluent in the language."
Getting to the WEG team has been a long hard road for each of the
team members. "It is especially gratifying for me to have made the
team," Morse said, "I am a first timer and really hope to prove my
worth to my seasoned teammates." Although Morse is new kid on the
block, she proved she was up to the task. She qualified on both her
stallions, Tip Top and Kingston and when Kingston needed time off to
rest a minor injury sustained during turnout, Morse never faltered.
She rode her second string mount, Tip Top at Gladstone as if their
lives depended on it. Tip Top and Morse proved they could deliver
under pressure and finished Gladstone with a freestyle that had the
crowds cheering for more and prompted the judges to score it at 79.8%!
Next stop on the WEG trail for Morse was Verden. She prepared for
the show with help from her friends and mentors, Kyra Kyrklund and
Richard White. The show was a mixed blessing. It was all in the
family week for Morse and Tip Top. Morse got to meet Tip Top's
breeder and watch Tip Top's son, Tellwell excel in the Young Horse
division. But Tip Top himself was not performing up to par and Morse
was disappointed. After the show the vets determined that Tip Top was
suffering from a cold. "It showed me how much heart he had to go out
and do the job even when he wasn't feeing well, Morse said.
By the time Morse and Tip Top headed to Klaus Balkenhol's for their
pre-WEG training, Morse said they were both in top form. "Tip Top
is feeling great and Kyra (Kyrklund) and Richard (White) gave me a
great deal of help on my position and how it influences my horse's
performance. So we are both better prepared as we head to Klaus'
for the finishing touches," said an enthusiastic Morse. So the
countdown to WEG continues as the excitement and anticipation builds!
Leslie Morse at age 12 takes a leap of faith