Videos: Gail Greenough – Jappeloup was a thrilling ride!

Credit : YouTube screen shot

Monday 17 September - 15h51 | Yeelen Ravier

Videos: Gail Greenough – "Jappeloup was a thrilling ride!"

Later this week, weather permitting, many of the top-ranked show jumpers in the world will be facing off at the 2018 Tryon FEI World Equestrian Games in North Carolina. In the lead-up to that showdown, a bit of World Championship history. 32 years ago, at the WEG’s predecessor in Aachen, Germany, Canada’s Gail Greenough made history as the first female rider to win the title with Mr T and in the horse rotation final, also featuring Pierre Durand, Conrad Homfeld and Nick Skelton. Earlier this summer she looked back on that week for Grand Prix Heroes magazine. For video of her riding the different horses in final four, see below. 

When you think back, what were those World Championships like for you?
Any time a rider walks into Aachen it is a thrill! To actually win such an event as the World championships is a dream come true. 
 
What is your favourite memory from that week?
My best memory of the week was when it was over! I remember riding over to where my parents were sitting near the final four area and waving to them. That is a fun memory!  The closing ceremony was a surreal moment and helped me let the fact sink in that I had won!
 
During the horse rotation final, you rode Abdullah and Apollo, the mounts of Conrad Homfeld and Nick Skelton, but also the illustrious Jappeloup, Olympic champion with Pierre Durand. What was that like?
Jappeloup was a thrilling ride! He had really the best engine and was so very quick off the ground!. He needed some support in the hand to control his momentum off the ground. A real modern type! You had to ride each horse a bit how they wanted to go and form a pretty quick partnership. They needed to know you were on their side and allow them to go in their own way.
 
You were the first – and remain the only – woman to have won this title. Is that a source of pride?
I find it very surprising that I am still the only female winner of this event. Due to recent changes in the format, I will remain the first and only female and the only North American to ever win the final four. I not only find that surprising but also quite surreal. There are not only many extremely talented and successful  female North American riders but also world wide! It is my hope that my win has opened the doors for woman around the world to pursue their  own dreams of excellence. 
 
What do you think about the new format of the Games?
Although I understand the reasons involved as to why the final four has been eliminated from the format, I feel it will be in some ways a loss. The final four really differentiated itself from any other championship. It was a spectacular event to watch from a spectators point of view and was always a big seller. The pros and cons can be argued for or against this event. But this is the evolution of the sport. Videos from horse rotation final below the break. 

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