From theory to practice

American Misdee Wrigley-Miller is one of only four female competitors at the Driving of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and she is one of the newest in the sport of four-in hand-drivers. Only ten months ago she traded pairs for a full set of four horses. Before she had driven only for pleasure after inheriting two coaches from her grandfather.

From theory to practice

“I am so excited to be here. After organizing the event in Lexington 2010 I never imagined I would be here as a competitor,” the 57-year-old said on Wednesday, getting her team ready for the horse inspection.

The initiative for aspiring to the top level of driving came from her team mate Chester Weber and German world champion Michael Freund who now coaches the US-team. “Both encouraged me and Chester gave me rein clips for my birthday,”  the Kentucky-based American remembers. “Do you mean to tell me what I think you do,” she recalls her thoughts when unwrapping this present. “And Chester said, yes, I should drive four.”

Having competed with pairs, it was “a work in progress” to combine her World Equestrian Games team of  five horses. “Only two weeks ago I thought, this is now perfect”, she says. Matching colour and frame of the horses is one thing, but it is even more difficult to match what Misdee Wrigley-Miller calls “the work ethics” of a team of driving horses. “The leaders have to really to the job and lead and all the horses have to get along well with each other.” Harmony can be a big problem but in her team it is not. “They are all friends.” She uses the same wheelers, Carlos and Clemens, since the beginning. “They are only seven but it feels like they are doing the sport since ten years.”

Misdee Wrigley-Millar now goes into the competition with her dream match. “Bays with four white socks and a blaze, they are my favourites.”  

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