Sunday: another glorious sunny day, full of exciting 3-minute (or so) drives through Dr. Wolfgang Asendorf’s cones course. There were zig-zags, a sunken-road-type thing, a box, some really tight turns, and quite a few long galloping runs.

Standing in second place and going next to last in the single-pony cones competition, Suzy Stafford couldn’t afford to make a mistake. She was behind the leader by only .69 of a point, and the seventeen-year-old (!!) Dutch driver standing in third place, Melanie Becker, was only .99 of a point behind Suzy. Unfortunately, Suzy had two balls down and time faults, dropping her down to fourth place. But then Arjo van Kekem (NED) had a shocking four balls down (he was clear on the time though, which didn’t happen very often throughout the day). And with that, Melanie won the gold (and the Dutch fans went wild!) and Suzy was bumped back up to the bronze-medal spot. Germany’s Franz-Josef Lehmkuhl won the silver medal.

Suzy Stafford and Courage to Lead on the cones course, on their way to a bronze medal

Suzy Stafford and Courage to Lead on the cones course, on their way to a bronze medal

the young Dutch driver Melanie Becker won the gold medal

the young Dutch driver Melanie Becker won the gold medal

Sara Schmitt, who had been eliminated from the overall competition after missing a gate on the marathon, had 21.88 penalties in the cones competition. Sherri Dolan’s pony unfortunately came up lame, and she didn’t compete in the cones.

The cones competition didn’t alter the standings at the very top of the leader board in the pair division. Tracey Morgan, however, did move up to fifth place overall from ninth. In this division, all three medal winners were German drivers. Gold: Daniel Schneiders, silver: Stephan Koch, and bronze: Steffen Abicht. Randy Cadwell (the defending pair pony champion) and Katie Whaley both moved up a few spots as well, to nineteenth and twentieth, respectively.

Randy Cadwell finished nineteenth overall

Randy Cadwell’s hat blew off during a fast gallop down the cones course

Katie Whaley was pleased with her twentieth-place finish, as the ponies she drove are still quite new to the sport

Katie Whaley was pleased with her twentieth-place finish, as the ponies she drove are still quite new to the sport

Germany's Daniel Schneiders won the gold medal

Germany’s Daniel Schneiders won the gold medal

Judging by the crowd’s reaction, the two young German four-in-hand drivers who won gold (Tobias Bücker) and silver (Steffen Brauchle) are VERY popular here. During the cones course, after their rounds, and during the awards and medal ceremonies, both were met with cheers, song, huge applause, little children yelling their names, and giggling teenage girls. Belgium’s Tinne Bax won the bronze medal. Laurie Astegiano finished in eleventh place, and Lisa Stroud finished in sixteenth place.

Laurie Astegiano, who lives in France but drives for the U.S., finished in eleventh place

Laurie Astegiano, who lives in France but drives for the U.S., finished in eleventh place

Lisa Stroud finished in sixteenth place overall

Lisa Stroud finished in sixteenth place overall

Host-nation favorite Tobias Buecker won the gold medal

host-nation favorite Tobias Buecker won the gold medal

In the team competition, Germany won the gold medal, the Netherlands won the silver, Belgium won the bronze, and the USA finished in fourth place.

Stay tuned for our report on the multiple and extensive ribbon and medal ceremonies. There was a lot of celebrating on Sunday!