Sunday’s awards ceremony for the Driving World Championship at the WEG may have started slowly (ribbons awarded to the top ten places in the marathon phase, then to the top ten places in the cones phase … each followed by a genteel victory lap), but it ended with a big, happy, noisy celebration in honor of the medal winners.

the lineup of winners in the marathon phase …

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and, later, the lineup of winners in the cones phase (that’s Chester Weber, in first place, on the left, and Jim Fairclough, in second place, next to him)

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Chester Weber (USA) on his victory lap after the awards ceremony for the cones phase

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After these two ribbon ceremonies was the official medal ceremony for the individual winners …

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… starting with Tucker Johnson (USA) receiving his individual bronze medal from Richard Nicoll, chair of the FEI Driving Committee …

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… and saluting the crowd

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all three individual medal winners gathered on the top step; left to right: Aidan Connolly (representing Alltech), Tucker Johnson (bronze), Boyd Exell (gold), and Ysbrand Chardon (silver)

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Pony Club members were charged with holding on to the team medals before they were presented to the winners

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after being presented with their silver medals, the U.S. team salutes the crowd; left to right: Jim Fairclough, Chester Weber, and Tucker Johnson

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all the team medal winners salute the cheering crowd; on the ground: various officials and representatives of Alltech, and the Dutch chef d’equipe (in the unmistakable orange), and on the podium: the bronze-medal German team on the left, the gold-medal Dutch team in the center, and the silver-medal U.S. team on the right

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after the official medal ceremony was finished, the music was turned up, and it was time for the victory laps … but first: Chardon ran over to the end of the arena where these Dutch fans were gathered and threw his sunflower bouquet into their midst

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for the first time around the arena on their victory laps, each team trotted past the grandstands, three turnouts abreast (here, the Americans) …

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… and here, the Dutch

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… and then came the final spectacle (I watched the first two teams do this and only caught photos of the Dutch): each team turned down the center line and galloped for the exit gate, galloping through it one turnout at a time …

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… with the music blaring over the loudspeakers and the crowd cheering

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and then the individual gold-medal winner, Boyd Exell, took his own victory lap …

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… and his own dramatic gallop out of the arena