Belgium Takes Individual Gold

Bernard Fonck of Belgium wins the individual reining title at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games on What A Wave.

FEI World Equestrian Games

ONE TIME USE ONLY Individual medalists at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games were, from left, Dan Huss, silver; Bernard Fonck, gold; Cade McCutcheon, bronze. (Photo by @Sportfot)

Individual medalists at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games were, from left, Dan Huss, silver; Bernard Fonck, gold; Cade McCutcheon, bronze. (Photo by @Sportfot)

September 15, 2018 – Belgian’s Bernard Fonck and What A Wave started a sliding development in the Johnson Control Reining of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 on September 15.

Scoring 227 at his fourth WEG, Bernard bested two of USA’s team gold medalists, with Dan Huss taking the silver medal and Cade McCutcheon securing bronze.

Bernard’s medal is the first individual gold for a reining competitor from Europe.

“I wanted to show what such a small country can do in the sport,” the 45-year old trainer said.

What A Wave is a 2008 sorrel stallion by Tidal Wave Jack and out of What A Sunrise by Sunrise Enterprise. He was bred by Sam and Tina Ellis of Sapulpa, Oklahoma, and is owned by Steve Vannietvelt and Gina De Pauw of Melsele, Belgium.

Dan rode Ms Dreamy to a 226.5. Reining is a “mind game” for the 58-year-old trainer from Scottsdale, Arizona.

“I visualize the pattern at least 20 times before I go in the arena,” he said.

Ms Dreamy is a 2010 sorrel mare by Magnum Chic Dream and out of A Gal With A Gun by Colonels Smoking Gun. She was bred by Jana Simons of Aubrey, Texas, and is owned by Fred Christen of Whitehouse, Ohio. In 2014, she was AQHA amateur world champion with then-owner Dee Dee Boeckman of Kingfisher, Oklahoma.

While the top two medals were decided clearly, it took a nail-biting run-off to decide for third place.

Brazil’s Joao Felipe Andrade CS Lacerda and Gunner Dun It Again had put in a score of 225.5 early on in the competition. As the last rider out, 18-year-old Cade McCutcheon rode Custom Made Gun to the tie.

In a run-off, Cade scored a 228 to Joao’s 227.

Both horses were bred by McQuay Stables of Tioga, Texas, and are by Colonels Smoking Gun and out of Hollywood Dun It mares. Gunner Dun It Again is out of the Hollywood Dun It mare Dun Its Déjà Vu. The 2011 buckskin stallion is owned by Paulo Francisco Tripoloni of Brazil.

Custom Made Gun is out of the Hollywood Dun It mare Custom Made Dunit. McQuay Stables, owned by Cade’s grandfather, Tim McQuay, still owns the 2011 palomino stallion.

Individual gold tops the collection of three WEG reining team silver medals for Belgium. Bernard had part in all of them, together with his wife, Ann Poels who placed 13th this year.

Bernard used the opportunity to praise her support.

“She is very special. She is left and right from me and in front and behind me, supports me in every way. She is the best,” he said before the medal presentation.