WEG History – 1998 Italy

Check out all the results and history of the World Equestrian Games.  Today we talk about the 1998 WEG held in Rome, Italy.

Photos: FEI

The 1998 WEG almost fell victim to the same logistical and financial nightmares as its predecessor.  Originally scheduled for Ireland, the games new host city, Rome, had less than a year to complete preparations.  Thankfully, the Italians did not fail and the 1998 WEG went off without a hitch.


A total of 42 countries competed.

Jumping 86 participants (28 countries)

Dressage 84 participants (29 countries)

Eventing 91 participants (23 countries)

Driving 46 participants (15 countries)

Endurance 175 participants (38 countries)

Vaulting 75 participants (19 countries)

Countries participating for the first time: Bulgaria, Greece, Israel, Jamaica, Saudi Arabia, Lithuania, and Venezuela.


Germany took Team Gold in Jumping for the second time, but was denied Individual Gold when Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa aboard Gandini Lianos became the youngest winner of the title at 25 years old.  Nelson Pessoa, Rodrigo’s father, notably finished in 11th place riding Baloubet du Rouet.

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Kit Houghton/FEI

In Dressage, the format changed yet again.  The tallied scores of the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special qualified 12 for the Kur to Music.  The individual champion was the rider with the highest percentage from the three competitions.  Even with all the changes, the Germans simply could not be unseated.  Isabell Werth aboard Nissan Gigolo FRH won the Individual Gold, leading the Germans to Team Gold as well.

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Kit Houghton/FEI

New Zealand nabbed the Team Gold in Eventing with return world champion, Blythe Tait on Ready Teddy, winning Individual Gold.

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Kit Houghton/FEI

Vaulting was the one event where Team USA shined.  Kerith Lemon, this time with the help of Pasio 1, reclaimed Silver in the Individual Female competition.  American Devon Maitozo, aboard Whisky 191, won America its first Vaulting Gold in Individual Male.  The US Team, aided by Kalinka 137, would come home with Bronze.

In the Driving competition, Werner Ulrich of Switzerland became the first driver to win a world title with both pairs and four-in-hands, but it was the Netherlands that would bring home Team Gold.

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Kit Houghton/FEI

The Endurance competition is sadly not detailed on the FEI website.  The event was held in Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates.

Go Riding!

For the full 1998 results check out FEI History Hub.


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