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WEG vs World Championship--Are they the same?

The reason I ask is The Natural with Katherine Birdsall won the latter in 1986, (I am showing my age) and they are saying this year’s (amazing!!) WEG winner is the first time for a women to win. Did the name change for the competition or is it s different competition? (I love bother pairs of riders and horses!)

There’s the WEG (every four years) and the World Cup (annual).

Katherine Burdsall won the World Cup with the Natural at some point in the 80s.

Katherine Burdsall was on the US team to the WEG in 1986, but she did not win it individually - Gail Greenough of Canada did.


I think Stockholm 1990 was the first year that they had the championships of each discipline all together at once. That’s when they started calling it WEG. Before that, you had the separate World Championships for each discipline. So technically, this is indeed the first time for a woman to win at a WEG in show jumping, but it is not the first time that a woman won the World Championships.

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Like the Pan Am Games - every year each discipline has its own Championships, and every four years (in the year before the Olympics) they have the Pan American Games which is when all countries get together at one time for the Games as a sort of mini-Olympic practice. It helps smaller countries get to experience the Games format.

It irks me to see people make the distinction. The title is and always has been World Champion and it doesn’t matter to me whether it was a standalone event or part of the larger festival. How easy it would be to just say, “first woman in 40 years.”

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Easy but maybe not as newsworthy if they’re trying to draw attention to the sport or the WEG brand or what have you. It sounds like more of a historic achievement to say she was first woman EVER! Even if it was mostly semantics based on the title of the event.

Yeah, but it’s also a real smack in the face for Gail Greenough.


Thanks for the clarification–sorry for the confusion on my part about Gail Greenough. Great rider who won over two great male riders!