I've read with interest the ongoing conversation on the CD-L regarding the Pony Team selection. I'm not aware of anyone saying they have been selected. In fact, there are still several selection trials to go (in Europe in July).
We are all fortunate to have some enthusiastic supporters and if comments to the list made it appear that the team has been selected, I'm making it clear that this is not the case.
All the selection information is available on usef.org. There you will find the Long List for ponies and for pairs and related selection procedures. You might find it interesting reading. You can access the info here: http://usef.org/_IFrames/breedsdisciplines/discipline/alldrivng/hpDriving.aspx
When it comes to the pony selection, according to the selection procedures, by August 15 there will be a short list, and by September 15 (just six days before the Championship begins) the team will be selected. There will also be a mandatory training session held in Germany before the Championship.
Those on the pony long list have been encouraged to ship to Europe early and use some competitions there for training before the Championships. Since the majority of costs of competing at the Championship is in the shipping costs for flying the pony(ies) and shipping the equipment (carriages/harness/etc), it makes sense to go early and make the most of the trip. We are planning to leave on August 4. Kind friends are helping with our horses/dogs/cats/parrot left behind.
The downside is that it is a huge commitment in money, time and energy to go at all, and even a bigger risk to go without the team being chosen in advance. We have all worked hard to prepare and qualify, and now have chosen to make the most of the opportunity to compete at the Championship.
As to the fundraising, I can only speak for myself. I know that those who like me are actively fundraising have received some criticism for raising money for their own trip and not for the team. I would like to think that it is possible for a working person to be able to go with the support of our fellow drivers and the help we have received in many ways has been very gratifying. I have been active in raising money for the team this year and in years past, but also need to raise money to make our trip.
I am very grateful for the support that we will receive from the USEF IF we are chosen as a team member. It is about 26% of our estimated budget. We must raise additional funds in order to go.
At the beginning of my fundraising efforts, I made it clear that if for whatever reason I did not go to Europe, that I would return the money I raised. My equipment has already shipped and it will have to come back at my expense in that case.
I hope this answers some questions and concerns. If you have an interest in this, please read the selection procedures, the pony loan agreement and other documents. Many of your questions will be answered there. I'll be happy to answer any other questions you may have.