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Kappler and Simpson Take Top Honors on Opening Day at the Oaks Blenheim International

San Juan Capistrano, CA—July 17, 2003—Chris Kappler of Pittstown, NJ, rode Korina to the win in the $10,000 Hermès Speed Class to open the Oaks Blenheim International CSI****, part of the Capistrano Summer Festival in San Juan Capistrano, CA. The event runs through Sunday, July 20.

Kappler, who will be representing the United States at the Pan American Games in the Dominican Republic next month, topped a field of 44 horses and riders. Finishing second was two-time Olympian Joe Fargis aboard Diams III, and in third was Debbie Stephens, a two-time Pan American Games team Bronze Medalist, who rode Chappie.

U.S. Equestrian Team (USET) veteran Will Simpson of Thousand Oaks, CA, took top honors aboard El Campeon’s Ado Annie in Thursday’s other featured event, the $10,000 Robert Mondavi Jump-Off Class. Fellow USET rider Gabriella Salick took second place with Sandstone Laurin, and Mark Watring finished third riding Sapphire.

Exciting equestrian action at the Oaks Blenheim International continues throughout the weekend. Friday’s events include a $10,000 jump-off class, as well as the $25,000 St. Regis Resort International Class.

On Saturday, the $50,000 Budweiser International Speed Derby begins at 3pm, following the $10,000 Junior-Amateur Owner Jumper Classic. The Budweiser International Speed Derby is a thrilling event in which each horse and rider gallop over an obstacle course with jumps ranging as high as 5’!

Sunday’s spectacular finale begins at 11am. The thrilling Cargill Grand Prix of the United States, presented by HBO, features a $175,000 purse. Kappler is the defending champion.

Proceeds from the Capistrano Summer Festival benefit The Latino Coalition Foundation. The Latino Coalition Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization based in Washington, DC. TLCF was established in 1995 to address policy issues that directly affect the well-being of Hispanics in the U.S. Their agenda is to develop and promote policies that will enhance overall business, economic and social development of Hispanics. For more information on The Latino Coalition Foundation, please visit their websites at and

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