States Finishes First in Reining Qualifier at World Equestrian
U.S. Riders Placed One, Two, Three
de la Frontera, SpainSeptember 18, 2002 The United
States finished on top in the first qualifier for the first-ever
Reining World Championship on Wednesday, at the 2002 World Equestrian
Games in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.
U.S. squad combined for a score of 661.50 points. Canada came
in second with a score of 641.50 and Italy finished right behind,
of the four U.S. riders finished with the highest individual scores.
Tom McCutcheon of Pilot Point, TX, riding Conquistador Whiz, owned
by George Shifrin, scored on top with 222. Shawn Flarida of Springfield,
OH, riding San Jo Freckles, owned by Michael Harper, captured
the next best score of 220. Scott McCutcheon of Whiteboro, TX,
and Inwhizable, owned by Inwhizable Partners, finished with the
third highest score of 219.50. The fourth rider on the squad Craig
Schmersal of Menifee, CA riding Tidal Wave Jack, owned by the
B.S. Syndicate, received a 215 for his ride.
top five teams from the Qualifier, plus five additional individuals,
move on to Sundays World Championship final with a clean
slate. The start order is determined by the results of the Qualifier
with the highest placed rider going last.
McCutcheon made history Wednesday as the first United States Equestrian
Team (USET) rider ever to compete at a Reining World Championship.
McCutcheon liked being in that spot.
felt great to go first for the U.S. Team, he said. I
wanted my horse to be real solid because whatever happened to
me would carry out with the rest of the team. He was great and
I was real happy with him.
younger brother Tom went last for the U.S., only three riders
later. In the World Championship format, team order was determined
by a blind draw with all the members of a team competing consecutively.
As the anchor, with three solid scores already on the board, Tom
felt little pressure.
team did so well before me, I didnt feel too much pressure,
said Tom. There was some, because you always want to show
well and do the horse justice, especially in front of a large
crowd. My horse felt great and did all that I wanted him to do.
I didnt want to shoot all my bullets in the first round;
the medal round is where you want to do your best.
Chef dEquipe Jeff Petska was thrilled with the team and
the World Championship experience.
just tickled to death to be here, said Petska. Weve
come here prepared to do our best and we are thrilled with how
things have gone to this point. Were happy with where we
are, but its a clean slate in the finals so anything can
happen. Its going to be exciting right down to the end.
The United States Equestrian Team is a non-profit organization
that selects, trains, equips and finances equestrians of the highest
possible standard to represent our country in major international
competition, including the Olympic Games and the World Championships.
To accomplish this, the USET seeks out and nurtures the development
of talented athletes - riders, drivers and horses - and provides
the support and guidance they need to help them attain their fullest
potential. For more information on the USET, please call (908)
234-1251, or visit USET ONLINE at www.uset.org