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Reis Wins Gold At Pan American Endurance Championship

Trout Lake, WA - - Cia Reis from the USA East squad rode Catch A Wave to the Gold Medal and also won Best Condition at the 2003 Pan American Endurance Championship at Trout Lake, WA. Team Gold was won by the USA Pacific North squad of Sharon Westergard (MCM Phantazem "Taz"), Pat Murray (CR Flash Gordon), Michele Roush (PR Tallymark), and Cassandra Schuler (ELD Triton).

Reis finished in a very quick time of 9:14.13, an average of 17.35 km. (10.78 miles) per hour. USA Pacfic South rider Heather Reynolds, defending PAC gold medallist, won the Silver Medal in 9:37:40 on Aleclipse, a 7-year-old Arabian gelding loaned to her by Becky Hart. Another USA East rider, Vicki Crance, won the Bronze Medal with RA Jestic Diamond. The East dominated the top ten placings with four of their riders, but came in fourth in the team standings when team riders Meg Sleeper (Shyrocco Troilus) and Valerie Kanavy (Emphatic/Shahdon) were pulled. Team Silver was won by the USA Pacific North squad while Canada West, the only team to finish all four team riders, won the Bronze Medal.

Reis, of Pennsdale, PA, arrived at the PAC site two week previous to the race and had ridden much of the trail in that time, but said she was surprised at how difficult the ride was. However, she and "Wave" negotiated the last 13 mile loop in 53 minutes, just as the sun was setting. She said, "It was as if he knew that this was his last leg and I just let him go."

The leading international rider was Leonard Liesens of Belgium riding Great Santini, a 15-year-old Arabian gelding owned by Stephanie and John Teeter. They placed 33rd out of the 50 finishers, coming in at a time of 12:48:19. The race started with 89 entries and ended with a completion rate of 54%.

Several of the riders, who represented nine countries, noted that the up-and-down trails through the Gifford-Pinchot National Forest, with its many curves and turns and a considerable amount of single track, were a stiff challenge for their horses.

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