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David O’Connor Wins USET Eventing Three-Star Fall Championship

Gladstone, NJ—October 28, 2002— Sydney Olympic Gold Medalist David O’Connor of The Plains, VA rode Custom Made to a fairytale finish to the horse’s illustrious career when he won the U.S. Equestrian Team (USET) Eventing Three-Star Fall Championship held at the Fair Hill International in Fair Hill, MD.

O’Connor sat in second after the dressage phase of the competition with a score of 37.01 penalties. Following the cross country phase, O’Connor took over the top position in the standings with a two-phase total of 44.61 penalties. On the final day of competition, O’Connor’s 4 fault performance in the show jumping phase gave him an overall score of 48.61 penalties to earn him the USET Championship title for the second consecutive year and sixth time overall (1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001).

O’Connor had announced that this year’s Fair Hill International would be the final competition for his Olympic Gold Medal mount, Custom Made, a 17-year-old Thoroughbred, owned by Xandarius LLC. The pair’s championship finish was a repeat of the dramatic farewell appearance of one of O’Connor’s earlier successful mounts, Wilton Fair, whom he rode to the Fair Hill Championship in the horse’s final appearance in 1993.

“This was really an amazing weekend for me,” said O’Connor. “It’s been a storybook career with Custom Made and all I really wanted was for him to have a great weekend and go out in good form. The fact that it happened like this is a dream. For us to win, well, I was lucky enough to have it happen with Wilton Fair, to have it happen again is way more than I had any right to hope for.”

Finishing second in the CCI *** for the second straight year was two-time Australian Olympic team Gold Medalist Phillip Dutton, who had a score of 51.60 on Dusky Moon, an 8-year-old Thoroughbred. Finishing as USET Reserve Champion with an overall third place finish was Heidi White of Unionville, PA, who had a score of 52.41 on Northern Spy, her 9-year-old English Thoroughbred.

The USET also awarded to Will Faudree of West Grove, PA the USET Markham Trophy awarded to the highest placed Young Rider for his fourth place finish aboard Antigua. The Midland, TX native finished with a score of 54.8 penalties.

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


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