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USET Honors 2001 Champions

Gladstone, New Jersey—November 29, 2001—The United States Equestrian Team (USET) named champions in dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, reining and show jumping in 2001.


Debbie McDonald of Hailey, ID rode Brentina, owned by Peggy and Parry Thomas, to victory in the USET Dressage Grand Prix Championship at the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions Presented by State Line Tack June 15 – 17 and June 21 – 24.

McDonald, 46, swept all three phases of the competition at the USET Olympic Training Center and finished with an overall score of 72.578% on the 10-year-old Hanoverian mare on whom she won team and individual Gold Medals at the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada.

Leslie Morse of Malibu, CA riding Kingston, owned by Paragon Farms, won the USET Dressage Intermediaire I Championship with the score of 71.314% at the Festival.

Morse won the Prix St. Georges with a score of 71.150%. She placed second in the Intermediaire I with 70.650% and second again in the Freestyle with a score of 73.222%


The USET squad of drivers competing at the 2001 FEI World Pairs Championship in Riesenbeck, Germany, August 16 – 19 finished seventh out of twenty teams. Team members Larry Poulin of Gray, ME driving horses owned by Natasha Grigg; David Saunders of Ocala, FL with horses owned by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Musler; and Lisa Singer of Chadds Ford, PA with horses owned by Anne (Mimi) Thorington, finished with a final score of 286.58 penalties. Hardy Zantke served as Chef d’Equipe.

Seventy drivers from 20 nations competed in the Championship with the 1999 reigning World Champion, Hungary, successfully defending its Championship with a score of 245.72. Second place and the team Silver Medal went to The Netherlands with a score of 258.76 penalties, followed by Germany, with a score of 263.26 for the Bronze.

James Fairclough of Newton, NJ won the USET’s Four-In-Hand Driving Championship at Fair Hill International in Fair Hill, MD, October 25 – 27.

Fairclough, driving Jane Clark’s team of horses, swept all three phases of the competition, and finished with a final score of 160.34 penalties.

Lisa Singer of Chadds Ford, PA won the USET Pairs Championship for the third consecutive year and fifth time overall. The Championship was held during the Gladstone Driving Event, September 21 – 23. With her victory, Singer, driving horses owned by Anne Mimi Thorington, matched Larry Poulin's record of five Championship titles. Singer, the only woman driver to win the Championship, won in 1994, and again in 1997, 1999, and 2000. This year, she finished with a three phase score of 123.49 penalties. She won the dressage phase with a score of 43.40, was second in the marathon with 76.59 points, and won the cones with no knockdowns and 3.50 time penalties.


Two time Endurance World Champion Valerie Kanavy of Ft. Valley, VA won the 50 Mile Sooner Trailer/USET Endurance Championship at the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions, presented by State LineTack, on Bear Cat O’Reilly, with a ride time of 5 hours 8 minutes and 24 seconds. Bearcat O’Reilly, owned by Kanavy, was ridden by Kristin Snook to win the Championship last year.

In a close finish for the 80 Mile Endurance Championship, Sue Greenall of W. Windsor, VT beat Wendy Bejarano of W. Windsor, VT by five seconds. Greenall finished the course in a ride time of 12 hours 35 minutes and 53 seconds with her own horse Aleser. Bejarano riding her horse Bie Kin finished in 12 hours 35 minutes and 58 seconds.

2000 Olympic Gold Medalist David O’Connor of The Plains, VA won the Rolex/USET Four Star Eventing Championship held during the Rolex/Kentucky Three-Day Event, Presented by Bayer, April 26-29.

O’Connor, riding Giltedge, his Olympic team horse in 1996 and 2000, owned by Jacqueline Mars, moved into first place on the final day of the competition when he completed the jumping phase of the event with a clear round and a final three phase score of 38.6 penalties. O’Connor completed the dressage phase with a score of 37.0 penalties and added 1.6 time penalties on the cross country phase for his score of 38.6 penalties.

One week after her husband’s victory at Rolex Kentucky, Karen O’Connor of the Plains, VA won the USET Three Star Eventing Spring Championship held during the MBNA Foxhall Cup CCI *** in Atlanta, GA May 3-6.

O’Connor riding Jacqueline Mars’s Prince Panache, her 2000 Olympic team horse, held the lead throughout the competition. O’Connor completed the dressage phase with a score of 34.6 penalties. She chose to go somewhat cautiously on the cross country phase and picked up 5.2 time penalties. In the stadium jumping phase, she added only 1.0 time penalties for a final score of 40.8.

Riding The Native, owned by Jacqueline Mars, David O’Connor also won the USET Three Star Fall Eventing Championship at Fair Hill International in Fair Hill, MD, October 26 – 29.

O’Connor, who has now won the USET Championship a record five times, went clear in the stadium jumping phase of the competition and incurred .4 time penalties during the cross country phase, finishing with a three phase score of 58.8 penalties.

After qualifying for the $100,000 Cosequin/USET $100,000 Open Reining Championship with the highest reining score in USET history, Bryant Pace of Hasbrouck Heights, NJ continued his winning streak on Gunner, owned by Debra and Kim Sloan , by clinching the $100,000 Cosequin/USET Open Reining Championship, presented by Bayer at the Festival. Pace earned an overall score of 448.5 in the two rounds of competition. He had won the first round of this competition with a score of 226.5.

In a surprise victory, Canada won the CRIO Gladstone Nations Cup competition with a team score of 1304 points. The U.S. team was second with a total of 1299 points, followed by Germany in third with 1231 points and Japan in fourth with 982.5 points.

Michael McEntire of Sanford, NC won the $25,000 Sooner Trailer/USET Futures Reining Championship with Boogies Secret, owned by T. Ruffin Johnson, Jr. McEntire had an overall two round score of 432.5 points.

Kyle Johnson of Portland, CT took home the coveted Young Rider Reining Gold Medal on his horse Boomer Fritz with an overall two round score of 425.0.

Pete Kyle of Whitesboro, TX won the USET Invitational Freestyle on Bueno San Lena, owned by Kimberly Wang.


Todd Minikus of Loxahatchee, FL rode his horse Oh Star to victory in the $100,000 Rolex/USET Show Jumping Championship at the Festival Minikus, who was the alternate on the 2000 Olympic Show Jumping Team, had no faults and the fastest jump off time of 47.944 seconds.

For the third year in a row, Marilyn Little of Frederick, MD won the USET/Amateur Owner Talent Derby, presented by BET On Jazz.

Georgina Bloomberg of New York, NY won the Junior Jumper Talent Derby, presented by BET On Jazz with her horse Husker Du and placed third with Action. She had four faults in the jump off and a time of 52.361 seconds on Husker Du.


USET Grand Prix Championship Debbie McDonald Hailey, ID Brentina Peggy & Parry Thomas

USET Intermediaire Championship Leslie Morse Malibu, CA Kingston Paragon Farms

USET Four-in-Hand Driving Championship James Fairclough Newton, NJ Jane F. Clark

USET Pairs Driving Championship Lisa Singer Chadds Ford, PA Mimi Thorington

Sooner Trailer/USET Endurance 50-Mile Valerie Kanavy Ft. Valley, VA Bear Cat O’Reilly Valerie Kanavy


USET Endurance 80 Mile Championship Sue Greenall W. Windsor, VT Aleser Sue Greenall

Rolex/USET Four Star David O’Connor The Plains, VA Giltedge Jacqueline Mars

Event Championship

USET Three Star Event Spring Championship Karen O’Connor The Plains, VA Prince Panache Jacqueline Mars

USET Three Star Event Fall Championship David O’Connor The Plains, VA The Native Jacqueline Mars

Cosequin/USET Reining Championship Bryant Pace Hasbrouk Heights, NJ Gunner Debra & Kim Sloan.

Rolex/USET Show Jumping Championship, Todd Minikus Loxahatchee, FL Oh Star Todd Minikus

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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