26,2002 Chris Kappler of Pittstown, NJ was named the United States
Equestrian Team (USET) Athlete of the Month for February following his
string of top-ranked rides during the Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festivals
February events at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club.
Kappler rode Royal Kaliber, owned by Kappler and Kathy Kamine, to victory in the $50,000 Bayer/USET Wellington Cup presented by Fleet Financial on February 3. He topped a field of 63 world-class competitors including riders from five countries.
"He's been an amazing horse for me," said Kappler, who purchased the horse 18 months ago. "He's my kind of horse. He's very big, very light and jumps with such ease. I knew when I sat on him the first time to buy him; he and I just suited each other perfectly."
Kappler also won the $25,000 Zada Enterprises, LLC Challenge Cup on February 21 riding Ursa Major, owned by High Dunes Farm of Grand Haven, MI. Kappler, 35, was one of only 6 of the original 61 horse-and-rider combinations to jump a fault-free first round and advance to the jump-off, which he won by 0.67 seconds.
In addition to Kapplers
two Grand Prix wins in February, he also came in second in the $75,000
Jaguar/Land Rover Idle Dice Classic Grand Prix riding Greg Obrechts
Rafiki on February 17, and took 7th place on Korina, owned by Moonraker
Farm and Kappler, in the $75,000 Kilkenny Internationale Cup on February
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