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“JustWorld rider representative Kevin Babington and Carling King score a major victory in the $100,000 Cosequin U.S. Open Jumper Championship.”
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JustWorld Ambassador Kevin Babington Claims $100,000 Cosequin Grand Prix

Wellington, Florida – Ireland’s Kevin Babington, a rider representative for JustWorld International, claimed victory on March 14 in the $100,000 Cosequin U.S. Open Jumper Championship, the final grand prix event held during the Winter Equestrian Festival circuit in Wellington, FL.

Babington was among just three of the original 31 riders who posted clear rounds to advance to the jump-off over a challenging track set by Jose Gamarra of Bolivia. Seven-time Canadian Olympian Ian Millar was the first rider back for the jump-off and went for a slow but steady clear with Promise Me, stopping the clock at 47.62 seconds. Next to go, Babington went all out, speeding over the jump-off track in a time of 42.70 seconds with his partner of five years, Carling King. Last to challenge, McLain Ward of Brewster, NY, had an early rail with his Olympic hopeful, Sapphire, to hand victory to Babington.

“I saw Ian’s round and I knew if I gave it a shot, I could beat him,” explained Babington, 35, a native of Tipperary who currently makes his home in Gwynedd Valley, PA, with his wife and daughter. “McLain was coming behind me so I knew if I went for a slow clear, I was going to end up third. I gave it a shot and it paid off.”

“Carling King has fantastic scope, and I think that is the fastest I have ever gone with him,” continued Babington in praise of his 13-year-old chestnut Irish-bred gelding by Clover Hill. “He jumped brilliantly, and I felt so happy for the horse.”

Two weeks earlier, Babington and Carling King had won the $75,000 PDP Capital Masters Cup and have received the nod to represent Ireland at the 2004 Athens Olympics in August.

To have Babington involved with JustWorld International, a not-for-profit, humanitarian organization whose mission is to prepare and empower students to become visionary leaders and work for social justice, was a natural fit. Respected on the international stage, Babington is one of six JustWorld International rider representatives. Immediately following his win in the $100,000 Cosequin U.S. Open Jumper Championship, Babington generously donated ten percent of his $30,000 in prize money to JustWorld International.

“When I was first approached about riding for a JustWorld, I thought it was a great way for the sport to give something back,” claims Babington. “When I was asked to play a part as a role model, I was honoured. I thought it was a good way to encourage kids to get involved, and there are many in this sport that need guidance and can benefit from seeing the top riders come together to support a good cause.”

“In Ireland, I used to teach a riding program for the handicapped every Wednesday and I really enjoyed that experience, I found it very rewarding,” continued Babington. “For me to be involved in JustWorld and to give ten percent of my prize money is only a small gift back. My owner, Sally Glassman, is happy to do it, she thinks the JustWorld initiative is very exciting and wants to be a part of it. All of the customers in my barn are very enthusiastic and are looking for ways to be involved, which is what I hoped to encourage by being involved myself.”

JustWorld International Executive Director Jessica Newman could not have been more thrilled by Babington’s victory.

“I am ecstatic that Kevin won, especially on the same day of our presentation,” noted Newman in reference to the JustWorld presentation held immediately prior to the grand prix to recognize the riders who have supported the JustWorld initiative. “I am honoured that Kevin and his owner believe in our cause and, even in the excitement of their victory, their first thought was to donate ten percent of their prize money to JustWorld International.”

“Kevin believes in JustWorld, and wants to make a personal difference and also encourage youth to follow in his footsteps, get involved, and give something back,” continued Newman, 28, who, after working with street children in Honduras, sacrificed her own grand prix riding career in order to concentrate on the formation and development of JustWorld International. “It is amazing to have a rider of his quality and integrity representing JustWorld International as a spokesperson. I was so touched by his generous donation. It inspires me and I feel very privileged to work with such great people.”

For Babington, having Newman at the helm was an added incentive to become a JustWorld International rider representative.

“I think that what Jessica has accomplished in such a short amount on time is truly remarkable,” notes Babington. “She is such a positive person, she has positive energy and when people meet her, they want to be a part of that. I think that the sky’s the limit when it comes to ways the equestrian community can support her organization.”

JustWorld International offers fellowship programs for students from around the globe to learn leadership skills, the tools that they can use to make a positive difference in the world. With seven project sites already located in such underprivileged nations as Cambodia, Rwanda and Chile and several other project sites awaiting funding, students have the opportunity to work for change in a wide variety of environments on behalf of JustWorld International. For further information on JustWorld International, please visit



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