Ward wins $50,000 Rolex USET Show Jumping Championship
US Squad Named for First- Ever Reining World Championship
NJ- June 23, 2002-McLain Ward of Brewster, NY won the $50,000
Rolex/ USET Show Jumping Championship at the Bayer/ USET Festival
of Champions presented by State Line Tack on Sunday afternoon
at the USET Olympic Training Center in Gladstone, NJ.
Out of a starting field of 15 horse-and-rider combinations, 7
went clear in the first round to qualify for the jump-off. For
the second time this weekend, Ward and Margie Engle of Wellington,
FL, battled for the top two ribbons in the class. Only six tenths
of a second separated Ward and his mount, Viktor, from Engle and
her mount, Hidden Creek's Perin.
Ward offered his mount much of the credit for the win. "He's
a great horse to have," he said. "You think and he does
it. It's nice to have a partner like that."
Ward and Engle rode to the top two positions in the class against
a strong jump-off field that included third-place finisher Candice
King and Jimmy Torano, both of whom qualified two mounts, plus
Marylisa Leffler. To see the excitement first hand, tune in to
the Outdoor Life Network on July 2 at 8:00 pm EDT.
Evan Coluccio rode White Russian to victory in the USET Show Jumping
Talent Derby Presented by BET On Jazz. Coluccio topped a field
of 21 entries in the junior/amateur-owner class that is a member
event of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series.
Tom McCutcheon rode Conquistador Whiz to victory in the USET Reining
Championship presented by Bayer. McCutcheon's win clinched him
a spot on the USET squad for the first-ever reining World Championship
to be held as part of the World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain
in September. Joining him on the team will be his brother Scott,
Craig Schmersal, and Shawn Flarida.
After three days of competition for the USET Intermediaire I Dressage
Championship, Susan Dutta topped the field of twelve finalists
with a combined score of 69.905% to win the title on the chestnut
mare, West Side Lady. Jan Ebeling and the gray gelding, Liberte,
followed behind Dutta by only six tenths of a point with a total
combined score of 69.380. In the third position was 1996 Olympic
team Bronze Medalist Michelle Gibson and Chimon with a combined
score of 68.475.
Dutta credits West Side Lady as the reason for the team's success.
"As long as you work her every day nicely, she'll be nice
to you," Dutta said of her mare who strutted her stuff to
a compilation of music from West Side Story in the Freestyle competition.
Ebeling and Liberte won Sunday's Freestyle, the final phase of
competition for the USET Intermediaire I dressage Championship,
but just missed the overall championship.
Barbara Grassmyer and her mount Bally Shannon topped a field of
eight riders to win the NDSA Championship for Riders with Disabilities
with an overall score of 69.152%. In second place was Rebecca
Hart and her mount, Miss Jane Marple, with an overall score of
66.963. The NDSA Championship took place Saturday and Sunday and
consisted of an Individual Competition on Saturday and a musical
freestyle on Sunday. Each phase counted for half of the total
Scott Monroe of Sharon, CT topped a field of eighteen competitors
with an overall score of 103.9 penalties to claim the top honors
in the Advanced Single Horse driving competition, the final event
being used by the USET to select its three-driver squad for this
year's Singles World Championship in Conty, France in August.
Following Monroe in the final standings, Nancy Johnson received
second place honors with a combined overall score of 105.2 penalties.
In third place was Kimberly Stover with 109.2 penalties.
Further information and results of the Bayer/USET Festival of
Champions Presented by State Line Tack are available at the USET
website at www.uset.org.
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