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Blenheim EquiSports

Chris Kappler Wins $175,000 Cargill Grand Prix of the United States, Presented by HBO To Close 2002 Oaks Blenheim International CSI-A

San Juan Capistrano, CA—July 28, 2002—Chris Kappler of Flemington, NJ won the $175,000 Cargill Grand Prix of the United States, Presented by HBO, to close the 2002 Oaks Blenheim International CSI-A.
Kappler won in dramatic fashion, riding Royal Kaliber, owned by Kappler and Kathy Kamine, to the only double-clear score of the day, defeating the reigning World Champion, Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil, by one penalty.

“I knew all afternoon that I’d have to go clean in order to win this thing,” said Kappler who as the last rider saw Pessoa go clean in the afternoon after scoring one time penalty on Gandini Lianos in the morning’s first round. “There was just no doubt that Rodrigo would force the issue with a clean round.”

Pessoa had nothing but praise for his horse and said, “Time faults are always the fault of the rider. My horse was 100% today, I can only blame myself for the time fault.”

The two-round Grand Prix served as the final two United States Equestrian Team (USET) selection trials to pick this country’s squad for the 2002 Show Jumping World Championships to be held as part of the World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain in September. The CSI-A also hosted the fourth of the six trials on Friday.

Topping the standings in the bid to be among four team members plus one alternate for the U.S. team were:

Molly Ashe of Wellington, FL on Kroon Gravin, owned by Sandra O’Donnell; Peter Wylde of Dover Plains, NY on Fein Cera, owned by The Fein Cera Group; Leslie Howard of Westport, CT on Priobert de Kalvarie, owned by Higher Ground Farms, Inc.; Nicole Shahinian-Simpson of Westlake Village, CA on El Campeon’s Cirka Z, owned by El Campeon Farms; and Beezie Madden of Cazenovia, NY on Judgement, owned by Iron Spring Farm.

Veterinary inspections and drug testing are scheduled for the top finishing horses and the USET will formally announce the squad of four plus one alternate no later than Tuesday, July 30.

The trials results are also being used to determine the team for CSIO Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Canada in early September.

Complete results of all trials with final standings are available on the U.S. Equestrian Team website at

This year marked the second annual Oaks Blenheim International CSI-A, which was the country’s first outdoor CSI-A (international individual show jumping competition). It was also the second time Selection Trials to determine a USET squad were held at the Oaks Blenheim Exhibitions – Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park. Selection Trials for the USET’s Sydney Olympic squad were held at the San Juan Capistrano venue in 2000.

In addition to the selection trials, other exciting classes at the CSI-A included the $10,000 Hermes International Speed Class, won Thursday morning by Laura Kraut on Liberty; the $10,000 Robert Mondavi Winery International Welcome Class won Thursday afternoon by Eric Hasbrouck on Sitah; the $25,000 St. Regis Resort International Class won by Mandy Porter on Lavita on Friday afternoon; the $10,000 Budweiser Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic won by Alison Lynch on TJ’s Eagle on Saturday morning; and the $35,000 Budweiser International Speed Derby won by Rodrigo Pessoa on Gandini Bianca D’Amoury on Saturday afternoon.

In addition to thrilling show jumping competition, spectators enjoyed a range of activities and entertainment, including live music and a Kids Day sponsored by Fidelity Investments. Kids Day included a soccer shootout with show jumping stars Rodrigo Pessoa, Beezie Madden, Ray Texel and Marley Goodman who joined local soccer players in trying to score against a goalkeeper from the Los Angeles Galaxy professional soccer team.

Blenheim EquiSports, under the direction of Olympic veteran rider Robert Ridland and CEO R.J. Brandes, is one of the country’s largest equestrian management and promotion companies. Events managed by Blenheim EquiSports include the 2000 Budweiser World Cup Finals in Las Vegas, the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team Trials and the inaugural Oaks Blenheim International CSI-A

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