States Eventing Team in First Following Cross Country
at the 2002 World Equestrian Games
Rider John Williams Poised for Individual Gold Medal
de la Frontera, Spain September 14, 2002 The United
States Equestrian Team (USET) has overtaken the lead at the conclusion
of the Cross Country phase of the Eventing competition on Saturday
at the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
with a two phase score of 147.40 penalties.
by John Williams of Middleburg, VA, riding his Canadian Sport
Horse Carrick, the United States overtook the lead from Great
Britain, the overnight leaders following the first phase of Dressage.
Australia is currently in second place with a score of 162.40
while France has unexpectedly moved into third place with a score
of 175.40. Great Britain has fallen to fourth.
a clear jumping round and less than three time penalties, Williams
currently leads the individual standings with a score of 37.00.
Two-time Olympic team Gold Medalist Phillip Dutton of Australia
is in second with 40.80 while Jean Teulere of France is in third
with 41.80 penalties.
U.S. Team endured a series of highs and lows throughout the day
of cross-country competition. Olympic Gold Medalist David OConnor
of The Plains, VA, rode first for the U.S. and experienced problems
with the footing riding Giltedge, owned by Jacqueline Mars, Christa
Badger and Jonathan Ireland. Giltedge kept slipping throughout
the course and, as a result, the pair incurred 30.40 time penalties
despite jumping clean. OConnor felt his horse just could
not grab hold of the turf.
didnt expect it to be this slippery for me, said OConnor,
the reigning Olympic champion. It was hard keeping my horses
feet underneath me. He tried so hard.
went second in the line-up for the U.S. squad and easily negotiated
a challenging course that sent numerous veterans tumbling.
am delighted with the way things went, said Williams. It
was a little sketchy at times, but I am pleased with Carrick.
He has always been a wonderful horse and always finds a way to
keep going in tight spots.
Tryon of Redmond, Washington had a fall on her Poggio II at fence
18, The Euro. However, the pair were able to continue
and successfully complete the course, securing a team finish for
this meant that anchor rider Kim Vinoski Severson of Scottsville,
VA riding Winsome Adante owned by Linda Wachmeister and Plain
Dealing Farm, would have to go jump penalty-free in order to keep
the U.S. in gold medal position. Severson and Winsome Adante came
through with an outstanding performance, incurring only 2.4 time
penalties. The finish catapulted them to fifth place individually
from their dressage placing of twenty fourth.
is one of those things that you cant grasp, said Severson
in disbelief immediately following her round, the last of the
day. I didnt really feel that much pressure because
Mark went over the routes we were to take and made us feel confident.
person who was certainly feeling the pressure was U.S. Chef dequipe
Captain Mark Phillips.
Kim wasnt feeling the pressure I certainly was! said
Phillips. But she did a fantastic job.
Phillips was glowing at the end of the day and could not say enough
about the U.S. squad.
my ten years, this is the best team of horses and riders that
I have had in the U.S., said Phillips. All the riders
pull for each other and our support team is fabulous.
concludes on Sunday with the show jumping competition. Also on
Sunday, U.S. Dressage riders Debbie McDonald and Lisa Wilcox will
battle it out for a medal in the Freestyle competition.
comprehensive coverage of the 2002 World Equestrian Games, please
visit the United States Equestrian Teams 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