Articles: Press Release
Second Round of Show Jumpers Complete Successful European Tour;
U.S. Team Standing at Second in Samsung Super League
United States Equestrian Federation, Inc.
4047 Iron Works Parkway
Lexington, KY 40511-8483
Tel: (859) 258-2472
Fax (859) 231-6662
Web site: www.usef.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 2005
Contact: Sarah Lane (859) 225-6974
Lexington, KY - From a newlywed success story and a first-time
international competitor to four individual victories, 13 top-five
finishes and 25 top-ten finishes in between, it's fair to say our U.S.
show jumpers made a splash on their European tour, representing the
United States Equestrian Federation as part of its High Performance
program. The group of five-past Olympian Nona Garson, veteran
competitors Todd Minikus and Aaron Vale, and relative newcomers
Christine Tribble and Callan Solem -shared a number of individual
triumphs along the way, under the leadership of U.S. Chef d'Equipe
"I was very pleased," said Morris from Europe. "We had very good
individual results. We won four classes as well as seconds and thirds.
These three horse shows were all five star shows-they are the biggest
horse shows in each country."
The series of three competitions started with CSIO 5* Rotterdam, the
Netherlands (June 16-19), part of the Samsung Super League circuit.
While the U.S. Team was unable to secure a win at the Nations Cup, their
participation ensured enough points to keep the United States in second
place overall, a mere half point behind Switzerland.
Morris said while this team had less experience in Nations Cups,
"They're all good riders, and with a little bit more international
experience, they could go farther up."
The group completed their tour with trips to CSIO 5* Lummen, Belgium
(June 30-July 3) and CSIO 5* Falsterbo, Sweden (July 7-10).
Nona Garson, part of the U.S. Show Jumping Team at the 2000 Olympic
Games in Sydney, competed in the tour riding Languster (1996 Danish
Warmblood stallion, owned by Ryan Automotive). The pair picked up two
top-ten Grand Prix finishes-one at Rotterdam and another at Falsterbo.
She also served as a mentor to two of the newer competitors. "Both
Callan and I relied a lot on Nona," recalled Christine Tribble. "She was
wonderful to us. She gave us a lot of tips and on decision making-she
was a big help."
Todd Minikus, an alternate for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, made
yet another visit to the international scene, this time claiming a
victory in the 6-bar at Lummen, riding Gardenio (1993 Hanoverian
gelding, owned by YZ Partners, LLC) and an eighth place finish in the
Grand Prix at Falsterbo, riding Flier (1992 Warmblood gelding, owned by
Harry R. Gill).
A newcomer to Europe, Callan Solem claimed her first international
victory at the Derby Qualifier in Falsterbo, riding Mianta (1994 Dutch
Warmblood mare, owned by Quiet Winter Farm). "To have the flag flown and
our national anthem played-that was so special to me," said Solem.
Solem also rode in her first international Grand Prix at Rotterdam,
where she was only one rail shy of jumping a clear round. Her trainer
(also Mianta's owner), Carol Thompson, who won the Grand Prix at
Rotterdam in 1968, felt it fitting that she could be there to support
Solem in her first experience in the same city.
"I matured a lot as a rider and I feel so much more confident in the
horses and in coming back here," Solem shared. "George was a great
leader. He really made me feel confident and capable. I jumped a clear
round in two of the Nations Cups and I was really proud of that too. I'm
excited to come back here and practice what I learned."
Newlywed Christine Tribble joined her teammates in Europe a mere two
days after getting married to fellow show jumper Jon McCrea. "It was
complete drama," Tribble said, laughing. "It was such a whirlwind of an
experience. It was just so strange-you get married one day and get on a
plane to go to a horse show the next. I hadn't ridden in ten days
because I was getting ready for the wedding."
New husband Jon came along for the ride to ensure Tribble wouldn't miss
a beat. She didn't. Wearing marriage rather well, she claimed a win at
the Prijs Nicky's in Lummen on Promised Land (1994 Holsteiner gelding,
owned by Candy Tribble) and a another first place finish in the Jeep
Ride and Drive on Rioletto (1994 KWPN Dutch Warmblood mare, owned by
Candy Tribble). In the latter, Tribble was able to prove victorious on
and off her horse, in a combo class where riders jump off their horses
after jumping the course, and drive another course in a Jeep.
"It was a fantastic experience for me," Tribble said. "I had a great
time. George Morris helped me so much and as he said, it was a 'reality
check,' and a good one for me. It opened my eyes to what's out there and
what I should be trying to achieve." Tribble's future plans will not
only include the show ring, but also a "real honeymoon."
Rounding out the five athletes was Aaron Vale, who rode Ratina 79 (1995
Hessen mare, owned by Hollow Creek Investments). Together the pair
earned a tenth place finish in the Derby at Lummen. Vale also rounded up
four top-five finishes over the course of the three competitions.
The third group of U.S. show jumpers will leave for Europe later this
week, and will compete in CSIO 5* Hickstead, Great Britain, CSIO 5*
Dublin, Ireland, and CSIO 5* Aachen, Germany. For more information