Articles: Press Release
USET Foundation Awards Gladstone and Markham Trophies to Gina Miles and
Emilee Libby at USEF CCI*** Championship
Photo Credit: Top- USEF representatives Terri Nahorniak and Sally Ike
with Gladstone Trophy winners Gina Miles and McKinlaigh, photo (c) 2006
Amber Heintzberger. Bottom- Ike and Markham Trophy Winner Emilee Libby,
photo (c) 2006 Shannon Brinkman.
Jennifer Wood and Jenny Ross of Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
at (561) 753-3389 or at email@example.com
On October 19-22, 2006, the prestigious Fair Hill Festival in Elkton,
MD, hosted the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) CCI***
championship, which is one of two three-star competitions in the
country. The highest placed American rider at Fair Hill was awarded the
Gladstone Trophy by the USET Foundation. The top young rider at the USEF
CCI*** Championship is awarded the Markham Trophy, which went to Emilee
Libby on Bahir, who finished 12th in the CCI*** event.
The winner of the USEF CCI*** Championship was Gina Miles of Creston,
California. She rode McKinlaigh, a 12-year-old, 17.2 hand, Irish Sport
Horse gelding co-owned with Thomas Schulz and Laura Coats.
"I was extremely thrilled to win the USEF Fall Championships at Fair
Hill," Miles said. "It was especially meaningful as Fair Hill was where
I competed in my first three star five years ago. I started riding
McKinlaigh when he was five years old. He had just been imported from
Ireland. I had done my first two Advanced horse trials in 2001, first
for both myself and McKinlaigh, and then we went to Fair Hill where we
jumped clean cross-country."
At only seven years old, McKinlaigh competed at the Rolex Kentucky
Three-Day Event CCI**** and the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in 2002,
but it was not smooth sailing from there. "After showing such promise as
a young horse, he then had a couple of physical setbacks, requiring a
tie-back surgery in 2004 and experiencing a pulmonary bleed at Rolex in
2006, which kept him from going to both the Athens Olympics and the
Aachen WEG this summer," Miles explained. "After these setbacks, I made
it my goal to get him healthy again and then win the USEA Gold Cup
series, which I did, and be successful at Fair Hill, which we were!"
Like all of the USET Foundation trophy winners, Miles noted that it was
more than just her and McKinlaigh that produced success. "I am very
pleased that we were able to take in all the great help we have gotten
from Mark and Sandy Phillips, Robert Dover and many others and put it
all together for a winning weekend," she commented. "I look forward to
continuing on next year with the goal of representing the U.S. again at
the Pan Am Games in 2007 and the Olympics in 2008."
This year the Markham Trophy was awarded to 19 year old Emilee Libby of
Branchville, NJ. Libby rode Bahir, a ten year old Irish Sport Horse that
she has owned for five years. The pair finished twelfth at Fair Hill in
their second time at the competition. It is their top finish at Fair
Hill and is only their fourth three-star competition together. Their
best finish came earlier this spring, when they finished eighth at the
Jersey Fresh CCI***.
The trophy is named for Markham, a 16.2 hand black Thoroughbred gelding
donated to the USET by Mr. and Mrs. Charles D. Plumb. Their son Mike
qualified for the 1964 Olympic Games on Markham and was scheduled to
ride him in Japan. When Markham had to be put down because of the long
trip, the Olympic team alternate rider William Haggard offered to loan
his horse, Bold Minstrel. The horse was then flown to Japan and Plumb
rode him as a member silver medal winning three-day eventing team and
placed 15th individually.
Libby and Bahir have grown up together and have been "preparing for
awhile." Libby pointed out, "He didn't know anything when I got him.
He's jumping great now and knows how to keep the rails up [in stadium
jumping]." Winning the Markham Trophy became a goal this year for Libby,
who wanted to win the award before she aged out of the young rider
competition. "I don't think it's hit me yet," she acknowledged. "I knew
it was an important trophy because of all the big names on it. I work
with Buck Davidson, who won it three times. I wish I could win it three
Libby feels that winning the Markham Trophy will give her confidence to
achieve one of her "top goals," which is representing the United States.
The United States Equestrian Team Foundation supports the competition,
training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America's elite and
developing international high performance horses and athletes in
partnership with the U.S. Equestrian Federation.
For more information on the USET Foundation, please visit www.uset.org