Articles: Press Release
Show jumpers Get Set to Continue U.S. Medal Roll at Pan American Games
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - And then there were five.
United States Equestrian Federation, Inc.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 25, 2007
The gold medal eventing and dressage teams shipped out early Monday
morning, leaving the five show jumpers alone in the U.S. wing of the
stables at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. With 17
countries represented, the most of the three disciplines, the show
jumping will be very competitive.
Florida's Lauren Hough and Casadora are riding the crest of a very
successful wave, having just won the valuable CN Reliability Grand Prix
at Spruce Meadows on June 9. Casadora, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood
mare handled the trip across two continents well.
"We showed in Spruce Meadows for five weeks," said Hough. "She won about
$130,000 in three shows. She's in really good form. I'll just try to
stay out of her way and hope for the best. She's very consistent, a real
trier. Maybe what she lacks in talent she makes up for in heart. She's
in super form and she hasn't jumped since she left Calgary, I figured
after that she didn't need to do any jumping in quarantine. And if the
weather stays cool, that will help."
Hough, who was a member of the 2003 Gold Medal winning team in the
Dominican Republic was impressed with the facility in Deodoro on arrival
and the mare has settled in well.
"I love the facility. It's really nice for the horses, the footing is
fantastic," said Hough. "Less is better with her. She feels really fresh
right now, she traveled well and she is super fit."
Cara Raether is only 28, but earned a spot on the Pan Am squad through a
string of consistent performances with the 10-year-old Belgian warmblood
"It's great," said Raether said of being in Brazil. "It's really
exciting. My horse is really well. He traveled really well he feels
great and he acclimated really well."
Raether, a product of the Young Riders' program and has her coach, John
Madden, in Brazil to help guide her through her first senior team
experience. She said finding a balance with Ublesco is the key to a
really good performance.
"Making sure he's not too fresh is key," she said of the big jumping
horse. "He can be really excited and aggressive so we want to make sure
he's not too fresh for the first day, but not too tired either."
Todd Minikus will ride his opinion-filled 10-year-old chestnut gelding,
Pavarotti on his first Pan American Team. Owned by Todd Minikus, Ltd.,
Pavarotti is the least experience horse on the squad.
"Pavarotti is one of the greener horses at the event," said Minikus.
"He's been in the sport really for less than a year. Although we've had
some pretty good success he's a little on the green side since we've
been here he's been showing up for work everyday so let's hope that
Only 15.3, Pavarotti appears to defy gravity in the ring and looked full
of jump in the practice round.
Laura Chapot and another diminutive horse, Little Big Man, are looking
to continue the success set forth by the smaller horses on the squad in
the other two disciplines. Chapot's parents have both accompanied her to
the Games. Her father, Frank, who has ridden at six Olympics and her
mother, Mary, who was the first woman to win an Individual Gold medal in
show jumping at the Pan Ams serve as both coaches and inspiration to
The 13-year-old KWPN Dutch Warmblood gelding made the trip from New
Jersey and bounded around the ring in the practice round. A slightly
awkward trip through the double was immediately rectified with a second
try which worked out perfectly.
If any of these four horses or riders were unable to compete, alternate
rider Jill Humphrey would step in to fill the slot with Kaskaya. Only
25, Humphrey rode at the World Cup Finals this March in Las Vegas. From
Sacramento, California, she will compete at the CSIO Athina Onassis
International Horse Show in Sao Paulo, Brazil next week with the rest of
the U.S. horses even if she doesn't get the opportunity to do so here.
"It's a new experience," she said of her first team trip. "It's a lot
of fun though. We are getting to know each other, get a little closer to
the other riders."
At the HITS Thermal Horse Show this winter, she was presented the
Thermal Desert Circuit Jimmy Kohn Style of Riding Award and with
Kaskaya, she won the $50,000 EMO Grand Prix.
"I've ridden her for a little over a year, I love her to death," said
Humphrey. "Her biggest accomplishment was jumping clear all six Sundays
at Thermal this winter and going to the World Cup Final last year in Las
Humphrey says the 12-year-old Holsteiner mare is just as nice on the
ground as she is under saddle.
"She's an absolute pet, she lives on one of the closest stalls to our
back door at home," said Humphrey. "She felt like she had a little bit
of jet lag when she first got here, she kind of felt the same way that
we felt when we got here."
All the American horses looked great at Tuesday's horse inspection and
in the warm-up class Wednesday morning, All the riders raved about the
footing in the arena which seemed to benefit from a significant amount
of rain on Tuesday night.
The team competition gets underway on Thursday, 46 horses will jump in
the first class. The U.S. drew the last team slot (of 10) and the U.S.
riders will compete in the following order: Lauren Hough (Casadora),
Cara Raether (Ublesco), Laura Chapot (Little Big Man) and Todd Minikus
For more information please contact Joanie Morris, Communications
Manager, High Performance at email@example.com.
As the National Governing Body (NGB) of Equestrian Sport, the United
States Equestrian Federation(r), Inc. (USEF) is the regulatory body for
28 breeds and disciplines, including our country's international teams
competing in the disciplines of dressage, driving, endurance, eventing,
para-equestrian, reining, show jumping and vaulting. With over 87,000
members, it is the country's largest multi-breed organization and
annually license more than 2,800 competitions nationwide. The USEF
governs all aspects of competition, including education and licensing of
all judges, stewards, and technical delegates who officiate shows.
Vision Statement: The vision of United States Equestrian Federation(r)
is to provide leadership for equestrian sport in the United States of
America, promoting the pursuit of excellence from the grassroots to the
Olympic Games, based on a foundation of fair, safe competition and the
welfare of its horses, and embracing this vision, to be the best
national equestrian federation in the world.