Articles: Press Release
Bronze Medal for Team USA's Suzy Stafford, Fourth Place for Team USA at the
FEI World Pony Driving Championships
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
August 17, 2009
By Cindy Timmer
Lexington, KY -- Suzy Stafford has won the Individual Bronze medal in the Single
Pony class at the FEI World Combined Pony Driving Championships in
Greven-Bockholt, Germany. Team USA finished fourth in the nations
competition, which was won by host nation Germany.
Stafford was in second position after the dressage and the marathon, but the
very difficult cones course kept her from keeping the Silver medal. Stafford
passed the finish line just a fraction too late to make the time allowed,
but knocked two balls down which dropped her to the fourth place at
first. But Dutch driver Arjo van Kekem who was leading the standings, left
the arena with no more than 12 penalty points, which brought the American
back onto the podium. Dutch individual competitor Melanie Becker won the
Gold at her first World Championship ever; the Silver medal went to Germanys
Franz-Josef Lehmkuhl. Stafford was a little disappointed with her Bronze
I was selected to compete at the 2005 World Championships with Courage to
Lead, but she was injured at the time, and I used a different pony, she
said. I won the Gold medal, which was fantastic, and I had hoped to win the
Gold medal again this year with Courage to Lead. She is very consistent in
all three phases of the combined competition and lovely to drive.
Beverley Lesher, the owner of Courage to Lead, and Suzys groom in dressage
and cones, might start breeding with the 14-year-old Morgan mare, so
Stafford is exploring her possibilities for the future.
I would love to keep competing with Courage to Lead, but if that is no
longer possible, I will consider moving on to driving a pair of small
horses, she said. But nothing is certain yet, I like to keep all my options
After yesterdays elimination in the marathon, team member Sara Schmitt did
not have her best day today and finished 30th in the obstacle driving
competition. Individual driver Sherri Dolan pulled out before the cones
because her pony, Smoke, had a minor injury after the marathon.
Tracey Morgan drove a very good cones course with her Dartmoor mares,
Farnley Coquette and Lizwell Gambling Queen. Morgan was one of the very few
pair drivers that made the time allowed and with only one knock down; she
climbed five positions in the Individual standings in which she came fifth.
Miranda Cadwell and Individual competitor Kathleen Whaley both had
knockdowns and took the 19th and 20th place in the overall individual
The Pairs class resulted in a German podium with Daniel Schneiders winning
the Gold, Stephan Koch on Silver and Steffen Abicht on Bronze.
In the Four-in-Hand class, the time allowed was not as tight as in the other
classes, which resulted in nine double-clear rounds. Laurie Astegiano put
down the Team result by finishing with 7.83 penalty points, just ahead of
Allison Stroud, who was on time but had several knock downs. After two ninth
placings in dressage and marathon, Astegiano ended on the 11th place in the
final standings, Stroud came 16th.
German drivers Tobias Bucker and Steffen Brauchle won the Gold and Silver
medals. Tinne Bax from Belgium took the Bronze medal.
I am very pleased with the results of Suzy Stafford and Tracey Morgan,said
chef dequipe Chester Weber. We will go home and get some work done to be
able to be back in the Top Ten again in two years. Our focus will be mainly
on marathon and cones. We have a few young pony drivers who are coming along
so we will hopefully be able to create new talent and have an even wider
choice for the future.
The vision of the United States Equestrian Federation(r) is to provide
for equestrian sport in the United States of America by promoting the
of excellence from the grassroots to the Olympic Games, based on a
foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare
of its human and equine athletes.