Articles: Press Release
USET Honors 2002 Champions
Contact: Marty Bauman, (508) 698-6810
Gladstone, New Jersey-December 4, 2002-The United States Equestrian Team
(USET) named champions in dressage, driving, endurance, eventing,
reining, and show jumping in 2002. The USET commends all equestrian
athletes in America for their outstanding 2002 achievements.
The U.S. Dressage squad captured the team Silver Medal at the 2002 World
Equestrian Games. The finish marked the best finish ever for a United
States dressage team in any World Championship or Olympic Games. The
U.S. also excelled in the individual competition. The U.S. placed two
riders in the top five in a dressage World Championship for the first
time. Debbie McDonald of Hailey, ID, and Brentina, owned by Parry and
Peggy Thomas, finished fourth, just ahead of teammate Lisa Wilcox, who
resides in Cappeln, Germany riding Relevant, owned by Gudula Vorwerk and
Dr. Claus Crone-Munzebrock.
Debbie McDonald of Hailey, ID, and Brentina, owned by Parry and Peggy
Thomas, won the USET Grand Prix Championship in Gladstone, NJ, following
four rounds of competition that served as the Team's World Equestrian
Games selection trials.
Susan Dutta of Thornwood, NY, rode her chestnut mare, West Side Lady to
victory in the USET Intermediaire Championship at the Bayer/USET
Festival of Champions, Presented by State Line Tack at the USET Olympic
Training Center in Gladstone, NJ.
The USET squad of drivers competing at the 2002 World Equestrian Games
made history when they won the team Silver Medal. The team consisting
of Jimmy Fairclough of Newton, NJ, driving a team owned by Fairclough
and Jane Forbes Clark; Chester Weber of Ocala, FL, driving his team; and
Tucker Johnson of Hobe Sound, FL, driving a team he owns with Mr. and
Mrs. James L. Johnson and Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Duke had the best finish
the U.S. has ever had at a Four-In-Hand World Championship. In close
contention for an individual medal, Tucker Johnson finished fourth
individually and Weber was just behind in fifth place.
Johnson earned his record sixth USET Four-In-Hand Championship by way of
his top finish by a U.S. driver at the World Equestrian Games.
Fred Merriam of Newfane, VT, driving Gaitwood Lightwing, an 8-year-old
Morgan owned by Nicholas J. Mercede, won the Bronze Medal at the World
Singles Championship in Conty, France, August 28 - September 1. This
marked the first individual medal ever won by an American in a World
Lisa Singer of Chadds Ford, PA, won the USET Pairs Championship for the
fourth consecutive year and sixth time overall. The Championship was
held during the Gladstone Driving Event. With her victory, Singer,
driving horses owned by Anne Mimi Thorington, surpassed Larry Poulin's
record of five Championship titles. Singer, the only woman driver to
win the Championship, won in 1994, and again in 1997, 1999, 2000 and
Two-time Endurance World Champion Valerie Kanavy of Ft. Valley, VA, won
the USET Endurance 75-Mile Championship at the Bayer/USET Festival of
Champions, on Hott Property, owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al
Maktoum of Dubai, UAE, with a ride time of 9 hours 14 minutes and 31
Kanavy also won the first ever USET Endurance 100-Mile
Championship at the Fair Hill International. Kanavy rode Bells Snitzel,
owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to the victory.
The U.S. eventing team emerged as World Champions at the 2002 World
Equestrian Games. The team members were David O'Connor of The Plains,
VA, riding Giltedge, owned by Jacqueline Mars, Christa Badger and
Jonathon Ireland; Kim Vinoski-Severson of Scottsville, VA, riding
Winsome Adante owned by Linda Wachtmeister and Plain Dealing Farm; Amy
Tryon of Redmond, WA, on her Poggio II; and John Williams of Middleburg,
VA riding his horse Carrick. The riders did well individually as well.
Williams just missed an individual medal with a fourth place finish,
Vinoski-Severson placed sixth and O'Connor placed tenth.
Kimberly Vinoski-Severson claimed her first Rolex/USET Four Star
Eventing Championship at the Rolex/Kentucky Three-Day Event, Presented
by Bayer, in April.
Vinoski-Severson, riding Winsome Adante, in a record setting field of 63
entries was able to squeak by John Williams. Vinoski-Severson finished
the event with a three day total of 56.20 penalty points, just barely
ahead of Williams' 56.61 points.
A jubilant Bonnie Mosser celebrated her first three-star win at the USET
Three Star Spring Championship held during the MBNA Foxhall Cup CCI ***
in Atlanta, GA in April.
Mosser, of Coatesville, PA, was third going into the final stadium
jumping phase of competition, where she was one of the few riders to
jump clean on the complicated course. She and her horse, Jenga, were
able to win although only 2.8 penalty points separated the top five
David O'Connor rode Custom Made to a fairytale finish at the USET Three
Star Fall Championship at the Fair Hill International in Fair Hill, MD.
O'Connor had announced that this year's Fair Hill International would be
the final competition for his Olympic Gold Medal winning mount.
O'Connor, who won the USET Championship for a record sixth time, and
second in a row, finished with a three phase score of 48.61 penalties.
With a combined score of 657.5 points, the U.S. reining team of Shawn
Flarida of Springfield, OH, riding San Jo Freckles, owned by Michael
Harper; brothers Tom McCutcheon of Pilot Point, TX, riding Conquistador
Whiz, owned by George Shifrin, and Scott McCutcheon of Whiteboro, TX,
riding Inwhizable, owned by Inwhizable Partners; and Craig Schmersal of
Menifee, CA, who rode Tidal Wave Jack, owned by B.S. Syndicate, won the
first-ever reining World Championship and became the first reining World
Champions in history.
Individually, Flarida emerged as the first-ever individual World Reining
Champion with a score of 221.5 points. Tom McCutcheon won the Silver
Medal after winning a run-off with Shawna Sapergia of Canada.
In the USET Reining Championship, presented by Bayer, at the Bayer/USET
Festival of Champions, Tom McCutcheon rode Conquistador Whiz to victory.
McCutcheon and Conquistador Whiz earned the win with a picture perfect
pattern that the judges scored 228.
The United States won the CRIO Gladstone Nations Cup competition with a
team score of 1326.5 points. Team Canada rode to a Silver Medal,
followed by Team Brazil in third.
For the first time the USET had responsibility for vaulting
and sent a team to the 2002 World Equestrian Games. Devon Maitozo of
Acton, CA, won the individual Bronze Medal in the men's division with a
score of 8.612. The best U.S. finisher in the women's division was
Pamela Geisler of Diamond Bar, CA, who finished in eighth position with
a score of 8.209. In the team competition, the U.S. vaulting squad,
F.A.C.E. of Moorpark, CA, finished in fifth place.
Peter Wylde won the individual Bronze Medal at the 2002 World Equestrian
Games, the first show jumping individual World Championship Medal since
Conrad Homfeld won the Silver in 1986.
McLain Ward of Brewster, NY, rode his horse Viktor to victory in the
$50,000 Rolex/USET Show Jumping Championship at the Bayer/USET Festival
of Champions. Ward edged Margie Engle of Wellington, FL, by just six
tenths of a second to earn the victory. Candice King finished in third
Evan Coluccio of Middleburg, VA, won the USET Junior/Amateur-Owner
Talent Derby, presented by BET On Jazz, at the Bayer/USET Festival of
Champions. Coluccio was riding White Russian, owned by Alex Carl.