Articles: Press Release
Jeff Welles Wins $25,000 USET Festival of Champions Grand Prix
at 2003 Bayer/USET Festival of Champions Presented by State Line Tack
Contact: Marty Bauman, (508) 698-6810
Gladstone, New Jersey—June 20, 2003—Jeff Welles of Newtown, CT, rode
Penelope to victory in the $25,000 USET Festival of Champions Grand Prix at
the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions Presented by State Line Tack.
Welles was one of seven entries of the starting field of 28 to qualify for a
tiebreaking jump-off by riding without penalty over the 16-effort,
first-round course designed by Richard Jeffery. He clinched the win when he
turned in a penalty-free ride over the seven-jump tiebreaker course in a
time of 36.590 seconds.
Margie Engle of Wellington, FL had held the lead after finishing the
jump-off course fault-free in 36.770 seconds on Hidden Creek’s Perin, her
2000 Sydney Olympic mount. However, Welles made no concessions to the
rain-soaked course and sped around the course to edge Engle by less than
two-tenths of a second on the 12-year-old, German-bred mare on whom he
claimed the Grand Prix win last weekend at Ox Ridge.
“She is jumping really well right now and I had no worries about going too
fast because the footing is really good here,” Welles said. “She’s always
fast in the jump-off and I couldn’t have asked more of her today.”
In dressage, Keith Newerla won the first round of the National Disability
Sports Alliance (NDSA) Championship for Riders with Disabilities. The NDSA
Championship is serving as the selection trial to pick the U.S. team for
this year’s World Championships for Riders with Disabilities to be held in
Belgium in September.
This year’s Bayer/USET Festival of Champions Presented by State Line Tack
also features the $50,000 Rolex/USET Show Jumping Championship, a member
event of the American Grandprix Association (AGA), and the USET Junior and
Amateur-Owner Talent Derbies, both presented by BET on Jazz and both part of
the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series.
The Festival also features the Cosequin USET Pan American Games Dressage
Selection Trials to pick the dressage team that will represent the United
States at the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
The Trials continue on Saturday, June 21 with the USET Intermediaire I
class. The final phase of the Selection Trials, the USET Intermediaire
Freestyle, will take place on Sunday, June 22, and the team will be named by
immediately following the conclusion of this class.
The Festival is also hosting the USET Endurance 75-Mile Championship, a
Federation Equestre Internationale (International Equestrian Federation –
FEI) sanctioned CEI** ride. The ride will take place in and around the USET
grounds on Saturday.
The Bayer Reining Division features the $50,000 USET Reining Championship,
the USET Futures Championship, presented by Intervet, and the Reining Young
Rider Medal Final.
Along with top-level equestrian competition, spectators are also
able to enjoy a day of family fun and entertainment. A wide range of
gourmet dining options as well as a country fair featuring the New Jersey
Equine Expo hosted by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture complement
the equestrian activities taking place in three rings. The fair features
equine demonstrations, falconry and blacksmith demonstrations, the Jersey
Fresh Horse Expo, as well as vendors offering top-quality jewelry,
souvenirs, and products for the home as well as the stable.
General Festival admission will be ten dollars for adults and
five dollars for children under the age of twelve. Children under the age
of six will again be admitted free of charge.
Full results of the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions Presented
by State Line Tack are available on the USET website at www.uset.org.
The United States Equestrian Team is a non-profit organization that selects,
trains, equips and finances equestrians of the highest possible standard to
represent our country in major international competition, including the
Olympic Games and the World Championships. To accomplish this the USET seeks
out and nurtures the development of talented athletes - riders, drivers and
horses - and provides the support and guidance they need to help them attain
their fullest potential. For more information on the USET, please call
(908) 234-1251, or visit USET ONLINE at www.uset.org.