Articles: Press Release
Michael Morrissey Wins
The 2003 BET/USET Show Jumping Talent Search Finals-East
Contact: Marty Bauman, (508) 698-6810
Gladstone, NJ - October 6, 2003 - Michael Morrissey, 18, of Bradenton,
FL, captured top honors on Onyx 66 in the 2003 BET/United States
Equestrian Team (USET) Show Jumping Talent Search Finals-East, held at
the USET Headquarters and Olympic Training Center in Gladstone, NJ,
Charlie Jayne, 17, of Elgin, IL, finished as the Reserve
Champion on Tucker edging out Addison Phillips, 14, of New York, NY who
came in third on Ricochet and his sister Maggie Jayne, 19, also of
Elgin, IL, who was fourth on Calumet.
Morrissey, trained by Missy Clark and Gene Mische, his great
uncle, topped a field of 59 riders in his second appearance at the
Talent Search. Morrissey finished just out of the ribbons last time
out in 2001 and was pleased with his performance this year, but found it
a bit scary.
"It was nerve-wracking," said Morrissey, "But I loved it, it
was great." Morrissey hopes this victory is just the beginning of great
things to come.
"Winning this class starts off the future", said Morrissey.
"The USET is one of my biggest goals and this class is the first step
towards making the Olympic Team."
Hap Hansen and Candice King, two top grand-prix riders,
served as the judges for the event.
The BET/USET Talent Search Finals on the East and West
coasts are open to equitation riders under the age of 21, who have
qualified through their placement in regional BET/USET Show Jumping
Talent Search classes held throughout the year.
The BET/USET Show Jumping Talent Search Final, one of the nation's most
prestigious equitation competitions, consists of four competition phases
designed to provide competitors with a challenging and rigorous final
and help the USET identify future international competitors. In the
flat phase, riders perform specific tests of their riding skills without
jumps; in the gymnastic phase, riders jump combinations of obstacles.
During the jumping phase, competitors negotiate a grand prix style
jumping course of fences. Only the top four riders return to begin the
fourth phase, a ride-off.
During this final phase, riders compete with their own horse over a
course of jumps, and then ride each of the other entries' horses over
the same course.
Started in 1965 as the USET Medal program, the BET/USET Show Jumping
Talent Search encourages Young Rider development and awards USET Gold,
Bronze Medals to competitors who have won BET/USET Show Jumping Talent
Search classes held at horse shows throughout the United States. In
1982, the program incorporated year-end Finals as a further goal.
BET initiated its USET sponsorship program in 1997. Black Entertainment
Television and BET On Jazz support the Team's show jumping program as
title sponsor of the BET/USET Show Jumping Talent Search and as
presenting sponsor of the USET
Show Jumping Talent Derby held each year at the Bayer/USET Festival of
Results - 2003 BET/USET Show Jumping Talent Search Final-East
Place/ Rider/ Hometown
1. Michael Morrissey, Bradenton, FL
2. Charlie Jayne, Elgin, IL
3. Addison Phillips, New York, NY
4. Maggie Jayne, Elgin, IL
5. Blythe Marano, Bedminster, NJ
6. Anna Mc Knight, Whithall, MO
7. Natalie Johnson, Greenwich, CT
8. Sophie Coppedge, Boston, MA
9. Amy Lowery, Armonk, NY
10. Michael Del Fiandra, Delray, FL