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United States Equestrian Team Leads After First Round of Show Jumping at 2003 Pan American Games
Individually, U.S. Riders Stand Second, Third, Fifth and Ninth

Santo Domingo, DR—August 13, 2003— The United States Equestrian Team (USET) had an outstanding first day of Show Jumping competition, capturing the lead at the Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, with all four riders placing in the top ten. The US squad finished the Individual Qualifier, whose scores carry into Thursday’s Nations’ Cup, without knocking down a single rail. The U.S. finished with a team score of 1.66 faults based on converted penalties in the speed class format. Mexico is in second with 6.87 faults and Argentina is third with a score of 13.57.

Michelle Navarro of Peru won the Individual Qualifier, negotiating the course without fault in a time of 78.12 seconds on Osho. Second place went to the USET’s Margie Engle of Wellington, FL, who went clear in a slightly slower time of 78.56 with a carryover score of .22 faults, riding Hidden Creek’s Perin, owned by Hidden Creek Farm. Another U.S. rider, Lauren Hough, also from Wellington, finished third on Windy City, owned by Peppercorn Ltd, with a clear round in a time of 78.68 and a score of .28 penalties. The remaining two U.S. competitors were also impressive, with both placing in the top ten. Beezie Madden of Cazenovia, NY, was fifth on Conquest II, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Patton, in a time of 80.44 with 1.16 faults; and Chris Kappler of Pittstown, NJ, ended up ninth on Royal Kaliber, owned by Kappler and Kathy Kamine, with 2.40 penalties in a time of 82.91.

Hough was the first rider to go for the United States and set the tone for the day by going clear. “I like going first,” said Hough. “You just try to do your best and have a good start and hope it carries through. I had one jump, the rollback to fence ten where my horse looked at the cameraman and took an extra stride, but my horse tried extra hard and was able to leave the rails up. He is an amazing animal and really came through for me today.”

Engle was the last to go for the U.S. squad, but credits her second place finish to her teammates. “Going last was great,” said Engle. “I was in the catbird seat because all of my teammates were so great. They really took the pressure off me. My horse was a little fresh at the beginning because I don’t think I warmed him up enough, but he settled down and finished great. It’s hard to know in the heat how fresh to leave him because we have such a long way to go.”

USET Chef d’ Equipe Frank Chapot was not surprised with the first place standing of the U.S team. “There were no surprises today, especially with our team,” said Chapot. “They were all professional and did just what they were supposed to do.”

The results from the Individual Qualifier are carried forward to Thursday’s Nations’ Cup and count in determining the team medals. The U.S., along with the other eight nations competing, are all looking to qualify for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. The gold and silver team medalists will earn a spot in Athens, while the country with the best score counting all four team member performances will also qualify.

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



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Updated: October 2005.