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Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club


Wellington, FL - February 18, 2001 - Mark Leone celebrated his 39th
birthday a week early.
Leone, aboard Pinkata De Longpre, a 9-year-old chestnut Belgian-bred, cruised into the winner's circle in the $75,000 Ford Idle Dice Classic Grand Prix at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club. It was Pinkata's first major victory and the first World Cup qualifier of the Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival.

Leone, who turns 39 on Feb. 25, was one of seven qualifiers to advance to the tiebreaker round where he cleared the jump-off track in 50.35 seconds. Leone was the final rider in the jump-off round. Leone defeated Chris Kappler of Pittstown, New Jersey by 95/100th of a second. The victory moved Leone into second place in the World Cup standings with 71 points, just four points behind Lauren Hough. Gabriella Salick is third with 58 points while Leslie Howard and Candice King are tied for fourth with 54 points. The World Cup is scheduled for April 12-16 in Gottenberg, Sweden. "This was a big day for me," said Leone. "I'm so excited. This is his (Pinkata's) first big win. He's a huge powerhouse yet allergic to wood. His instincts are not to hit the fences."

It was the second consecutive week that Kappler and Royal Kaliber, a 9-year-old Dutch stallion, finished second. Kappler earned $16,500 for his efforts. Megan Johnstone of Orinda, California, who turns 24 today (Monday) was the only other rider to finish with a double-clear round. She earned $9,750.
The competition will be aired on March 1 on FoxSportsNet at 11 a.m.

$75,000 Ford Idle Dice Classic - Wellington, FL
February 18, 2001
Course Designer: Jose Gamara, Bolivia
Place / Horse / Rider / Hometown / Faults-Time / Purse
1. Pinkata De Longpre / Mark Leone / Franklin Lakes, NJ / 0-0-50.35 / $22,500
2. Royal Kaliber / Chris Kappler / Pittstown, NJ / 0-0-51.30 / $16,500
3. Marco / Megan Johnstone / Orinda, CA / 0-0-53.60/ $9,750
4. Liberty / Laura Kraut / Oconomowoc, WI / 0-4-49.60 / $6000
5. Capital S / Nona Garson / Lebanon, NJ / 0-4-53.03 / $4,500
6. John E.M. / Candice King / Millbrook, NY / 0-8-52.16 / $3,750
7. Hidden Creek's Perin / Margie Engle / Wellington, FL / 0-12-52.36 / $3,000
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