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Chris Kappler Wins $50,000 Bayer/USET Wellington Cup At Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival

Wellington, Florida—February 5, 2002—Chris Kappler of Pittstown,
NJ won the $50,000 Bayer/USET Wellington Cup, presented by Fleet Financial
during week two of the 2002 Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival. This was
the first major victory for the 34-year-old Kappler aboard Royal Kaliber, a
10-year-old Dutch-bred stallion who finished second overall in last season’s
American Grandprix Association (AGA) Horse of the Year standings. Royal
Kaliber is owned by Kappler and Kathy Kamine.

Chris Kappler and Royal Kaliber
photo courtesy of Ken Kraus

“He’s been an amazing horse for me,” said Kappler. “He’s my kind
of horse. He’s very big, very light and jumps with such ease. I knew when I
sat on him the first time that he was perfectly suited for me.”
Only nine of 63 entries advanced to the jump-off, with 25
eliminated at the final element of the only triple combination on the
13-obstacle, 16-effort course designed by Guilherme Nogueira-Jorge of
Brazil. Kappler raced through the eight-obstacle jump-off course in 47.57
seconds to earn the winner’s share, $15,000. Gabriella Salick of Thousand
Oaks, CA, aboard Sandstone Pelota de Goma, finished second in 50.51 seconds.
Marley Goodman of Palm Beach, FL, who went first in the jump-off on
Appropos, finished third in 54.72 seconds.

The opening day of the Bayer/USET Gold Coast Classic was
highlighted by a win by Alice Debany Clero of Paris, France, who took top
honors in the $7,500 Cosequin 1.45m Time First Jump-Off, ll, 2.2(b). Debany
Clero, on Crackerjack, finished with a clear round and the fastest time of
60.187 seconds, out-jumping the other 77 horse-and-rider combinations.
Second place went to Aaron Vale of Rembert, SC on board Wanderlust, owned by
Lisa Van Camp of Lakeview, NC. The pair stopped the timers just behind
Debany Clero with a clear round and a time of 61.207 seconds. Just behind
Vale was Canadian rider Eric Lamaze on Millcreek Raphael with a clear round
in a time of 61.269 seconds, finishing in third place.

McLain Ward, of Brewster, NY cruised into the winner’s circle in
the $25,000 Bayer/USET Challenge Cup. The 1998 AGA Rider of the Year and
current leader for the 2001/2002 AGA Rider of the Year, bested 68 starters
aboard the AGA Horse of the Year, Viktor, a 10 year-old Dutch Warmblood
gelding. The pair raced around the 13-obstacle course with a clear round and
a finishing time of 70.36 seconds. Nora Garson of Lebanon, NJ on her 2000
Olympic mount Rhythmical, jumped clear and finished just behind Ward and
Viktor in 70.64 seconds to take second place. Kappler, on Profox took third
place in 71.83 seconds. Kappler also took fourth place, this time on his
mount Rafiki, with no faults and a time of 71.94 seconds.

Jose Rega of Uruguay captured the AmeriChoice North American League (NAL)
Open Speed Competition aboard the 9-year-old Selle Francais gelding, Simon,
owned by Martinwoods Farm of Toronto, Canada. Rega bested a starting field
of 109 horse-and-rider combinations by turning a clean ride in 55.991
seconds. Sydney Olympic veteran Laura Kraut of Oconomowoc, WI, winner of
last year’s $100,000 Cosequin US Open Jumper Championship, finished less
than one second behind Rega, finishing in 56.209 seconds. Jeff Cook took
third place with a clear round and time of 57.037 seconds. Fourth place went
to McLain Ward with a clean round and time of 57.358 seconds.
Germany’s Meredith Michaels Beerbaum captured the $10,000 Gold
Coast 1.50m Classic with her Rhinelander mare, Perina. From a field of 49
starters, only 3 horse-and-rider combinations turned in double clear rounds.
Beerbaum, who placed third in last year’s class, sailed into first place
with the fastest time of 38.881 seconds, edging out Sydney Olympian Lauren
Hough of Ocala, FL whose jump-off time was 39.937 seconds. Third place went
to Wellington’s Norman Dello Joio with a time of 41.392 seconds.
The 2002 Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival offers 3 million in
total prizes during an eleven-week series, which runs in Wellington, FL
(January 23-March 10) and Tampa, FL (March 13-March 31). The Festival hosts
the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational at the Raymond James Stadium in
Tampa on Saturday evening, March 30. The series then returns to Wellington
for the culminating event-the American Grandprix Association Championship -
April 3-7.


Presented by Fleet Financial

Wellington, Florida – February 3, 2002
Course Designer: Guilherme Nogeira-Jorge (Brazil)

Placing/Horse __Rider__ Hometown____ Faults-Time__ Purse

1. Royal Kaliber Chris Kappler Pittstown, NJ 0-0-47.57 $15,000
2. Sandstone Pelota de Goma Gabriella Salick Thousand Oaks, CA 0-0-50.51 11,000
3. Appropos Marley Goodman Palm Beach, FL 0-0-54.72 6,500
4. Viktor McLain Ward Brewster, NY 0-4 4,000
5. Hidden Creek’s Jones Margie Engle Wellington, FL 0-4 3,000
6. Rosina Eric Lamaze Ontario, Canada 0-8 2,500
7. Enchante Claire Bronfman Solebury, PA 0-8 2,000
8. Lancelot Z Joe Fargis Southampton, NY 0-12 1,500
9. Lagretto 5 Kate Levy Katonah, NY 0-12 1,500
10. Aguila Jimmy Torano Ft. Lauderdale, FL 4 1,000
11.Laredo Aaron Vale Rembert, SC 4 1,000
12.Another Flood Donald Cheska Waukesha, WI 4 1,000

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