NEWS FROM THE 2001 COSEQUIN WINTER EQUESTRIAN
Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club
WORLD CLASS EQUESTRIAN COMPETITION RETURNS TO
TAMPA FOR THE COSEQUIN WINTER EQUESTRIAN FESTIVAL
TAMPA, FL March 8, 2001: Each
year thousandsof the nation's best equestrian competitors, including Olympic
veterans andinternational stars, mark their calendars to be in Tampa in March.
This year isno different, as more than 1,000 competitors will converge upon the
city whenthe Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival comes to town March 21 - April
1, 2001. Not only will there be exciting show jumping action, but spectators
can also enjoy the beautiful and stylish hunter competitions.
Action begins at the BobThomas Equestrian Center on the Florida State
Fairgrounds with the Tampa Bay Classic on March 21-25. The $75,000 Grand Prix
of Tampa presented by Kilkenny Insurance, the final qualifying competition for
the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, will be held on March 25 on the
Grand Prix field.
The Tournament of Champions, March 28-April 1, will be highlighted by the
$30,000 Ariat ChallengeCup Series Final. This final qualifying competition for
the 2001 Show JumpingWorld Cup Final will be held March 29 at the indoor arena
at Bob Thomas Equestrian Center.
The Festival's two-week stay in Tampa will be highlighted by the twenty-ninth
annual $200,000 BudweiserAmerican Invitational presented by Publix and The
Tampa Tribune, held on Saturday evening, March 31 at the Raymond James Stadium.
Thirty competitors areinvited, with each rider competing aboard only one horse.
Invitations will be issued to Florida's Schuyler Riley, the 2000 Budweiser
American Invitationalwinner; the top four riders of the 2000/2001AGA Rider of
the Year Standings;and the 25 top money earners of the Festival's Grand Prix
and CWEF Challenge Cup Series. The event benefits the Tampa Police Mounted
Over the years only three riders have won the Budweiser American Invitational
more than once and only two riders, Rodney Jenkins and Michelle McEvoy-Grubb,
have had back-to-back wins.McEvoy-Grubb, along with Sundancer, was the only
horse and rider combination toever win two consecutive years. The winner's
purse for the Budweiser AmericanInvitational this year is $200,000 and Riley
would love to be the first rider to take the winner's share of this record
Six-time American Grandprix Association (AGA) Rider of the Year and 2000 U.S.
Olympian Margie Engle ofWellington, FL, has been building momentum during the
Festival's stay inWellington. Most recently, she rode Hidden Creek's Laurel, a
13-year-old Dutch-bred bay mare, to defeat a field of 68 competitors and win
the $75,000 Tommy Bahama Florida Open Grand Prix.That marked Engle's 95th
career grandprix victory.
However, after Engle's 2000 Sydney Olympic teammate Laura Kraut won the final
Wellington series event, the $100,000 Cosequin U.S. Open Jumper Championship,
Kraut, riding Liberty, moved into first place. Kraut now leads Engle by one
point in the race for AGA Rider of the Year intensifying the competition as
they ride into Tampa.
Other top U.S. grand prix winners in the first half of the Cosequin Winter
Equestrian Festival inWellington have included three-time AGA Rider of the Year
Katie Prudent, ofMiddleburg, VA, and 1998 AGA Rider of the Year McLain Ward of
Brewster,NY. Jeffrey Welles, of Pound Ridge, NY,will come to Tampa with the
$75,000 Kilkenny International Cup win under his belt, while Aaron Vale, of
Rembert, SC, has claimed victory in the $50,000 Bayer/USET Wellington Cup Grand
The Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival will culminate with the $300,000
American GrandprixAssociation National Championship, presented by Budweiser,
April 4-8 at thePalm Beach Polo Equestrian Club in Wellington. For further
information please call (800) 237-8924 or visit