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Three of the Four Olympic Team Members Will Compete at the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational

Tampa, FL – March 22, 2003 – Three of the Four Olympic Team members representing the United States in 2000 will compete on Saturday evening, March 29, in the Raymond James Stadium in the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational. In 2000, the Olympic Show Jumping Team was an all-female team. The Olympic riders competing include: Margie Goldstein Engle, Lauren Hough and Laura Kraut

In horse jumping competitions, unlike many other sports, men and women compete on an equal playing field and against one another. There is no advantage to either sex. Since the first American Invitational in 1973, 15 men have won a total of 16 Invitationals and 10 women have won a total of 14 Invitationals.

Molly Ashe, the defending Champion, won in 2001 and 2002 and will do her best to make it three in a row. Only two other competitors have won back-to-back victories since the inception of the American Invitational in 1973. Molly Ashe, if she wins, will be the first to win this prestigious event three years consecutively.

Margie Goldstein Engle, a Florida resident, was third in the first Grand Prix of the Winter Equestrian Festival with Hidden Creek’s Jones. She was eighth in the second and third week Grand Prix with Hidden Creek’s Jones. She was second with Hidden Creek’s Jones in the 5th week/the Florida Classic beaten by only ½ second. This pair was 7th in the U.S. Open Championship, the most recent of the Grand Prix in this Winter Equestrian Festival series. And of course, Margie Engle was the anchor rider who saved the day for the U.S. Team in the Nations Cup Competition – all the pressure was on her and she came through for her team.

Lauren Hough, a Wellington, Florida resident, has had a terrific circuit at the Winter Equestrian Festival. Lauren won the first Grand Prix, the Nutrena/Western Hay Classic riding Windy City. She was second placed in the 2nd Grand Prix riding Clasiko. In the fourth week, the Florida Classic/WCHR Spectacular she was third placed with Clasiko. In the fifth week, the Zada Enterprises she was fifth placed with Windy City. The 6th week, in the Tommy Bahama Open, Lauren was 5th placed riding Clasiko.

All three of these women are qualified and have the potential to win the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational and all three are guaranteed to give it their best effort.

The Invitational is coming up on March 29, Saturday evening in the Raymond James Stadium. This is the most prestigious show jumping event in this country with the richest prize money. The riders have to qualify through a series of jumping competitions and only the top 30 horse and rider combinations are invited to compete. The winner takes home $60,000 along with a trophy and bragging rights. There is one final qualifying competition this weekend that will determine who makes the list of eligible riders for the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational.

Tickets for the Budweiser American Invitational, March 29 at Raymond James Stadium are available at Ticket Master (813) 287-8844 or at Stadium Jumping (877) 909-9436.


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