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Ashe Wins $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational at Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival

TAMPA, FL—April 2, 2002—Molly Ashe of Wellington, FL, and her 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood bay mare, Kroon Gravin, defeated a field of 30 starters to win the 30th annual $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, presented by the Tampa Tribune, at Raymond James Stadium.

For Ashe, it marked her second consecutive win in the Budweiser American Invitational, allowing her to join Michelle McEvoy Grubb as the only riders to win the nation’s most respected Grand Prix two years in a row. McEvoy won the title on Sundancer in 1974 and 1975.

Ashe was one of only 3 horse-and-rider combinations to jump a clean first round and advance to the jump-off. Ashe was then the only one to go clean over the eight-obstacle jump-off course, crossing the timers in 45.376 seconds.

2000 U.S. Olympian, Laura Kraut of Oconomowoc, WI and Anthem, an 11-year-old Dutch-bred gelding, placed second. They finished the jump-off in a faster time than Ashe, 45.185 seconds, but Anthem pulled a rail at the second fence for a 4-fault penalty. Gabriella Salick of Thousand Oaks, CA rode Sandstone Laurin, a 12-year-old Dutch-bred stallion, to a third-place finish despite blazing the trail with the fastest time of 44.915 seconds. However, knockdowns at the last two fences gave them a penalty of 8 faults and a third place finish.
"I felt like I had grown feathers. Kroon Gravin was just flying. This is an amazing feeling to win consecutive Budweiser American Invitationals. Kroonie just loves this arena. She seemed to remember last year and knew exactly what she needed to do. She has been out of competition for about eight months. It is so great to have her back and know that she is feeling well. I have been so worried about her. She was having ovary problems and there were times that we thought we might lose her. Winning tonight is so special," said Ashe of her victory. The pair won $60,000 for their efforts.

Earlier that day Kraut took first in the $10,000 Cosequin 1.50m Classic. Kraut won the blue ribbon aboard May, with the only double clear rounds and a jump-off time of 41.67 seconds. Paige Rassas placed second with her mount, Chica Bay, after the duo rode the only other clear first round and completed the jump-off faster than Kraut, in 40.61 seconds, but pulled a rail for a four-fault finish. Beezie Madden of Cazenovia, NY finished third and fourth. Her third place finish was aboard Conquest II and for fourth place she was up on Cloud Nine.

1997 Budweiser American Invitational winner, Todd Minikus and his mount, Gardenio blazed their way into the winner’s circle in the $7,500 Cosequin 1.45m Class. Gardenio, a nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by YZ Partners of Wellington, FL and Minikus, was one of only two entries to have double fault-free rides. The pair blistered the jump-off track and took the lead with a time of 41.339 seconds for a first place finish. Second place by less than one second went to Laura Chapot of Neshanic Station, NJ. Chapot and Green Card, a ten year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Dellwood and Chado Farms, were the only other pair to jump double-clean rounds, finishing their fault-free ride in just 41.631 seconds in the jump-off round. Chapot also took third place up on her mount Warren II, an 11 year-old gelding owned by Starwyn Farms, LLC of New York City. They crossed the timers in their jump-off round in only 39.653 seconds, but had four faults, putting them in the third slot.

Sheila Burke took top honors in the $30,000 Ariat WEF Challenge Cup - CSI-W. Burke of Elmira, NY, up on Jamison, an 11-year-old Dutch-bred gelding, owned by Athlon Partners, blistered the track with double clear rounds and a finishing jump-off time of 49.18 seconds. Burke and Jamison were one of only 7 clear rounds out of the 51 initial horse-and-rider combinations to advance to the sudden death jump-off round over this Final World Cup qualifier course. Mark Samuel of Canada and Darios V, an 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding owned by Chadburn Holdings of Ontario, Canada, finished less than one second behind Burke after a double clear performance and stopped the timers in 49.46 seconds for second place. Third place went to fellow Canadian Mac Cone and his mount Cocu, the 10-year-old Holsteiner mare. They turned in the only other double clear rounds a time of 50.33 seconds.
Jeffery Welles of Pound Ridge, NY, and Labelle, an 8-year-old mare, jumped into the winner's circle in the $5,000 1.40m AmeriChoice (NAL) Challenge. Welles turned in a clear round over the 12-obstacle (15 efforts) jumping course in 65.94 seconds. Second place went to 1998 AGA Rider of the Year McLain Ward who is currently leading the standings for this year in the AGA and placed first in the 2002 USA East Coast League World Cup standings. Ward and his mount, Aristo 53 rode to a fault-free performance and completed the course in 67.72 seconds. Beezie Madden finished third on Conquest II. They turned in a clear round and time of 70.60 seconds.
The 2002 Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival returns to Wellington for the culminating event—the American Grandprix Association Championship—April 3-7.

Tampa, Florida -March 30, 2002

Course Designer: Steve Stephens (United States)
Placing/Horse Rider Home Score Purse
1. KROON GRAVIN Molly Ashe Wellington, FL 0-0-45.376 $60,000
2. ANTHEM Laura Kraut Oconomowoc, WI 0-4-45.185 44,000
3. SANDSTONE LAURIN Gabriella Salick Thousand Oaks, CA 0-8-44.915 26,000
4. VIKTOR McLain Ward Brewster, NY 4 16,000
5. CARLING KING Kevin Babington IRELAND 4 12,000
6. GLASGOW Norman Dello Joio Wellington, FL 4 10,000

7. LADDIDOR Francie S. Carvin La Canada, CA 4 8,000
8. PINKATA DE LONGPRE Mark Leone Glen Rock, NJ 4 6,000
9. EROS Anne Kursinski Frenchtown, NJ 4 6,000
10. HIDDEN CREEK'S PERIN Margie Engle Wellington, FL 8 4,000
11. JASHAR Jeffery Welles Pound Ridge, NY 8 4,000
12. ROYAL KALIBER Chris Kappler Pittstown, NJ 8 4,000

For more information on the Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival and all the exciting events and activities, please call Stadium Jumping, Inc. at (813) 253-2782 or in Wellington at (561) 793-JUMP or visit


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