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USET Well Represented in Endurance Competitions In the United Arab Emirates

Gladstone, New Jersey—April 1, 2002—The United States Equestrian Team (USET) was well-represented in two recent Endurance competitions held in the United Arab Emirates.

In February, H.H. Sheik Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahayn and Al Wathba Stables invited Heather Bergantz riding Skip Lightfoot's Crystals Charm, the winners of the 2001 Pan American Endurance Championship; Hal Hall and his horse Bogus Thunder, winners of the Virginia City 100; and Marcia Smith, DVM and her Saamson, winners of the 2001 Tevis Cup to Abu Dhabi in the UAE to compete in the President's Cup. These three riders finished 11th, 14th and 15th respectively. This represented a 100% completion rate for the horses that shipped overseas, a very impressive feat. Jan Worthington also competed on a UAE owned horse but unfortunately did not complete.

The United States continued its success at the Endurance World Cup, held on March 21 in the desert of Dubai/Abu Dhabi. The UAE Racing and Equestrian Federation invited horses and riders from around the world to compete in this first ever Endurance World Cup. The United States once again completed all of the horses that made the long trip to the Emirates, with Valerie Kanavy riding her Bearcat O'Reilly (winner of the 2000 and 2001 USET Endurance Championships) finishing seventh, Meg Sleeper riding her Shyrocco Troilus finishing 38th and Steve Rojek and his Smoke Rise Finally finishing 39th. Kanavy was the first foreign rider to complete and the only foreign rider to finish in the top ten. Also competing on UAE owned horses were Jennifer Nice and Rita Swift.

Both of these accomplishments are excellent forecasts of how the United States expects to do in Spain at the 2002 World Equestrian Games. With the emphasis being on Team Medals, these types of completion rates bode well for the U.S. prospects.


The United States Equestrian Team is a non-profit organization that selects, trains, equips and finances equestrians of the highest possible standard to represent our country in major international competition, including the Olympic Games and the World Championships. To accomplish this, the USET seeks out and nurtures the development of talented athletes - riders, drivers and horses - and provides the support and guidance they need to help them attain their fullest potential. For more information on the USET, please call (908) 234-1251, or visit USET ONLINE at


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