Kappler Wins $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational
to Culminate Winter Equestrian Festival
FLApril 2, 2003 The $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational,
March 29, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL, capped off eleven
weeks of intense competition, which comprised the Winter Equestrian
Festival. The event, which crowned Chris Kappler of Pittstown, NJ,
aboard Royal Kaliber champion of the evening, put an exclamation
point on an already incredible circuit.
the final week of competition in Florida, the Tournament of Champions
CSI-W, March 25-29, Chris Kappler and Royal Kaliber, a horse he
co-owns with Kathy Kamine, won the winters most highlighted
event. Kappler topped a star-studded field of riders representing
Argentina, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and the United States
to win one of the largest purses in all of show jumping, the $200,000
Budweiser American Invitational.
rode two clear rounds over a demanding course designed by Steve
Stephens of Wellington, FL, to win over the 30 horse-and-rider combinations
who attempted the first round course. Kappler was the only rider
out of eight who qualified for the jump-off to produce a clear round
in the jump-off. Finishing behind Kappler, with four faults in the
jump-off was Meredith Beerbaum and Shutterfly, owned by Hyperion
Farm. Anne Kursinski and Eros took third place.
final week of competition in Florida also hosted the final $25,000
WEF Challenge Cup, which served as the last East Coast League qualifier
for the Budweiser World Cup. Laura Kraut piloted May, owned by Pasmore
Stables, over a course designed by Mehves Trak of Turkey to win
the class over the 33 horse-and-rider combinations that entered.
Seven horses jumped clear in the first round to qualify to jump
again in the jump-off round, but it was Kraut who finished in the
fastest time with no faults. Lesle Howard and Priobert De Kalvarie
crossed through the timers just slightly slower than Kraut to earn
second place in the class.
previous week, at the Tampa Bay Classic CSI-W***, March 19-23, the
first week of competition at the winter circuits Tampa location,
the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center, it was McLain Ward who took top
honors. There were 35 entries in the weeks highlighted event,
the $60,000 Grand Prix of Tampa, CSI***W presented by Kilkenny Insurance
Agency/ICH, but it was Ward who bested the field aboard Viktor,
a horse he co-owns with Harry Gill. Although Ward had consistently
been earning top ribbons in Sunday classes in Florida, this marked
his first 2003 Florida grand prix win. Finishing in second place
was Candice King aboard Caliskan, owned by Louisburg Farm, LLC.
in January, the Winter Equestrian Festival offered eleven weeks
of high-level competition in the sun. The show grounds of the Palm
Beach Polo Equestrian Club as well as the show grounds in Tampa
will now lie dormant until next year. However, the excitement of
the 31st season of the Winter Equestrian Festival will inspire riders
to come back to Florida in 2004. At the Budweiser American Invitational,
all circuit champions were honored in a parade in a final celebration
of the successes of horses and riders throughout the 2003 circuit.
A list of circuit champions is attached.
more information on the Winter Equestrian Festival and all its exciting
events and activities, please call Stadium Jumping, Inc. in Wellington
at (561) 793-JUMP or visit www.stadiumjumping.com.