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USET Reining Championship to be Featured at the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions, Presented by State Line Tack

Gladstone, NJ—May 20, 2003—The United States Equestrian Team (USET) will once again feature championship reining at the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions, presented by State Line Tack, June 19 – 22 at the USET Headquarters and Olympic Training Center in Gladstone, NJ.

Competitions include the $75,000 USET Reining Championship, presented by Bayer; the $25,000 Futures Reining Championship, presented by Intervet; the $10,000 USET CRIO Gladstone Reining Nations’ Cup, presented by Cosequin; the $10,000 Invitational Freestyle, presented by Cosequin; and the USET Young Rider Reining Medal Finals.

Only the best will have the chance to compete at the Festival. In 2002, the top four finishers in the USET Reining Championship went on to represent the U.S. in the World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain, and made history by becoming the first reining Gold Medal winners. Additionally, Shawn Flarida of Springfield, OH, won the individual Gold Medal and Tom McCutcheon of Aubrey, TX, captured the individual Silver Medal. This year’s competition will prove to be just as exciting with members of the World Championship team and other notables expected to compete.

The FEI-approved CRIO Gladstone Reining Nations’ Cup will give spectators a chance to meet reiners from other countries, including Great Britain and Canada. Last year, five nations took part with the team from the U.S. narrowly defeating the representatives from Canada. The score now stands at U.S. with two Nations’ Cup wins and Canada with one in the first three Nations’ Cup competitions held in the U.S.

The goal of the two reining developing rider programs – the Futures and Young Riders Reining Medals – is to develop riders into international competitors. Throughout the 2002/2003 season, the USET has hosted a series of five Futures qualifiers throughout the country, in which the top four finishers from each will be invited to compete in the $25,000 added Final. The first round of the USET Futures Reining Championship will be held at the Festival on Friday, June 20 at 1:00 pm. The final competition will be held on Sunday, June 22 at 10:30 am.

The Young Rider Program has held classes since last May, with the top four riders in each class receiving points towards qualifying for the Finals. The top 20 point-earners will be invited to compete in the Young Rider Reining Medal Final at the Festival. The first round of the Young Rider Reining Medal competition at the Festival will be held on Friday, June 20 at 10:00 am. The final round will take place on Saturday, June 21 at 9:00 am.

The Invitational Freestyle is sure to provide spectators with plenty of style and fun as some of the top horses and riders are expected in this crowd-pleasing event. In Freestyle competition, participants dressed in costumes incorporate both optional and mandatory reining maneuvers choreographed to music of their choice. The Invitational Freestyle at the Festival will be held on Saturday, June 21 at noon.

Each year the sport of reining grows bigger and better as the USET continues to realize the goal of featuring the very best reining equestrians in the nation. The 2003 Bayer/USET Festival of Champions is the one event that will highlight these champions.

Along with exciting reining competition, the Festival will feature show jumping, dressage, and endurance riding.

The Show Jumping Division will be highlighted by the $50,000 Rolex/USET Show Jumping Championship, a member event of the American Grandprix Association (AGA), and the USET Junior and Amateur-Owner Talent Derbies, both presented by BET on Jazz and both part of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series.

The Dressage Division at the Festival will include the USET Intermediaire Championship which will serve as the selection trials to choose the horses and riders who will represent the United States in dressage at the 2003 Pan American Games in the Dominican Republic in August. Also featured are the USET Grand Prix Championship, qualifiers for the North American Young Riders’ Championships, and the National Disability Sports Alliance (NDSA) Championship for Riders with Disabilities, which will serve as the final selection trial for the team that will represent the U.S. at the World Championships for Riders with Disabilities to be held in Belgium in September.

Additionally, the Festival will again host the USET Endurance 75-Mile Championship, a Fédération Equestre Internationale (International Equestrian Federation – FEI)-sanctioned CEI** ride. The ride will take place in and around the USET grounds.

Besides top-level equestrian competition, spectators at the 2003 Festival will be able to enjoy a day of family fun and entertainment. A wide range of gourmet dining options as well as a country fair will complement the equestrian activities taking place in three rings. The fair will feature equine demonstrations, falconry and blacksmith demonstrations, the Jersey Fresh Horse Expo, as well as vendors offering top-quality jewelry, souvenirs, and products for the home as well as the stable.

General admission will be $10 for adults and $5 for children under the age of twelve. Children under the age of six will again be admitted free of charge. There will be free admission for all spectators on Thursday, June 19.


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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