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Countdown to the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions, Presented by State Line Tack

Gladstone, NJ—June 13, 2002—The 12th annual Bayer/United States Equestrian Team (USET) Festival of Champions, presented by State Line Tack, returns to the USET Olympic Training Center in Gladstone, NJ, June 20 – 23. It is the only event in the country to showcase five equestrian disciplines at the international level with the nation’s best horses competing for championship titles in show jumping, dressage, combined driving, endurance, and reining.

Also at this year’s Bayer/USET Festival of Champions, the equestrian sport of vaulting will be featured with a world-class demonstration. Fans will have a first-hand look at some of the young vaulters who compete in the newest USET discipline. Vaulting will be one of the seven disciplines to hold World Championships at the World Equestrian Games in Spain this September.

One of the headline competitions at the Festival is the $75,000 USET Reining Championship, presented by Bayer, that will serve this year as the final selection trial to pick the U.S. team for the first-ever Reining World Championship to take place at the World Equestrian Games in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain in September.

Also on this year’s reining schedule is the very popular Invitational Freestyle where reiners perform in costume, doing dynamic routines set to music. Five countries will battle for highest honors in the Cosequin Nations’ Cup, an internationally sanctioned team competition that will feature teams from, Japan, Mexico, Brazil, U.S. and last year’s gold medal winning country, Canada. Two more reining competitions, the USET Futures Championship, which plays host to the finest developing riders in the country, and the Reining Young Rider Medal Final Class round out the division.

The Festival also hosts the final selection trials for the 2002 Singles Driving World Championship to be held in Conty, France, in August. Combined Driving is one of the most beautiful sports at the Festival, featuring the elegance of dressage on Friday, the thrilling marathon phase, which will be taking place on Saturday, and the culminating cones competition on Sunday.

Other divisions in driving include the Advanced Pair of Horses, Advanced Pair of Ponies and Advanced Single Pony. The Bayer/USET Festival of Champions Driving Division is managed by the Gladstone Equestrian Association, producers of the annual Gladstone Driving Event each fall.

Along with important selection trials, the Festival will also host the USET Intermediaire I Dressage Championship. Riders and horses from all over the country are expected to participate in this division. Classes begin on Thursday, June 20 and continue each day throughout the Festival.

Another marquee attraction is the Fleet Show Jumping Division featuring the $50,000 Rolex/USET Show Jumping Championship. A who’s who of the sport is expected to participate, including Olympic veterans and national champions.

The top junior and amateur-owner show jumpers in the country will vie for top honors in the USET Junior and Amateur-Owner Show Jumping Talent Derbies, both presented by BET on Jazz. The USET Show Jumping Talent Derbies are part of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series, that determines which junior and amateur-owner riders will qualify to ride at the 2002 National Horse Show.

The most demanding event of the Festival is the 75-Mile USET Endurance Championship and Ambassadors Series Ride, sanctioned by the American Endurance Ride Conference, which takes place in and around the USET grounds. The finest horses and riders from the U.S. and Canada will be on hand. In addition to competing for the USET Championship, riders will be riding for points in the FEI Ambassadors Endurance Series, which offers a $1,000,000 bonus.

The Festival is also pleased to present the National Disability Sports Alliance (NDSA) Championship for Riders with Disabilities, presented by the National Horse Sports Foundation, for the second year. Competition begins on Thursday, June 20, with the preliminary warm-up, followed by the Individual Championship to take place on Saturday, June 22. The most popular event of the division, the Musical Freestyle, will be performed on Sunday, June 23.
On the weekend, a popular place for the young and the young at heart will be the Pedigree Children’s Corral, presented by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. Along with the fun children can have getting their faces painted, they can enjoy the Petting Farm where they can see a variety of animals up close and personal. They can learn about those animals and others, including horses, through educational activities presented by members of the State 4-H National Team.

In addition to the exciting competition, there will be on-site equestrian-related demonstrations and exhibitions, a wide range of gourmet dining options and an outstanding Country Fair with top-quality products for the home and stable from more than 70 vendors.

Admission is $10.00 for adults, $5.00 for children 6 – 12 years of age, and free for children under 6. Parking is $5.00.

The Bayer/USET Festival of Champions, presented by State Line Tack is the number one choice for a weekend of family fun. It is four days of impressive equestrian competition, exciting activities and entertainment, and a beautiful country atmosphere. To learn more about this spectacular event please call the Festival Hotline at (908) 234-0555 or visit the USET on line at

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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