Horse and pony - site index.Horse chat message boards.Horse breeds, types and breeding gallery.Search for horse information on Equiworld.Horse information and equestrian news horse and pony magazine.Horse web links.  

Jeff Welles Wins $25,000 USET Festival of Champions Grand Prix at 2003 Bayer/USET Festival of Champions Presented by State Line Tack

Gladstone, New Jersey—June 20, 2003—Jeff Welles of Newtown, CT, rode Penelope to victory in the $25,000 USET Festival of Champions Grand Prix at the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions Presented by State Line Tack.

Welles was one of seven entries of the starting field of 28 to qualify for a tiebreaking jump-off by riding without penalty over the 16-effort, first-round course designed by Richard Jeffery. He clinched the win when he turned in a penalty-free ride over the seven-jump tiebreaker course in a time of 36.590 seconds.

Margie Engle of Wellington, FL had held the lead after finishing the jump-off course fault-free in 36.770 seconds on Hidden Creek’s Perin, her 2000 Sydney Olympic mount. However, Welles made no concessions to the rain-soaked course and sped around the course to edge Engle by less than two-tenths of a second on the 12-year-old, German-bred mare on whom he claimed the Grand Prix win last weekend at Ox Ridge.

“She is jumping really well right now and I had no worries about going too fast because the footing is really good here,” Welles said. “She’s always fast in the jump-off and I couldn’t have asked more of her today.”

In dressage, Keith Newerla won the first round of the National Disability Sports Alliance (NDSA) Championship for Riders with Disabilities. The NDSA Championship is serving as the selection trial to pick the U.S. team for this year’s World Championships for Riders with Disabilities to be held in Belgium in September.

This year’s Bayer/USET Festival of Champions Presented by State Line Tack also features 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 Festival also features the Cosequin USET Pan American Games Dressage Selection Trials to pick the dressage team that will represent the United States at the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The Trials continue on Saturday, June 21 with the USET Intermediaire I class. The final phase of the Selection Trials, the USET Intermediaire Freestyle, will take place on Sunday, June 22, and the team will be named by immediately following the conclusion of this class.

The Festival is also hosting 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 on Saturday.

The Bayer Reining Division features the $50,000 USET Reining Championship, the USET Futures Championship, presented by Intervet, and the Reining Young Rider Medal Final.

Along with top-level equestrian competition, spectators are also able to enjoy a day of family fun and entertainment. A wide range of gourmet dining options as well as a country fair featuring the New Jersey Equine Expo hosted by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture complement the equestrian activities taking place in three rings. The fair features 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 Festival admission will be ten dollars for adults and five dollars for children under the age of twelve. Children under the age of six will again be admitted free of charge.

Full results of the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions Presented by State Line Tack are available on the USET website 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


Find out more, visit the links page or find answers on the message board.