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Four USET Championships Awarded at Bayer/USET Festival of Champions Presented by State Line Tack

Gladstone, NJ—June 22, 2003— Kristina Harrison-Naness of Burbank, CA, aboard Kantor topped the Cosequin/USET Pan American Games Selection Trials to secure herself a position on the squad that will represent the United States this August in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic. The Selection Trials took place as part of the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions Presented by State Line Tack at the USET Olympic Training Center in Gladstone, NJ.

Qualifying for the squad along with Harrison-Naness were Carol Lavell of Loxahatchee, FL, and Much Ado; Jan Ebeling of Moorpark, CA, with two horses, Feleciano and Liberte; and Pierre St. Jacques of Boscawen, NH and Lucky Tiger. Susan Dutta of Wellington, FL with West Side Lady DC was named as alternate.

After earning a score of 72.450% in Sunday’s culminating Freestyle, Harrison-Naness jumped to the top of the field of thirteen horse-and-rider combinations to finish the Trials with the highest overall score of 69.843%, giving her the 2003 USET Intermediaire Championship.

After some technical difficulty and a loud crash which spooked her horse just prior to entering the ring, 1992 Olympic Team Bronze Medalist Carol Lavell and Much Ado posted a score of 70.675% in the Freestyle to put them second place in the final standings. The pair finished the Trials with an overall score of 69.729%. Lavell spoke of the early part of her test saying, “In the first part of the test, I just had to hang on to it. It crossed my mind to retire, but then I thought you ‘gotta hang in there kid.’”

Jan Ebeling’s two horses finished the Trials in the third and fourth place positions. Aboard Feleciano, Ebeling earned second place in the Freestyle with a score of 71.9%. The pair’s performance throughout the Trials placed them third with a score of 69.240% in the final standings. With his second ride in the Freestyle, Liberte, Ebeling finished in sixth place with a score of 69.525%, which gave the pair an overall score of 68.716% and fourth place overall in the Trials. While Ebeling has two horses qualified, he will only be able to compete on one horse at the Games. “Both horses are so close, so strong. They’re really so equal,” Ebeling said of the two horses.

The final rider to qualify for the Pan American Games squad, Pierre St. Jacques finished in fifth place in the Freestyle with a score of 69.725% aboard Lucky Tiger. This combination finished the Trials with an overall score of 68.236% to put him in the fifth place position overall as well.

The dressage ring at the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions also hosted the National Disability Sports Alliance (NDSA) Championship for Riders with a Disability, which served as the Selection Trials for the team to represent the United States at the 2003 World Dressage Championships for Riders with a Disability in Belgium in September. In his first trip to the Festival, twenty-year-old, Keith Newerla, swept the Championship by winning three blue ribbons. “It’s my first year here. I’m the rookie,” said Newerla who is by-passing the Championships as he will be in college in September. “Somehow I ended up doing well. I guess beginner’s luck.”

While Newerla will not be traveling to Belgium to compete, the following riders were named to the squad: Lynn Seidemann of Coppell, TX, Barbara Grassmyer of Placerville, NC, Rebecca Hart of Erie, PA, Robin Brueckmann of Summerfield, NC, Cynthia Ruiz of Houston, TX, and Kathryn Groves of Winter Garden, FL.

Also part of the weekend was the 75-Mile USET Endurance Championship Ride, however because of arduous weather conditions, the ride was shortened to a 65-Mile ride. Christina Rieksen of Holland aboard Samblet topped the field of fifteen to cross through the timers in a time of 9:38:13. Rieksen initially came to the United States to visit top endurance rider, Valerie Kanavy, but ended up staying longer than expected and crewed for Kanavy and cared for her horse.

Finishing in second place behind Rieksen and winning the USET Championship as the top U.S. finisher was Pamela Weidel aboard Mount Adams. This pair crossed through the timers in 9:40:31.

Mark Leone of Franklin Lakes, NJ, aboard Pinkata de Longpre won the highlighted event of the weekend in the show jumping ring, the $50,000 Rolex USET Show Jumping Championship. Leone was one of only two riders to complete the first round course fault free. Jimmy Torano of Fort Lauderdale, FL, aboard Aguila was the other rider to jump clear in the first round to qualify for the jump-off. In the end, it was Leone who prevailed as the only rider able to turn in two clear rounds.

Evan Coluccio of Middleburg, VA, aboard Rio won the featured event for junior and amateur-owner riders, the Bayer/USET Talent Derby Presented by BET On Jazz, part of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series. Stella Manship aboard Elan Coriana finished in second place behind Coluccio. Both riders turned in clear rounds in the jump-off, but Coluccio stopped the timers at 42.58 seconds, while Manship toured the course in 45.5 seconds to put her into second place.

By just a fraction of a point, Tom McCutcheon aboard Smartest Chic Olena captured the win in the $75,000 USET Reining Championship. McCutcheon finished the weekend with a combined score of 442.5. Finishing in second place with an overall score of 442.0 to take second place was Dell Hendricks aboard Starlights Wrangler.

Along with top-level equestrian competition, spectators also enjoyed days 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 complemented the equestrian activities taking place in three rings. The fair featured 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.

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


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