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Blenheim EquiSports
Laura Kraut Wins $10,000 Hermes International Speed Class To Open 2002 Oaks Blenheim International CSI-A

San Juan Capistrano, CA—July 25, 2002—Sydney Olympic veteran Laura Kraut of Oconomowoc, WI rode Liberty to victory in the $10,000 Hermes International Speed Class to open the 2002 Oaks Blenheim International CSI-A.

Kraut topped a field of 47 entries in the first competition at the second annual international show jumping extravaganza which is hosting the final three rounds of United States Equestrian Team (USET) selection trials being used to pick this country’s squad for the 2002 Show Jumping World Championships to be held as part of the World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain in September.

Three-time Olympic medalist Joe Fargis of Southampton, NY was the eighth rider to try the 12-jump, one-round course and he took an early lead in the class when he rode Diams III, owned by Mary B. Schwab and Oeji Farm, to a penalty-free ride in 50.31 seconds. His lead held until the 41st entry of the class, Beezie Madden of Cazenovia, NY, finished fault-free in 48.19 seconds on Authentic, owned by Elizabeth Busch Burke and John Madden Sales.

The fourth-to-last entry was Kraut and her Sydney Olympic mount, Liberty, owned by the Summit Group. Kraut clinched the win with a fault-free ride in 46.81 seconds. “Liberty was just wonderful today,” Kraut said. “She jumped beautifully and now that I’m out of the selection trials, I intend to try to win every class I can.”

Placing second was Madden with Fargis finishing third. Fourth place went to the reigning World Champion, Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil, who finished fault-free in 50.49 seconds on Gandini Bianca D’Amoury, owned by Keri Pessoa. Finishing fifth was three-time U.S. Olympic veteran Anne Kursinski of Frenchtown, NJ who rode Escapade, owned by the Escapade Group, to a clean ride in 52.57 seconds.

This year marks the second annual Oaks Blenheim International CSI-A, which was the country’s first outdoor CSI-A (international individual show jumping competition). It is also the second time Selection Trials to determine a USET squad are being held at the Oaks Blenheim Exhibitions – Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park. Selection Trials for the USET’s Sydney Olympic squad were held at the San Juan Capistrano venue in 2000. Sunday’s $175,000 Cargill Grand Prix of the United States, presented by HBO, will be the final event that determines the show jumping squad that will represent the United States at the World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain in September.

Other exciting classes at the CSI-A are the $10,000 Robert Mondavi Winery International Welcome Class, the $35,000 Budweiser International Speed Derby, the $25,000 St. Regis Resort International class and Round #4 of the Selection Trials on Friday, a $25,000 event also presented by Budweiser.

In addition to thrilling show jumping competition, spectators can enjoy a range of activities and entertainment, including live music and a Kids Day sponsored by Fidelity Investments on Saturday, July 27 with an Extreme Games Promo and a Soccer Shoot Out to be held between classes.

Single day admission for Friday, Saturday and Sunday is $15 per day with three-day passes available for $35. Children under the age of three are admitted free each day. Daily parking is $5 for venue parking and just $.50 per person for general parking which includes a shuttle ride to the show grounds. VIP hospitality tent tables can also be purchased for the duration of the show.

Tickets can be purchased online at or by phone. For VIP Hospitality Tent Reservations, please call: (949) 716-4854. For General Admission Ticket Sales please call: (949) 489-8826.
Blenheim EquiSports, under the direction of Olympic veteran rider Robert Ridland and CEO R.J. Brandes, is one of the country’s largest equestrian management and promotion companies. Events managed by Blenheim EquiSports include the 2000 Budweiser World Cup Finals in Las Vegas, the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team Trials and the inaugural Oaks Blenheim International CSI-A

For general information, please visit or or call (949) 443-1844.


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