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U.S. Will Not Participate in FEI World Pairs Driving Championship

Gladstone, NJ—June 30, 2003—The United States will not send a team to compete in the 2003 World Pairs Driving Championship, to be held in Jardy, France.

The Executive Committee-Subcommittees and officers of both the United States Equestrian Team (USET) and USA Equestrian (USAE) approved the decision of the Driving Selectors to not field a team for this year’s championship.

The Selectors gave consideration to placings at Selection Trials, reviewing competitive records in head to head competitions among long listed drivers (giving most emphasis to recent performances and scores) and giving consideration to the previous international experience of driver/horse combinations and the prospect that the combinations will contribute to winning a team medal and/or an individual medal.

After discussion and deliberation, the Selectors voted that given the candidates’ scores from competitions starting in September 2002 and extending through June 2003, Section F on page 3 of the Pairs Selection Procedures would be invoked. The Selection Procedures state that:

F) Finally, to be selected, a candidate’s scores and performance in the trials must meet international standards and demonstrate that the combination can be competitive in an international championship. If there are not enough qualified candidates meeting the highest standards for international competition available, the USET and USA Equestrian Executive Committees, acting upon recommendation of the Selectors, will not field participants for the Championship. This decision shall be final even if the number of drivers fielded does not meet the organizer’s quota of entries, and even if the result is that no drivers are sent to the event.

“We have the greatest respect for the abilities of the drivers in contention,” said James Fairclough, USET Vice President for Driving. “The Selectors, in compliance with the selection criteria, made this difficult decision based on their feeling that the horses of this year’s candidates were not currently competing at the international level. We eagerly anticipate seeing these horses develop further,” Fairclough added, “and expect to see many of these horse and driver teams representing our country in future international competitions.”

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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