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First National Championship West of the Mississippi to be held at the Colorado Horse Park

Parker, CO— The Colorado Horse Park at High Prairie Farms is pleased to welcome the 2003 USA Equestrian National Combined Driving Singles Championship August 22-24. For the first time, this prestigious event is being held west of the Mississippi. Drivers from around the country are expected to compete for the National Championship title as well awards in a selection of other divisions.

“This is a very big deal for the west in order to build the sport out here,” said course designer James O’Rourke, of Unionville, Pennsylvania. “We’ve worked hard to establish a track that is equivalent to any course they have in the east.” For the National Championship four new hazards have been to the cross-country course. “These are similar to what we see in Europe,” O’Rourke said.

Drivers will find officials from the highest echelons of the sport at the Colorado Horse Park. Enno Georg, who previously judged the World Championships, is President of the Jury. Other members of the Ground Jury include, Jack Pemberton, Jack Lyndon, Mickie Bowen and William Long.

Combined driving is a sport that requires bravery, strength, and agility as horses are maneuvered through three phases of competition. The dressage phase requires accuracy and quality of training. On cross-country, drivers face obstacles, including water hazards, which require speed and fearlessness. The final day of competition, the cones, assesses precision. “Combined driving is a fabulously exciting sport to watch, especially the cross country,” said Christine DeHerrera, media coordinator for the Colorado Horse Park at High Prairie Farms. Spectators are welcome for all phases of the three-day event.

The National Championship is held in conjunction with Carriages and Cavalry, A Celebration of the American West. This living history festival for the whole family features a slate of fun and interactive entertainment including, the chance to ride in a real stage coach, ride a bucking bull, play games from the nineteenth century, see Cavalry reenactments, visit a real Indian village and much more. And of course, no festival would be complete without food and shopping.

Tickets are available from the Parker Chamber of Commerce and are just $3 prior to the event or $5 at the gate. Carriages and Cavalry runs from 10:00-5:00 on Saturday August 23 and 11:00-4:00 on Sunday. For more information on Carriages and Cavalry call the Parker Chamber of Commerce at 303-841-4286. For more information on the USA Equestrian National Combined Driving Singles Championship, call 303-841-5550.

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