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USA Equestrian
The United States Wins The Show Jumping Team Medal At 2003 Pan American Games

The United States will be sending a Show Jumping team to the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece as a result of winning the Team Gold Medal at the Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic with a score of 13.66 penalties. The team from Mexico won the Silver Medal and a trip to Athens finishing with a score of 21.87. The Bronze went to Brazil with a final score of 43.39 faults.

The four riders of the Gold Medal Team were: Margie Engle of Wellington, FL, on Hidden Creek’s Perin (Westphalian: Pageno – Garbe, by Gotthard), owned by Hidden Creek Farm; Lauren Hough also of Wellington, aboard Windy City (Holsteiner: Gaspari I – Vorr, by Cor de la Bryere), owned by Peppercorn Ltd; Chris Kappler of Pittstown, NJ, riding Royal Kaliber (Dutch Warmblood: Ramiro – Fiedonja, by Voltaire), owned by Kappler and Kathy Kamine and Beezie Madden of Cazenovia, NY, on Conquest II (Dutch Warmblood: Concorde – Fernod, by Ulft), owned by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Patton.

At first glance, it looked like the gold medal was within easy reach for the United States since they lead right from the start, winning the first Individual qualifier and the first round of the Nation’s Cup with a score of 1.66 penalties. However, Team Mexico was only a couple of rails behind with a score of 15.87 going into the final round of the team competition.

To add further drama to the situation, the skies opened up and forced the organizing committee to stop the event just before Santiago Lambre of Mexico was to enter the arena. Lambre only incurred one time fault and closed the gap on the U.S. Team. Lauren Hough was the next to go and had a bit of bad luck when her horse lost a shoe as well as incurring eight faults. Hough took it in stride.

“After the rain stopped, I was the second to go,” said Hough. “My horse lost a shoe on the third fence and jumped the rest of the round clean, which was amazing.”

The rain stopped in time for Federico Fernandez the second rider for Mexico who received one time fault, but Beezie Madden, the second U.S. rider, had one rail down for four faults.

For the third rotation of riders, the thirty minute scheduled break was shortened to five due to the threat of rain, leaving riders scrambling to get ready. Mexico’s Antonio Chedraui had only one rail down and meant that the U.S. had had only one rail in hand when Engle entered the ring. Unfortunately, she had two rails down and for the first time, the U.S. the gold medal looked like it might turn silver.

The final rider for Mexico, Gerardo Tazzer, came to the aid of the U.S. when he had three rails down and gave the U.S. the gold medal. Chris Kappler, the final rider for the U.S., followed Tazzer with a fault free for the second double clear of the day. Kappler finished second in the individual standings with a score of 2.40 penalties, but credits his teammates for the success of the day.

“It was a super day,” said Kappler. “The goal was to qualify for the Olympics and win the team gold and thanks to everyone on the team we accomplished that goal.”

Show Jumping resumes on Saturday with the Individual medal competition. Leading the standings is Mark Watring of Puerto Rico who scored the only other double clear of the day ending up with a score of .83 penalties. Beezie Madden is third with 5.16.

USA Equestrian Inc., as the National Equestrian Federation of the U.S., is the regulatory body for the Olympic and World Championship sports of dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, reining, show jumping, and vaulting, as well as 19 other breeds and disciplines of equestrian competition. As
the country's largest multi-breed organization, the Federation has over 80,000 members and recognizes more than 2,800 competitions nationwide each year. It governs all aspects of competition, including educating and licensing all judges, stewards, and technical delegates who officiate at these shows.
The vision of USA Equestrian is to provide leadership for equestrian sport in the United States of America, promoting the pursuit of excellence from the grass roots to the Olympic Games, based on a foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare of its horses, and embracing this vision, to be the best national equestrian federation in the world.


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