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USA Equestrian (formerly AHSA) announced today that U.S. riders are well placed after the cross-country phase of the Burghley Three-Day Event, England, August 30- September 2, 2001, with Virginian Beale Morris leading the U.S. challenge after a foot perfect round which promoted them from 14th place overnight to finish the day in 5th place on 47.0 penalties. The pair were 6th at last year's event.

The reigning Burghley champion, Andrew Nicholson and Mr Smiffy, retained their lead on 41.0 penalties ahead of fellow New Zealander, Blyth Tait and Ready Teddy who are just 0.4 penalties adrift. Britain's Mary King is currently in third place on King Solomon III but was taken to hospital for examination following a fall on her second ride, Star Appeal.

John Williams who got off to a flying start with a super dressage on Carrick at his first Burghley and after a super cross-country round retained his 7th place with just 2.4 time penalties to finish on 48.4. Veteran Bruce Davidson went clear inside the time with his first ride, Apparition, to place 15th on 54.2 but had a run-out at fence 12 on his second ride Little Tricky to finish in 42nd place on a score of 78.6. Sydney Olympic veteran, Robert Costello and Chevalier incurred time penalties but jumped clear to add just 12 penalties to his dressage and place 26th on 63.4 penalties. Californian, Natalie Rooney, rode an impressive round on Aladdin to finish with just a few time penalties on 63.8, which puts them in 29th place. Another Sydney Olympian, Nina Fout and her experienced campaigner 3 Magic Beans, was as controlled as ever on this phase due to a new bit and Western bridle which produced a commendable performance and they moved up from 74th after the dressage to 31st on 64.8. Despite going slowly and incurring time penalties on both the steeplechase and cross-country, Lauren O. Brien rode well to climb from 57th place after the dressage on Dunrath Alto to 35th today with a score of 72.8. Mara Depuy had just one refusal on the cross-country with Here to Stay and with the inevitable time penalties collected a score of 103.6 to place them 64th. Darren Chiacchia's luck ran out when he fell on his first ride, R.G. Renegade and decided to withdraw his second horse, Power Ty. Linden Wiesman was also luckless with her Olympic partner, Anderoo, when a refusal at the third fence, the Leaf Pit, and a second stop at the Lion Bridge forced their retirement. Reigning Olympic champion, David O'Connor decided to save Rattle N Hum for Blenheim Three-Day Event next week after the horse developed a temperature caused by stomach flu following his dressage test on Friday.

By general consensus, Mike Tucker's course rode beautifully and benefited from a combination of good footing and perfect weather. 90 horses started on the cross-country phase of which 80 completed with 20 inside the optimum time of 12 minutes 15 seconds.

The U.S. is represented by two teams as well as three individual entries in this year's event, which features a team competition and a test run for the proposed new Olympic format for the show jumping phase. In the team standings, USA Team 2 is currently in 3rd place behind Great Britain's two teams which are holding first and second spots with USA Team 1 in sixth place.

Team 1 comprises Darren Chiacchia (R.G. Renegade - 11 year-old SF/TB by Galoubet A x Toome A Queen - owned by Colleen Hofstetter); Robert Costello (Chevalier - 12 year-old chestnut gelding owned by Deirdre Pirie), Southern Pines, NC; Bruce Davidson (Little Tricky -10 year-old TB by Babamist x Bay Leggs - owned by Debbie Furnas, Joan Heyman Bergmann & rider), Unionville, PA; Mara DePuy (Here To Stay - nine year-old Irish gelding - owned by Willow Bend LLC), Roundville, VA - 57.6 penalties in equal 49th place; Nina Fout (3 Magic Beans - 11-year-old TB gelding by Hidden Capital x Express Card - owned by Virginia Fout & rider), Middleburg, VA.

Team 2 comprises Beale Morris (Pathfinder - 13-year-old TB by Horativs x Jim's Belle), Middleburg, VA; Lauren Hart O'Brien (Dunrath Alto - 10-year-old Irish gelding by No Alto x Ballarin Lady - owned by George & Dianne Lucas & rider), Southern Pines, NC; Natalie Rooney (Aladdin - 9-year-old TRA/TB by Timmler x Allie-oop) - 57.0 penalties in equal 47th place, San Marcos, CA; Linden Weisman (Anderoo - 12-year-old TB by Buckaroo x My Sharp Lady), Bluemont, VA - 72.2 penalties in 100th place; John Williams (Carrick - 9-year-old Canadian bred gelding by Cozy's Commander x War Issue - owned by Elise Depapp, Diane Tichell & rider), Middleburg, VA.

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 77,000 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.

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