Horse and pony - site index.Horse chat message boards.Horse breeds, types and breeding gallery.Search for horse information on Equiworld.Horse information and equestrian news horse and pony magazine.Horse web links.  

United States Eventing Team in First Following Cross Country at the 2002 World Equestrian Games

U.S. Rider John Williams Poised for Individual Gold Medal

Jerez de la Frontera, Spain – September 14, 2002 – The United States Equestrian Team (USET) has overtaken the lead at the conclusion of the Cross Country phase of the Eventing competition on Saturday at the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain with a two phase score of 147.40 penalties.

Led by John Williams of Middleburg, VA, riding his Canadian Sport Horse Carrick, the United States overtook the lead from Great Britain, the overnight leaders following the first phase of Dressage. Australia is currently in second place with a score of 162.40 while France has unexpectedly moved into third place with a score of 175.40. Great Britain has fallen to fourth.

With a clear jumping round and less than three time penalties, Williams currently leads the individual standings with a score of 37.00. Two-time Olympic team Gold Medalist Phillip Dutton of Australia is in second with 40.80 while Jean Teulere of France is in third with 41.80 penalties.

The U.S. Team endured a series of highs and lows throughout the day of cross-country competition. Olympic Gold Medalist David O’Connor of The Plains, VA, rode first for the U.S. and experienced problems with the footing riding Giltedge, owned by Jacqueline Mars, Christa Badger and Jonathan Ireland. Giltedge kept slipping throughout the course and, as a result, the pair incurred 30.40 time penalties despite jumping clean. O’Connor felt his horse just could not grab hold of the turf.

“I didn’t expect it to be this slippery for me,” said O’Connor, the reigning Olympic champion. “It was hard keeping my horse’s feet underneath me. He tried so hard.”

Williams went second in the line-up for the U.S. squad and easily negotiated a challenging course that sent numerous veterans tumbling.

“I am delighted with the way things went,” said Williams. “It was a little sketchy at times, but I am pleased with Carrick. He has always been a wonderful horse and always finds a way to keep going in tight spots.”

Amy Tryon of Redmond, Washington had a fall on her Poggio II at fence 18, ‘The Euro’. However, the pair were able to continue and successfully complete the course, securing a team finish for the U.S.

However, this meant that anchor rider Kim Vinoski Severson of Scottsville, VA riding Winsome Adante owned by Linda Wachmeister and Plain Dealing Farm, would have to go jump penalty-free in order to keep the U.S. in gold medal position. Severson and Winsome Adante came through with an outstanding performance, incurring only 2.4 time penalties. The finish catapulted them to fifth place individually from their dressage placing of twenty fourth.

“This is one of those things that you can’t grasp,” said Severson in disbelief immediately following her round, the last of the day. “I didn’t really feel that much pressure because Mark went over the routes we were to take and made us feel confident.”

One person who was certainly feeling the pressure was U.S. Chef d’equipe Captain Mark Phillips.

“If Kim wasn’t feeling the pressure I certainly was!” said Phillips. “But she did a fantastic job.”

Phillips was glowing at the end of the day and could not say enough about the U.S. squad.

“In my ten years, this is the best team of horses and riders that I have had in the U.S.,” said Phillips. “All the riders pull for each other and our support team is fabulous.”

Eventing concludes on Sunday with the show jumping competition. Also on Sunday, U.S. Dressage riders Debbie McDonald and Lisa Wilcox will battle it out for a medal in the Freestyle competition.

For comprehensive coverage of the 2002 World Equestrian Games, please visit the United States Equestrian Team’s website at

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


Find out more, visit the links page or find answers on the message board.