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Dressage Competition Kicks Off The Laurels At Landhope International Combined Driving Event

West Grove, PA—September 5, 2003— The Laurels at Landhope Combined Driving Event kicked off without a hitch on Friday with the first leg of the event, the Dressage phase, at Landhope Farm in West Grove, PA.

This world-class international equestrian competition features the very best in the discipline including the current leader of the Advanced Multiple Division, Chester Weber of Ocala, FL. Weber, a member of the Silver Medal Winning Team at the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Jerez, Spain in 2002, received a score of 43.20 penalties, which places him slightly ahead of his WEG teammate, Tucker Johnson, of Hobe Sound, FL who received a 50.56. Weber is pleased with his top placing.

“It means a lot, ” said Weber. “I need to be on top in Dressage because I have a history of not winning the Marathon. My goal this year was to win all the international events that I compete in and so far I have won three.”

Other divisions featured in this driving extravaganza include the Advanced Pair Horses, with Larry Poulin of Boxford, MA leading the way scoring 50.72 penalties. Fred Merriam of Newfane, VT leads the Advanced Single Horse division with a score of 40.60. Tracey Morgan of Beallsville, MD is currently first in the Advanced Pair Pony with 59.04 and Jack Wetzel of Aiken, SC is the leader in the Advanced Single Pony with a score of 47.80 penalties.

In the Preliminary Divisions, Scott Adcox of Mendenhall, PA, leads the Preliminary Single Horse “A” Division with a score of 37.33 penalties. Rochelle Temple of Powhatan, VA, is on top of the “B” Division with a score of 52.33. Ellen Epstein of Newtown, PA is first in the Preliminary Pair Horse Division with 47.33. The leader of the Preliminary Single Pony “A” Division is Suzy Stafford of Bear, DE with 35.67 and the “B” Division shows Leslie Grieve of Southern Pines, NC on top, with 48.00 penalties. The Preliminary Pair Pony leader is Dana Bright of Felton, PA, with a score of 47.67 and the Preliminary Multiple Pony shows Claire Reid with 62.00 penalties.

The Laurels continues on Saturday with the most popular leg of the three-day contest, the Marathon or Competition “B”, where the drivers negotiate the carriages through challenging obstacles at top speeds making for a thrilling day of competition.

International competitors from Canada and drivers of the United States will be vying for the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) North American Top Driver Award. Other important national and international competitions to be contested at The Laurels include the 2003 USA Equestrian Pony Championships, the Martin Auctioneer/Kuhnle Carriage North American Single Horse Challenge, and the FEI North American Single Driving Challenge. The Laurels is also a United States Equestrian Team (USET) Selection Trial for World Championship teams.

Horses are not the only stars at the Laurels. Other highlights include the AKC Tail Blazer’s Fall Dog Agility Trials, performances by the Barbone Street Jazz Band and fabulous boutique shopping.

The Laurels at Landhope Autumn Celebration continues through Sunday and benefits the Brandywine Conservancy, the Cheshire Hunt Conservancy, the Large Animal Protection Society and the University of Pennsylvania New Bolton Center. Located on Wood View Road in West Grove only one-mile from Rt. 1 and Rt. 41 this family event has free admission with parking fees of $10 per car per day.

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