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United States Equestrian Team Eventing Riders Win US-UK Challenge Match

Gladstone, NJ—September 9, 2003—United States Equestrian Team (USET) eventing riders defeated British eventing riders in the first-ever US-UK Challenge Match, Sponsored by Mountain Horse, at the Burghley Masterfoods Horse Trials CCI**** in England.

Modeled after golf’s Ryder Cup, the Challenge Match pitted seven individuals from each country head-to-head against each other. The U.S. won four of the matches to the UK’s three.

Leading the U.S. to victory was John Williams who finished fourth overall in the CCI**** with a score of 53.0 penalties on Carrick. Williams defeated Mary King on King Solomon III who withdrew prior to show jumping.

Also winning for the U.S. was Bruce Davidson, who placed sixth overall with a score of 54.4 on Little Tricky. He defeated Polly Jackson who had a score of 96.2 on Limestone Rise. David O’Connor, who finished 15th with a score of 66.2 on Tigger Too, defeated Jeanette Brakewell who retired on Phase D with Plantangnet of Rushall, and William Coleman, who finished 26th with a score of 75.6 on Fox In Flight, defeated William Fox-Pitt, who finished 28th with a score of 77.0 on Bollincoola.

Winning for the UK was Pippa Funnel, whose overall win in the CCI made her the first-ever winner of the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing. Funnnel, who completed the Rolex Grand Slam with consecutive wins in the Rolex Kentucky, Badminton and Burghley four-star events, finished with 41.8 penalties on Primmore’s Pride to defeat Amy Tryon who withdrew before Phase D with Woodstock. Also winning for the UK was Zara Phillips, daughter of USET chef d’equipe Captain Mark Phillips, who was second overall with a score of 45.8 on Toytown. She defeated Heidi White who finished with a score of 107.8 on Northern Spy. The other UK win was by Leslie Law who scored 61.2 on Shear H2O to defeat Karen O’Connor who had a score of 76.6 on Upstage.

In addition to winning the inaugural Challenge Match, the USET squad at Burghley was greatly successful in progressing toward next year’s Olympic Games. Thirteen U.S. horse-and-rider combinations earned certificates of capability for the 2004 Athens Olympics, satisfying all requirements for eligibility.

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


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