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Derek Braun Wins 2001 BET/USET Talent Search Finals-EAST

Gladstone, NJ-October 10, 2001 – Derek Braun of Ocala, FL riding Le Grand, owned by Barbara Braun, won the 2001 BET/USET Show Jumping Talent Search Final-East held at the USET Headquarters and Olympic Training Center in Gladstone, New Jersey, on October 6-7.

United States Equestrian Team (USET) veteran rider and 1992 Olympic Individual Bronze Medalist Norman Dello Joio, and highly respected equitation judge, Cynthia Hankins, judged the Finals, in which 58 young riders competed.

The following riders placed in the top ten;


1st Derek Braun of Ocala, FL
2nd Brian Walker of Wellington, FL
3rd Krista Freundlich of Locust, NJ
4th Whitney May of Des Moines, IA
5th Gabby Slome of Riverdale, NY
6th Emily Wood of Bronxville, NY
7th Kasey Ament of Reche Canyon, CA
8th Mary Alexis Healey of Mt. Holly, NJ
9th Caitlyn Shiels of Sheffield, MA
10th Susan Fried of Macon, GA

Braun, who is trained by Bob Braswell, commented, “I very much enjoyed the format of the Final with the two days of competition, although it was mentally difficult with both days having different courses.”

“This is the first year Braun competed in the Final. Last year he came to watch the competition. He’s learned a lot in a very short time, as of two years ago he was showing in children’s hunter division. This has been a very steep learning curve for Derek to get to this point,” said Braswell.

Last month, Jamie Taylor of Tarzana, CA riding Miss Molly, owned by Cindy Margolis, won the 2001 BET/United States Equestrian Team (USET) Show Jumping Talent Search Final-West held at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank, CA, September 20-22.

The BET/USET Show Jumping Talent Search Finals consist of four competition phases designed to provide competitors with a challenging and rigorous final and help the USET identify future international competitors. In the Flat Phase, riders perform specific tests of their riding skills without jumps; in the Gymnastic Phase, riders jump combinations of obstacles. During the Jumping Phase, competitors negotiate a grand prix style jumping course of fences. In Phase Four, only the top four riders return to begin a ride-off phase. During this final phase, riders compete with their own horse over a course of jumps, and then ride each of the other entries’ horses over the same course.

Finals on the East and West coasts are open to riders 21 years old and younger who have qualified through their placement in regional BET/USET Show Jumping Talent Search classes.

Started in 1965 as the USET Medal program, the BET/USET Show Jumping Talent Search encourages young rider development and awards USET Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals to competitors who have won classes held at horse shows throughout the United States. In 1982, the program incorporated year-end Finals as a further goal.

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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