David OConnor Wins USET Eventing Championship
at Fair Hill International
Merriam Wins USA National Single Horse Driving Championship
Lisa Singer Emerges as Triple Crown of Driving Champion
HILL, MDOctober 27, 2002 Sydney Olympic Gold Medalist
David OConnor of The Plains, VA rode Custom Made to a fairytale
finish to the horses illustrious career as he won the U.S.
Equestrian Team (USET) Fall Eventing Championship at the Fair Hill
International in Custom Mades final competition.
Fred Merriam of Newfane, VT, individual Bronze Medalist at the 2002
World Singles Driving Championship, won the concluding marathon
phase to clinch the win in the USA National Single Horse Driving
had announced that this years Fair Hill International would
be the final competition for his Olympic Gold Medal mount, a 17-year-old
Thoroughbred owned by Xandarius LLC. After finishing Saturdays
cross country with a two-phase total of 44.61 penalties, OConnor
finished Sundays concluding stadium jumping phase with four
penalties and a three-phase score of 48.61 for an improbable repeat
of the dramatic farewell appearance of one of his earlier successful
mounts, Wilton Fair, whom OConnor rode to the Fair Hill Championship
in the horses final appearance in 1993.
was really an amazing weekend for me, said OConnor who
won the Championship last year on The Native. Its been
a storybook career with Custom Made and all I really wanted was
for him to have a great weekend and go out in good form. The fact
that it happened like this is a dream. For us to win, well, I was
lucky enough to have it happen with Wilton Fair, to have it happen
again is way more than I had any right to hope for.
second for the second straight year was two-time Australian Olympic
team Gold Medalist Phillip Dutton who had only two time penalties
to finish with a score of 51.60 on Dusky Moon, an 8-year-old Thoroughbred.
Third place went to Duttons student, Heidi White of Unionville,
PA, who had four penalties to finish with a score of 52.41 on Northern
Spy, her 9-year-old English Thoroughbred.
was great today, White said. The rail was my fault;
we got a little anxious. I couldnt be happier with how he
Fair Hill Internationals driving competition was run under
an unusual format with the cones phase held before the marathon.
Merriam won the USA National Single Horse Championship when he finished
with a three-phase score of 116.06 driving his Bronze Medal World
Championship horse, Gadwood Lightwing, owned by Nicholas Mercede.
Merriams World Championship teammate, Nancy Johnson of Lincoln,
MA, finished in second place with a three-phase score of 122.38
with her Canequins Look Out.
cant say that I really targeted this or focused on winning
the National Championship, said Merriam. All Ive
wanted to do was bring the horse along and have him do well. Weve
had a very good two years and this is really the icing on the cake.
the Pairs division, Lisa Singer of Chadds Ford, PA, who started
October with a record sixth win in the USET Pairs Championship,
earned the win with a score of 143.94 penalties driving her pair
owned by Mimi Thorington. Singers win also clinched her a
record third title in the Triple Crown of Combined Driving, presented
by Driving Essentials/Glinkowski Carriages. Singer previously won
the Triple Crown title, which includes the competitions at The Laurels
at Landhope, the Gladstone Driving Event and the Fair Hill International,
in 1996 and 1997.
finishing second with a score of 144.84 was five-time USET Pairs
Champion Larry Poulin of Boxford, MA driving a pair owned by Natasha
Fairclough of Newton, NJ, driving a team owned by Jane Clark, won
the Four-In-Hand horse division for the second straight year with
a score of 172.92. Chester Weber of Ocala, FL was second with a
score of 175.08 with his team. Weber and Fairclough were teammates
on the USETs Silver Medal World Championship team at the 2002
World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain in September.
years pony competitions at Fair Hill had added meaning as
drivers eyed a chance to compete in the first-ever Pony Driving
World Championships in 2003. Miranda Cadwell of Southern Pines,
NC claimed the win in Singles with a three-phase score of 142.86
driving Red Robo, owned by Kate Rivers. Nancy Taylor Rojo of Roxboro,
NC won the concluding marathon phase and finished second overall
with a score of 150.91 driving her pony, Sir Lane-A-Lect.
horse is 21 years old but I think hes got what it takes to
do well in a World Championship, Cadwell said. I would
love to have the chance.
the pony Pairs competition, Tracey Morgan of Beallsville, MD completed
a sweep, winning all three phases to finish first overall with a
score of 138.88 driving the pair she co-owns with Susan Deutermann.
She was followed by Muffy Seaton of Bluemont, VA who had a score
of 149.84 with her pair.
the pony Four-In-Hand division, Katie Whaley of Southern Pines,
NC won with a score of 207.85 with her team. Second was Kelly Valdes
of Unionville, PA who had a score of 217.55 with the team she drives
that is owned by Claire Reed.
thanks go to the Fair Hill International sponsors - American Home
& Hardware, Artesian Water Company, Bit of Britain, Cosequin
/ Nutramax Labs, County Banking & Trust Company, Dansko, First
Union National Bank, General Mills, Inc., Glenmede Trust, Intervet,
Nowpac, Inc., Scudder Financial Services, Sentman Distributors,
Southern States / Agway, The National Bank of Rising Sun, Thornhill
Enterprises, Thoroughbred Charities of America, Ltd.
Fair Hill International will host the 2003 Pan American Eventing
Championships as part of its eventing competition, October 23-26,
2003. The best eventing horses and riders from North and South America
will compete for team and individual championships.
more information about Fair Hill International, please call (410)
398-2111 or visit www.fairhillinternational.com.