September 11, 2002 -- At the conclusion of
the first day of the Grand Prix Dressage Team competition on Wednesday,
the United States Equestrian Team (USET) stands in second place at the
2002 World Equestrian Games in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.
In one of the most exciting days in U.S. dressage history, the U.S.
squad received an extraordinary combined score of 3672, finishing just
slightly behind the heavily-favored German team who currently leads with
a score of 3707. The hometown team of Spain stands third with a
combined score of 3575.
Individually, U.S. rider, Debbie McDonald of Hailey, ID, on Brentina
owned by Perry & Peggy Thomas, stands second with a score of 74.640% to
Nadine Cappelman of Germany and Farbehfroh?s leading score of 77.960%.
Beatriz Ferrer-Salat of Spain and Beauval had the crowd on its feet
scoring 74.560% which leaves them in third.
It was a very emotional day for McDonald on many levels -- last year on
September 11 her mother passed away.
"Today was a very big deal for me," said McDonald, double-Gold Medalist
at the 1999 Pan American Games. "It was an emotional thing because my
mom passed away on this day last year and she very much wanted to be
here. It was a very important day. I wanted to focus on our job and get
a good score for the team and for America."
Teammate Susan Blinks of Wellington, FL, riding Flim Flam owned by Fritz
Kundrun and the Dressage Sponsor Corporation, got things off to a great
start, receiving an impressive score of 72.03% to lead the competition
for most of the day and currently stands in fifth individually.
"I am so pleased to have done this for the team", said Blinks, a team
Bronze Medalist at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. "I feel great, so
relieved. My horse knows his job, he's so amazing. We've got our bases
USET Dressage Chef D?equipe Jessica Ransehousen was thrilled with the
standings at the end of the day and felt the U.S. team was stronger than
"We have been fighting for so long," said Ransehousen. "It's the first
time in my experience that I felt there was a real competition. We have
been waiting for this."
The Grand Prix dressage competition that determines the team medal
concludes on Thursday with U.S. rider Guenter Seidel riding in the early
afternoon on Nikolaus 7, owned by Dick and Jane Brown. Lisa Wilcox on
Relevant, owned by Gundula Vorwerk and Dr. Claus Crone-Munzebrock,
anchors the U.S. team in the evening.
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, vaulters 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 www.uset.org.