U.S. Dressage Riders in Top Ten

The U.S. Dressage riders are in the top ten following the Grand Prix Special at the World Equestrian Games.
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The U.S. Dressage riders are in the top ten following the Grand Prix Special at the World Equestrian Games.

September 13, 2002 -- Three U.S. Dressage
riders are in the top ten following the Grand Prix Special at the 2002
World Equestrian Games in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.

Two U.S. riders are in medal contention going into Sunday?s culminating
Freestyle: Debbie McDonald of Hailey, ID on Brentina, owned by Perry &
Peggy Thomas, and Lisa Wilcox of Thousand Oaks, CA, riding Relevant,
owned by Gundula Vorwerk and D. Claus Crone-Munzebrock. A medal by
either rider would be the first World Championship medal ever by a U.S.
Dressage rider!

McDonald nearly won the Special, placing second with a score of
76.120%. She currently sits in third place overall with a combined
score of 150.76. Wilcox is close behind with a Grand Prix Special score
of 75.680 and an overall score of 149.880. Susan Blinks of Wellington,
FL, riding Flim Flam, owned by Fritz Kundrun and Dressage Sponsor
Corporation, remains in seventh with a Special score of 73.240 and an
overall score of 145.480. Guenter Seidel of Del Mar, CA on Nikolaus 7,
owned by Dick and Jane Brown, is in fourteenth place with a Grand Prix
Special score of 69.600 and an overall score of 139.440.

The crowd was on its feet for the hometown girl, however, Beatriz
Ferrer-Salat of Spain and Beauvalais, who won the Grand Prix Special and
now stands second overall after receiving an incredible score of 77.000
for a combined score 151.560. Nadine Capellmann of Germany barely held
on to her overall lead with a combined score of 153.840. Capellmann and
Farbenfroh had a few costly mistakes and finished third in the Grand
Prix Special with a score of 75.880.

McDonald came very close to winning the Special, but had a costly bobble
in the first extended trot. Still, she was happy with her test.

"I think it would be an incredible feeling to win a medal," said
McDonald. "My mom passed away last year and it was her dream to be
here. If that were to happen, it would be as if mom was watching and I
made her proud, but it's anybody's game. It would be great to have two
U.S. riders on the stand!"

McDonald was referring to Lisa Wilcox, who also has a chance to win a
medal. Currently in fourth place, she could possibly move up with an
outstanding freestyle. Wilcox had a problem with a pirouette in the
Special and was still upset after the test.

"I am really disgusted with myself," she said. "Relevant was brilliant
and was everything I expected, if not more. We have a really beautiful
Freestyle though, so we'll see."

The Dressage Freestyle or Kur that determines the individual medals
takes place on Sunday evening.

For comprehensive coverage the 2002 World Equestrian Games, please visit
the United States Equestrian Team?s website at www.uset.org.

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.