September 13, 2002 -- The United States
Equestrian Team (USET) Eventing squad is in first place with a score of
68.40 penalties at the conclusion of the first day of the Dressage phase
held on Thursday at the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Jerez de la
Sydney Olympic Gold Medalist David O'Connor of The Plains, VA, riding
Giltedge, owned by Jacqueline Mars, Christa Badger and Jonathan Ireland,
and John Williams of Middleburg, VA, riding his Carrick, received the
same score of 34.20 to place them in a second place tie individually.
Australia is in second place in the team standings with a score of 84.80
and the favored team of Great Britain is third with a score of 87.60.
Phillip Dutton of Australia, who is riding as an individual and not as a
member of the Australian team, is in the lead individually with a
dressage score of 33.60 on House Doctor.
O'Connor rode first for the US in the late morning and set a high
standard, receiving a perfect ten for one movement. He was extremely
happy with the test on his two-time Olympic mount.
"I feel great," said O'Connor. This is the best test Giltedge and I
have ever had. He tries his heart out, he's such a competitor."
Not to be outdone by the 2000 Olympic Champion, John Williams rode his
test to the identical impressive score.
"This was my best test ever," said Williams who rode Carrick to the
Reserve Championship in this year's Rolex/USET Four-Star Championship at
the Rolex/Kentucky Three-Day Event in April. "He felt great. He was a
little spooky, but that's great for him to wake him up a bit."
Both riders feel the cross country will be the true test. "The cross
country course is very tough," said O' Connor. "It's unpredictable.
The instinct of the riders will play an important role."
"The course is a little tough," said Williams. "It is big enough and
The Eventing dressage phase concludes on Friday and the cross country
will take place on Saturday. The final phase of eventing, show jumping
will be on Sunday.
Comprehensive coverage of all World Equestrian Games competition is
available on the USET 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
For more information on the USET, please call (908)
234-1251, or visit USET ONLINE at www.uset.org.