Gladstone, NJ – In what will be an historic first, the 12th annual Bayer/United States Equestrian Team (USET) Festival of Champions, presented by State Line Tack, June 20-23 at the USET Olympic Training Center in Gladstone, NJ, will showcase the final selection trial for the horses and riders who will represent the United States in the first-ever Reining World Championship to be held at the World Equestrian Games in September.
The $75,000 USET Reining Championship presented by Bayer joins world-class events in four other disciplines that have long been a tradition at the Festival – dressage, combined driving, show jumping and endurance. That cowboy hats are now spotted among the velvet hunt hats at the Festival is a sign of the growing global popularity of a horse sport long identified with the United States.
“It is gratifying to see how popular reining has become,” said Don Burt, USET Vice President of Reining. “We are pleased to feature the final World Equestrian Games selection trial at the Festival, which is known as the premier showcase of the leading U.S. horses and riders who compete internationally.”
In addition to the final selection trials for reiners who will represent the U.S. at the World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain, the Festival will also serve as the final trial for drivers for the Four-In-Hand World Championship at the World Equestrian Games and for the 2002 Singles Driving World Championship to be held in Conty, France, in August.
Other highlights of the Festival include the following:
• The dressage competition, the ballet of equestrian sports, will offer the USET Intermediaire I Championship.
• The Fleet Show Jumping Division will feature the $75,000 Rolex/USET Show Jumping Championship and the USET Junior and Amateur-Owner Show Jumping Talent Derbies, both presented by BET On Jazz. The USET Show Jumping Talent Derbies are part of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series which determines which junior and amateur-owner riders will qualify to ride at the 2002 National Horse Show.
• The USET Endurance 65-Mile Championship, sanctioned by the American Endurance Ride Conference and the East Coast Trail Riders Association, will take place in and around the USET grounds.
• In addition to the $75,000 USET Reining Championship presented by Bayer, the Reining Division includes the Cosequin Nations’ Cup competition, USET Futures Championship, and Reining Young Rider Medal Final.
The Festival is designed to attract newcomers to the horse world who want to enjoy a day in the country with friends and family as well as those spectators who follow horse sports avidly. Activities include equestrian-related demonstrations and exhibitions, a Children’s Corral, a wide range of gourmet dining options and an outstanding Country Fair with top-quality products for the home and stable from more than 70 vendors.
Daily admission to the Festival is $10.00 for adults, $5.00 for children 6 – 12 years of age with children under 6 attending free of charge. Parking is $5.00.
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.
To learn more about this spectacular event please call the Festival Hotline at (908) 234-0555 or visit the USET on line at www.uset.org.