Debbie McDonald and Brentina Clinch Second Place After First Half of Grand Prix

September 11 was especially poignant for Debbie McDonald. Last year her mother passed away on the same day America lost so many of its own people. Focused and determined, McDonald entered the stadium to the cheers of the crowd after the first place ride of Germany's Nadine Capellmann and Farbenfroh (77.960)

Brentina and McDonald were riding the wave, buoyed by the momentum of the crowd, and the judges' on a roll from scoring Farbenfroh's elastic test. Accurate, precise, rhythmical and brilliant, the crowd and the judges responded to the USA Dressage Team's "new look". They nailed every movement and transition, with an expressive and thrilling performance, putting her in second place with a 74.640, nipping at the heels of German Gold.

What better way to honor her country and her Mother's memory than to secure the team's second place position just 2 points behind Germany, with Guenter Seidel and Lisa Wilcox to face Ulla Salzgeber and Klaus Husenbetch.

Thank you Debbie and Sue for bringing some joy to the USA today.

View Debbie McDonald's Photo Album of today's ride
HorsesDaily"On the Scene" at the 2002 World Equestrian Games