Parker, CO - September 8, 2004 - Texan Drew Callahan drove through adverse weather conditions on his way to winning the 2004 U.S. Equestrian National Combined Driving Singles Championship held at the Colorado Horse Park August 29.
Cold and dreary weather greeted competitors for dressage. Conditions had deteriorated to a downpour for the advanced division drivers. However, Callahan and his 11-year-old Morgan gelding, Export, were not bothered by the rain and put in a steady and accurate test.
The weather cleared for the marathon course where Callahan extended his lead by more than 53 points.
"Export's favorite part of combined driving is the marathon," Callahan said. "This course is perfect. It challenges the horse/driver relationship while remaining fair. The footing could not have been any better. I am thrilled with how Export went."
The cones course proved to be a challenge as drivers had to contend with tight turns, narrow widths and the varied terrain of the Horse Park's Derby field. Callahan and Export successfully negotiated the test to win the Championship with a total score of 140.49.
Reserve champion went to Eileen Davis of Prescott, Ariz. A first-time competitor at the Colorado Horse Park, Davis and Daniel Dawson, her 12 year-old bay Morgan gelding, finished with 208.04 penalties.
Third place was awarded to Diane Kastama and Jasper, a 9-year-old Welsh Cob imported from England in July. They finished with a score of 211.43.
"I was competing in the World Driving Championships for Disabled Drivers in Scotland where I had to borrow a horse. That horse was Jasper," explained Kastama. "I fell in love with him and was lucky enough to be able to buy and import him."
Course designer, James O'Rourke, of Unionville, Penn., was pleased with the event.
"The hazards are challenging, the footing is great, the conditions on the last two days were perfect and most importantly, the competitors are happy. This is a great event and the Horse Park has done everything possible to ensure its success."
For a complete schedule of upcoming events at the Colorado Horse Park visit www.coloradohorsepark.com.