Gladstone, NJ—September 4, 2002—Fred Merriam of Newfane, VT, was named United States Equestrian Team (USET) Athlete of the Month for August after he won the Bronze Medal at the Worlds Singles Driving Championships in Conty, France, August 28-September 1, becoming the first U.S driver ever to win a World Championship Individual Medal.
Merriam, who drove Gaitwood Lightwing, owned by Nicholas J. Mercede, finished the dressage phase in 13th place with a score of 47.00 penalties. After his 17th place finish in the marathon with a score of 78.33 penalties, Merriam stood in 11th place overall. His clear round in the cones phase, the only one of the day, boosted Merriam into third place overall with a total of 125.33 penalties.
Out of a competitive starting field of 54 drivers, Merriam finished behind only the Gold Medal winner, Stéphane Chouzenoux of France who had 123.29 penalties, and Marie Kahrle of Sweden who took the Silver Medal with 125.17 penalties.
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.