Pan American Games Dressage Selection Trials to Highlight 13th Festival of Champions


The 2003 Bayer/United States Equestrian Team (USET) Festival of Champions, Presented by State Line Tack, will host the Pan American Games dressage selection trials, June 19-22 at the USET Olympic Training Center in Gladstone, NJ.

The USET Intermediaire Championship at the Festival will serve as the selection trials to choose the horses and riders who will represent the United States in dressage at the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, August 7-10.

To qualify for the trials, horses and riders competed in a series of qualifying events throughout the winter and spring.

The Intermediaire competition promises to be intense as the top 12 horse-and-rider combinations vie for the right to be on the four-rider squad that will represent the United States at the 2003 Pan American Games.

In addition to the Intermediaire Championship, the Dressage Division at the Festival will also feature the USET Grand Prix Championship, qualifiers for the North American Young Riders’ Championships to be held in August in Bromont, Quebec, and the National Disability Sports Alliance (NDSA) Championship for Riders with Disabilities. The NDSA Championship will serve as the final selection trial for the team that will represent the U.S. at the World Championships for Riders with Disabilities to be held in Belgium in September.

Along with dressage competition, the ballet of equestrian sports, the Festival will feature the power and speed of show jumping. The Show Jumping Division will be highlighted by the $50,000 Rolex/USET Show Jumping Championship, a member event of the American Grandprix Association (AGA), and the USET Junior and Amateur-Owner Talent Derbies, both presented by BET on Jazz and both part of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series.

The 2003 Festival will again host the USET Endurance 75-Mile Championship, a Fédération Equestre Internationale (International Equestrian Federation – FEI)-sanctioned CEI** ride. The ride will take place in and around the USET grounds.

The Bayer Reining Division returns, the fifth consecutive year the Festival will feature reining. Teams of reiners from several countries will compete in the COSEQUIN® CRIO Nations’ Cup. Riders from all over the nation will vie for the prestigious USET Reining Championship, presented by Bayer. The reining ring will also feature the USET Futures Championship and the Reining Young Rider Medal Final, which holds qualifying classes at reining competitions throughout the country over the course of the year-long qualifying period. These competitions award points to the top placing riders. At the end of the year, the top point-earning Young Riders are invited to compete in Gladstone at the finals.

In addition to top-level equestrian competition, spectators will be able to enjoy a day of family fun and entertainment. A wide range of gourmet dining options as well as a country fair will complement the equestrian activities taking place in three rings. The fair will feature equine demonstrations, falconry and blacksmith demonstrations, the Jersey Fresh Horse Expo, as well as vendors offering top-quality jewelry, souvenirs, and products for the home as well as the stable.

General admission will be ten dollars for adults and five dollars for children under the age of twelve. Children under the age of six will again be admitted free of charge. There will be free admission for all spectators on Thursday, June 19.

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