West Grove, PA—September 12, 2004— The Laurels at Landhope International Combined Driving Event was once again a tremendous success with a record number of World Class drivers and horses competing for championship and divisional titles on Sunday in West Grove, PA.
The competition in the demanding Cones phase was fierce in all divisions, but especially in the prestigious USEF National Pairs Championship and Advanced Pair Horses. Less than five points separated first and second place going into the final day. Local favorite Lisa Singer of Chadds Ford, PA only incurred five penalties to hold on for the win with a combined score of 121.96 points. Larry Poulin came in second after picking up 14 penalties to finish with 134.71. Singer received a screaming ovation as she entered the ring, in part from the four generations of family members who were watching in the stands. Singer was thrilled with the victory especially since the competition was in her own back yard.
“It is so special to have your grandchildren watching you,” said Singer. “I am really happy with the win and proud of my horses. They went very well together in a very competitive event.”
The Cones tested the speed and precision skills of the competitors, which can sometimes be a difficult task. Just ask Sterling Graburn who won the North American Single Horse Challenge and the Advanced Single Horse Division. Graburn held the lead for two days, but incurred thirty penalties in the final phase jeopardizing a clean sweep. He scored 143.19 to hold onto the title.
“My horse gets a little excited sometimes and he goes bowling in the cones,” said Graburn. “First place is nice and I am happy about that, but I was really hoping to go clean.”
In the Advanced Four-In-Hand Horses, Bill Long came in first with a combined score of 179.29 points. The victor in the Advanced Four-In-Hand Ponies was Lisa Stroud who moved up from third to win with 181.24. Tracey Morgan stayed on top all three days in the Advanced Pair Ponies to win with 143.68 points and in the Advanced Single Pony Susie Stafford stayed in first scoring 119.79.
The Laurels was the also the site for the Finals of the Doe Run Carriage Preliminary Driver Championship. The winner of the 2004 series in the Pony Division was Bob Fetters of Kennett Square, PA with a final score of 302.24. In the horse division, Mike Gibbs of Ontario CAN, finished on top with a series score of 344.52.
In the Preliminary divisions, Thomas O’ Carroll was first in the Four-In-Hand Horse with 310.36 points. The winner of the Preliminary Pair Horse was Ellen Epstein scoring 120.58. In the Preliminary Single Horse A division, Anna Koopman maintained her lead for top honors scoring 105.73. Shelly Temple stayed in first to take the Single Horse B division with a final score of 102.33. In the Preliminary Single Pony A division, Sue Dougherty won with a combined score of 120.05. Debbie Schuster moved up from third in the Single Pony B division to win with 115.56. Janelle Marshall of Australia, swept the top spot to for a victory with 107.32 in the Preliminary Pair Ponies and Claire Reid was first in the Four-In-Hand Ponies with a final score of 169.62 points.
The Laurels at Landhope benefited the Large Animal Protection Society, the Brandywine Health and Wellness Foundation, the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center, the Brandywine Conservancy and the Cheshire Hunt Conservancy. For results and information about The Laurels at Landhope, please visit www.laurelscde.org.