GLADSTONE, NJ - September 27, 2001 - Nancy Johnson, Lisa Singer and James Fairclough won the Advanced Driving Championships at the Gladstone Driving Event, September 21-23, at the U.S. Equestrian Team (USET) Olympic Training Center on Hamilton Farm in Gladstone, NJ.
Lisa Singer of Chadds Ford, PA won the USET Pairs Championship for the third consecutive year and fifth time overall. With her victory, Singer, driving horses owned by Anne (Mimi) Thorington, matched Larry Poulin's record of five Championship titles. Singer, the only woman driver to win the Championship, won in 1994, and again in 1997, 1999 and 2000. This year, she finished with a three phase score of 123.49 penalties. She won the dressage phase with a score of 43.40, was second in the marathon with 76.59, and won the cones with no knockdowns and 3.50 time penalties.
Following Singer in the standings was Elizabeth Chesson of Bedminster, NJ with horses owned by Mr. and Mrs. Peter Chesson. She finished with a three phase score of 128.64 penalties. The horses Chesson drove, Aristocrat and Bossanova were retired immediately after the competition. Third place went to Larry Poulin of Gray, ME with horses owned by Natasha Grigg. His three phase score was 130.13 penalties.
Nancy Johnson of Lincoln, MA drove her own horse to win the Gladstone Singles Championship, which served as a USET selection trial for the 2002 Singles World Championship to be held in Conty, France, August 28 - September 1, 2002. She finished with a three phase score of 120.07 penalties after winning the dressage and cones phases. Finishing second in the Advance Single Horse competition was Canadian Kristen Brunner with 125.02 penalties, followed by American Scott Monroe, who took third place with 126.23 penalties.
Jack Wetzel of Aiken, SC took home top honors in the Advanced Single Pony division with 135.73 penalties, while A.J. Meyer won the Advanced Pair Pony division with a score of 146.29.
With her victory at Gladstone in the Advanced Singles division, Nancy Johnson sprang into the lead of the Jaguar Triple Crown of Driving presented by Driving Essentials/Glinkowski Carriages with 226.48 points. She leads two-time Triple Crown Champion Lisa Singer who has 227.22 points. Canadian Kirsten Brunner stands in third with 228.97 penalty points. The finale of the Jaguar Triple Crown occurs at the Fair Hill International in Fair Hill, MD on October 25-28.
During opening ceremonies the combined mounted color guards from the New Jersey State Police and the Morris County Park Police presented colors and the Star Spangled Banner was sung by Robin Dudek, a resident of the Matheny School and Hospital.
Once again, the Gladstone Driving Event welcomed New Jersey youngsters for a variety of educational youth programs and the Equine Expo, hosted by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture Equine Advisory Board. Youngsters participated in Youth Days on both Saturday and Sunday. Those attending learned general equine knowledge including grooming, use of tack, breeds, horse history, and horse health care. The information was presented by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture Equine Advisory Board and the Gladstone Equestrian Association. Although attendance was open to everyone, the clinics were designed to benefit those enrolled in Girl and Boy Scouts, Pony Clubs, 4-H Clubs and Future Farmers of America (FFA) programs.
Another special feature of the Gladstone Driving Event was an appearance by the historic Heinz Hitch, which was stabled at Pine Meadow throughout the event and performed driving demonstrations on Sunday. Past performances of the Heinz Hitch include the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Fiesta Bowl Parade and the internationally acclaimed Tournament of Roses Parade.
The Gladstone Equestrian Association, which hosts The Gladstone Driving Event, is dedicated to promoting the sport of combined driving and equestrian sports overall. Formed in 1985, the New Jersey non-profit corporation sponsors clinics on driving, course design, equine health, and endurance training to educate the public on the diversity of horse sports. In addition, the GEA provides support to equestrian organizations such as the United States Equestrian Team and USA Equestrian who are committed to making America a leader in the international equestrian arena.
For more information contact the Gladstone Equestrian Association at (908) 234-0151 or visit its website at www.gladstonedriving.com.