Gladstone, NJ—October 22, 2002—The United States Equestrian Team (USET) has approved selection criteria to choose the U.S. squad for the first-ever Fédération Equestre Internationale (International Equestrian Federation – FEI), World Pony Driving Championship, scheduled for August 14-17, 2003 in Karlstetten, Austria.
Following a series of selection events starting this fall and continuing through next spring, the USET selectors will name the top nine (9) pony/driver combinations (if championship entries permit) for the 2003 FEI World Pony Championships. Two teams, consisting of a single, pair and four-in-hand combination, and the alternate pony/driver combinations, in ranked order, will be named.
"This is exciting news for the sport of combined driving and especially for those of us involved with ponies," said Tracey Morgan. "It was a thrill to win the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions with my pair of ponies for the past two years and I look forward to the challenge of international competition."
This marks the first time the FEI is holding a World Driving Championship for ponies. The FEI has hosted driving World Championships for horses since 1972 when it first held the World Four-In-Hand Championship. It also hosts World Championships for Pairs and Singles. The USET has won medals in all three disciplines since first competing in a World Driving Championship in 1980. The U.S. won the team Gold Medal in Pairs in 1991, the team Silver in Singles in 1998, the individual Bronze in Singles in 2002 and the team Silver in Four-In-Hand at this year’s World Equestrian Games.
Full details on the USET selection criteria for the 2003 FEI World Pony Driving Championship are available by contacting Wendy Wares-Cooke, USET Director of Driving Activities, at (908) 234-1251 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or by visiting the USET’s website at www.uset.org.
Applications must be hand delivered or faxed by November 14, 2002 or received by mail with a postmark dated on or prior to November 14, 2002.
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.