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USET Honors 2002 Champions

Source :  USET

!Pic1!The United States Equestrian Team (USET) named champions in dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, reining, and show jumping in 2002. The USET commends all equestrian athletes in America for their outstanding 2002 achievements.

The U.S. Dressage squad captured the team Silver Medal at the 2002 World Equestrian Games. The finish marked the best finish ever for a United States dressage team in any World Championship or Olympic Games. The U.S. also excelled in the individual competition. The U.S. placed two riders in the top five in a dressage World Championship for the first time. Debbie McDonald of Hailey, ID, and Brentina, owned by Parry and Peggy Thomas, finished fourth, just ahead of teammate Lisa Wilcox, who resides in Cappeln, Germany riding Relevant, owned by Gudula Vorwerk and Dr. Claus Crone-Munzebrock.

Debbie McDonald of Hailey, ID, and Brentina, owned by Parry and Peggy Thomas, won the USET Grand Prix Championship in Gladstone, NJ, following four rounds of competition that served as the Team's World Equestrian Games selection trials.

Susan Dutta of Thornwood, NY, rode her chestnut mare, West Side Lady to victory in the USET Intermediaire Championship at the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions, Presented by State Line Tack at the USET Olympic Training Center in Gladstone, NJ.

The USET squad of drivers competing at the 2002 World Equestrian Games made history when they won the team Silver Medal. The team consisting of Jimmy Fairclough of Newton, NJ, driving a team owned by Fairclough and Jane Forbes Clark; Chester Weber of Ocala, FL, driving his team; and Tucker Johnson of Hobe Sound, FL, driving a team he owns with Mr. and Mrs. James L. Johnson and Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Duke had the best finish the U.S. has ever had at a Four-In-Hand World Championship. In close contention for an individual medal, Tucker Johnson finished fourth individually and Weber was just behind in fifth place.

Johnson earned his record sixth USET Four-In-Hand Championship by way of his top finish by a U.S. driver at the World Equestrian Games.

Fred Merriam of Newfane, VT, driving Gaitwood Lightwing, an 8-year-old Morgan owned by Nicholas J. Mercede, won the Bronze Medal at the World Singles Championship in Conty, France, August 28 – September 1. This marked the first individual medal ever won by an American in a World Driving Championship.

Lisa Singer of Chadds Ford, PA, won the USET Pairs Championship for the fourth consecutive year and sixth time overall. The Championship was held during the Gladstone Driving Event. With her victory, Singer, driving horses owned by Anne Mimi Thorington, surpassed 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, 2000 and 2001.

Two-time Endurance World Champion Valerie Kanavy of Ft. Valley, VA, won the USET Endurance 75-Mile Championship at the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions, on Hott Property, owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai, UAE, with a ride time of 9 hours 14 minutes and 31 seconds.

Kanavy also won the first ever USET Endurance 100-Mile Championship at the Fair Hill International. Kanavy rode Bells Snitzel, owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to the victory.

The U.S. eventing team emerged as World Champions at the 2002 World Equestrian Games. The team members were David O’Connor of The Plains, VA, riding Giltedge, owned by Jacqueline Mars, Christa Badger and Jonathon Ireland; Kim Vinoski-Severson of Scottsville, VA, riding Winsome Adante owned by Linda Wachtmeister and Plain Dealing Farm; Amy Tryon of Redmond, WA, on her Poggio II; and John Williams of Middleburg, VA riding his horse Carrick. The riders did well individually as well. Williams just missed an individual medal with a fourth place finish, Vinoski-Severson placed sixth and O’Connor placed tenth.

Kimberly Vinoski-Severson claimed her first Rolex/USET Four Star Eventing Championship at the Rolex/Kentucky Three-Day Event, Presented by Bayer, in April.
Vinoski-Severson, riding Winsome Adante, in a record setting field of 63 entries was able to squeak by John Williams. Vinoski-Severson finished the event with a three day total of 56.20 penalty points, just barely ahead of Williams’ 56.61 points.

A jubilant Bonnie Mosser celebrated her first three-star win at the USET Three Star Spring Championship held during the MBNA Foxhall Cup CCI *** in Atlanta, GA in April.

Mosser, of Coatesville, PA, was third going into the final stadium jumping phase of competition, where she was one of the few riders to jump clean on the complicated course. She and her horse, Jenga, were able to win although only 2.8 penalty points separated the top five finishers.

David O’Connor rode Custom Made to a fairytale finish at the USET Three Star Fall Championship at the Fair Hill International in Fair Hill, MD. O’Connor had announced that this year’s Fair Hill International would be the final competition for his Olympic Gold Medal winning mount.

O’Connor, who won the USET Championship for a record sixth time, and second in a row, finished with a three phase score of 48.61 penalties.

With a combined score of 657.5 points, the U.S. reining team of Shawn Flarida of Springfield, OH, riding San Jo Freckles, owned by Michael Harper; brothers Tom McCutcheon of Pilot Point, TX, riding Conquistador Whiz, owned by George Shifrin, and Scott McCutcheon of Whiteboro, TX, riding Inwhizable, owned by Inwhizable Partners; and Craig Schmersal of Menifee, CA, who rode Tidal Wave Jack, owned by B.S. Syndicate, won the first-ever reining World Championship and became the first reining World Champions in history.

Individually, Flarida emerged as the first-ever individual World Reining Champion with a score of 221.5 points. Tom McCutcheon won the Silver Medal after winning a run-off with Shawna Sapergia of Canada.

In the USET Reining Championship, presented by Bayer, at the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions, Tom McCutcheon rode Conquistador Whiz to victory. McCutcheon and Conquistador Whiz earned the win with a picture perfect pattern that the judges scored 228.

The United States won the CRIO Gladstone Nations Cup competition with a team score of 1326.5 points. Team Canada rode to a Silver Medal, followed by Team Brazil in third.


For the first time the USET had responsibility for vaulting and sent a team to the 2002 World Equestrian Games. Devon Maitozo of Acton, CA, won the individual Bronze Medal in the men’s division with a score of 8.612. The best U.S. finisher in the women’s division was Pamela Geisler of Diamond Bar, CA, who finished in eighth position with a score of 8.209. In the team competition, the U.S. vaulting squad, F.A.C.E. of Moorpark, CA, finished in fifth place.


Peter Wylde won the individual Bronze Medal at the 2002 World Equestrian Games, the first show jumping individual World Championship Medal since Conrad Homfeld won the Silver in 1986.

McLain Ward of Brewster, NY, rode his horse Viktor to victory in the $50,000 Rolex/USET Show Jumping Championship at the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions. Ward edged Margie Engle of Wellington, FL, by just six tenths of a second to earn the victory. Candice King finished in third place.

Evan Coluccio of Middleburg, VA, won the USET Junior/Amateur-Owner Talent Derby, presented by BET On Jazz, at the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions. Coluccio was riding White Russian, owned by Alex Carl.

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