USET Announces Show JumpinTeam For 2000 Sydney Olympic Games

The United States Equestrian Team (USET) announced its four-rider show jumping squad for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games following the completion of the second phase of selection trials at Oaks/Blenheim in San Juan Capistrano, CA and The Del Mar Horse Park in Del Mar, CA.

Named to the team are Margie Goldstein-Engle of Wellington, FL with Hidden Creek's Perin owned by Hidden Creek Farm; Nona Garson of Lebanon, NJ with Rhythmical owned by Garson and the Kamine Family; Laura Kraut of Oconomowoc,WI with Liberty owned by the Summit Group and Lauren Hough of Ocala, FL with Clasiko owned by the Classiko Group.

This marks the first time that all four riders on a U.S. Olympic show jumping squad are women. Hough is the youngest on the team and was a bit surprised to make it. Entering the final day of competition, Hough was in sixth place and was not really expecting to go to Sydney. She dropped her reins in excitement when it was announced that she had jumped into fourth place.

"I saw the standings going into the second round, but I really didn't want to think about it," she said. "I knew going into the last line that I had a chance. It hasn't hit me yet. I'm in shock."

"What he lacks in experience he makes up for in heart," Engle, a 1999 Pan American Games team Silver Medalist, said of Hidden Creek's Perin. "I never feel like it's hard for him. Whatever the course, it never takes much out of him."

"I owe everything to Katie (Prudent) and my horse," Kraut said. "Katie was the one who convinced me to go to France; if it had not been for her, I would not be here."

"I couldn't be more pleased with my horse," said Garson who was part of the USET's Bronze Medal team at the 1995 Pan American Games. "He jumped beautifully and I am so happy that he's given me a trip to the Olympic Games."

The 11 finalists qualified for the final selection trials in California after the first five trials held at the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions at the USET Olympic Training Center in Gladstone, NJ in June. Trials six through eight were held August 2nd and 4th at Oaks/Blenheim in San Juan Capistrano with trials nine and ten at the Del Mar Horse Park on Sunday, August 6.

Full scores and selection trial standings are available on the USET web site at www.uset.org

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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