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USEF Announces Eventing Team for 2004 Olympic Games

US Equestrian Press Release

The United States Equestrian Federation announced today the Eventing team for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. The five horse and rider combinations are as follows, listed by Rider,Residence, Horse Information, Owner:

Darren Chiacchia, Springville, NY, Windfall 2 -Trakehner stallion,Tim Holekamp

Julie Richards, Atlanta, GA ,Jacob Two Two -Canadian Thoroughbred gelding,Jim Richards

Kim Severson, Keene, VA ,Winsome Adante- English Thoroughbred gelding, Linda Wachtmeister

Amy Tryon, Duvall, WA, My Beau -Thoroughbred gelding, Leigh Mesher, Bob & Barbara Mesher

John Williams, Middleburg, VA, Carrick-Canadian Thoroughbred gelding, Anne Williams& Dr. Elise DePapp


Will Faudree, Southern Pines, NC, Antigua – Australian Thoroughbred, Will and Matt Faudree

David O’Connor, The Plains, VA , Outlawed – New Zealand Thoroughbred gelding, Jennifer Taxay

Jan Thompson, Purcellville, VA, Task Force – Thoroughbred gelding, Jo Ellen Byyny and Richard Byyny

Amy Tryon, Duvall, VA, Poggio II – Thoroughbred gelding. Amy Tryon and Mark Hart

Heidi White, Chadds Ford, PA , Northern Spy - English Thoroughbred gelding, Heidi White

“The riders on the short list from which the team was selected are a very talented group,” said US Eventing Team Coach Mark Phillips. “Those selected for the team are the best of the best, however, they will find the competition in Athens very tough and a big challenge.”

The team and the alternates will ship to England on July 19th to train with Phillips. On August 10th the team and one alternate will ship to Athens. The alternate going to Athens will be named on August 9th. The Eventing competition in Athens takes place August 15th through 18th. The dressage takes place on August 15th and 16th; cross country on August 17th; and stadium jumping on August 18th.

For the first time the cross country competition at the Athens Olympic Games will be conducted over the “modified” cross-country course. The traditional 20-mile phase of endurance tests, which includes roads and tracks, and steeplechase, have been eliminated. After warming up their horses, the riders will proceed directly to the cross-country course at their allocated start time. As the horses will tackle the cross-country phase fresher, the riders will have new strategic challenges to consider.

This modified course will be approximately 5700 meters, a shorter distance than the usual international and Olympic level competition of about 7000 meters. However, there will still be approximately 45 obstacles to clear.

“I think we have a great group of experienced horses and riders. I’m now looking forward to getting to England so that we can focus on our final preparations for the challenges ahead in Athens,” said Phillips.

On Tuesday of this week at the Final Mandatory Outing, the final phase of the selection process, Phillips sized up the Olympic competition, “on paper the French and British have the strongest chance, but at the Olympics you have to show up and shape up. If we go and do our business we’ll be competitive.”