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USEF Offers Free Admission to the BET/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Final-East

Press Release

The United States Equestrian Federation, Inc. (USEF) will offer free admission to the 2004 BET/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Final-East, October 9-10, at the Olympic Training Center in Gladstone, NJ. The nation’s top equitation riders under the age of 21, who have qualified through their placement in regional BET/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search classes throughout the qualifying year, will gather in Gladstone to compete in one of the nation's most prestigious equitation finals.

The BET/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Final consists of four competition phases designed to provide competitors with a challenging and rigorous final and help the USEF identify future international competitors. In the Flat Phase, riders perform specific tests of their riding skills without jumps; in the Gymnastic Phase, riders jump combinations of obstacles. During the Jumping Phase, competitors negotiate a grand prix style jumping course of fences. In Phase Four, only the top four riders return to begin a ride-off phase. During this final phase, riders compete with their own horse over a course of jumps, and then ride each of the other entries horses over the same course.

Many top international and Olympic riders got their start at the Show Jumping Talent Search Program, including 2004 Olympic Show Jumping alternate Lauren Hough and 2004 Olympic Silver medal-winning team member McLain Ward, the youngest rider to win the Show Jumping Talent Derby at the age of 14. The riders who have qualified and compete in the Talent Search Finals are truly our future Olympians.

Started in 1965 as the USET Medal program, the BET/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search encourages young rider development and awards Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals to competitors who have won classes held at horse shows throughout the United States. In 1982, the program incorporated year-end finals as a further goal.

This year, East Coast riders will vie for top honors in the BET/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Final October 9-10. West Coast riders compete for the Championship in the West Coast Final, September 23-24 in Burbank, CA.