Monday, July 23, 2007

Pony Power!

From the USET:


Pony power wins for the USA!

Theodore "Teddy" O'Connor led the U.S. Eventing team to both team and individual Gold at the Pan American Games in Rio this past weekend. In addition, Miranda Caldwell drove her ponies to individual Gold in the Pairs division at the Combined World Pony Driving Championships in Dorthealyst, Denmark. It was quite a showing all around.

At the Pan American Games the Eventing team seized the lead from the very beginning and never let go. The team earned the Gold medal with a combined score of 162.80, far outstripping the Silver medal Canadian team at 211.10 and the host Brazilian team at 235.60. Teddy, the 14.1 hand Thoroughbred/Arabian/Shetland cross, ridden by owner Karen O'Connor, placed third in dressage, led through the difficult cross country phase, and finished with a clear round in stadium jumping. Phillip Dutton, riding Truluck (owned by Ann Jones and Shannon Stimson), was extremely close to O'Connor's score, finishing only 1.1 point behind. Completing the victorious team were Gina Miles on McKinlaigh (owned by Thomas Schultz and Laura Coats) and Stephen Bradley on Charlotte Harris' From.

The U.S. team also swept the first four places in the individual standings with Karen O'Connor (Teddy), Gold; Phillip Dutton (Truluck), Silver; Gina Miles (McKinlaigh), Bronze; and Darren Chiacchia on Better I Do It (owned by Adrienne Iorio), fourth. Stephen Bradley finished 13th overall and Mara Dean retired her mount, Nicki Henley, during the cross country phase.

Meanwhile, in Denmark, the USA's Miranda Caldwell and her ponies took the individual Gold medal in the Pairs division by a slim 0.73 points over Germany's Steffen Abicht. In the team competition, the U.S. finished with a Bronze medal behind Germany and the Netherlands. The team consisted of Rochelle Temple and Suzy Stafford (Singles), Miranda Caldwell and Tracey Morgan (Pairs) and Allison Stroud and Laurie Astegiano (Four-In-Hand).

A marvelous weekend all around for U.S. teams!

Up next is Show Jumping at the Pan American Games, with team and individual competition starting on Thursday.

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