Wednesday, September 03, 2003

FEI Press News 28/03

On Behalf Of Lori Stewart




Over 100 endurance riders and their horses from 11 countries are gathering
at the Gifford-Pinchot National Forest at Trout Lake, WA for the 2003 Pan
American Endurance Championship. The USA will field five teams while Canada
is sending two. The countries of Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Japan,
New Zealand, Romania, Spain and Sweden are also sending top ranked riders to
challenge the trails.

Competitors will begin the 100 mile (160 km.) ride over rolling terrain at
5:00 the morning of 13 September. Although they have a full 24 hours to
complete the ride, the winners are expected to cross the finish line in
about half that time. Riders will also be vying for the coveted Best
Condition and High Vet Score awards, which reward the excellent physical
condition of the top endurance horses.

USA Pacific South rider Heather (Bergantz) Reynolds will be looking to earn
her second consecutive individual gold medal, although the horse she is
riding is not the one she rode to success at the 2001 Pan Am Championship.
Reynolds, this year's Tevis Cup winner, said she thinks her chances of doing
well with the 7-year-old Arabian gelding Aleclipse are very good. "I feel
very good about the ride," she said.

The USA East team will be defending the Team Gold it won at the 2001 Pan
American Championship, with three of the winning four riders returning to
the squad. They will be joined by Valerie Kanavy and her Arabian gelding
Emphatic, co-winners at last year's World Masters Championship.

PAC 2003 organizer Stephanie Irving said preparations for the competition
are on schedule. This being one of the driest years in history, they are
working with the Forest Service on a fire prevention plan, and a strict
protocol to reduce the fire risk. The local volunteer fire department will
be keeping the camp and the trail supplied with ample water. "We're
fortunate that forestry officials are working with us to allow us to go
ahead with the PAC and to keep our riders, horses and the environment safe,"
said Irving.

For updated news and information, visit
Jan Mansfield, Janus Communications Inc.
T. 604.657.3828; F. 604.926.4333

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