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Engle, Fellers, and Kessler Share the Lead After Three Rounds in USEF Selection Trials

Friday, 23 March 2012

Margie Engle and Indigo have so far proven themselves worthy a position in the U.S Olympic Team. Photo by Sportfot.Margie Engle and Indigo, Rich Fellers and Flexible, and Reed Kessler and Cylana are all tied at the top of the standings after round #3 of the USEF Selection Trials, which are being held to determine the riders that will represent the United States Show Jumping Team in the 2012 Olympic Games. 

Riders showed in round #1 on Wednesday afternoon and round #2 earlier in the day on Thursday. The scores from all three rounds will carry over to Saturday evening when competitors will compete in a final round.

This event also serves as the USEF National Show Jumping Championships, a return to the event that was last held in 2008.

Thirty horse and rider combinations showed in round #3 tonight over a demanding course set by Alan Wade of Ireland. Wade's course tested the power, scope and stamina of all of the competitors, and none were able to clear the course without fault.

Brianne Goutal and Nice De Prissey and Mario Deslauriers and Urico were the only two to come close, each finishing with one time fault. Rich Fellers and Harry and Mollie Chapman's Flexible and Margie Engle and Garber, Griese, Hidden Creek and Gladewinds' Indigo each completed the course with four faults. Reed Kessler and her own Cylana completed an eight fault round.

The young talent Reed Kessler keeps impressing with great rounds. Photo by Sportfot.

In the overall standings, Engle and Indigo, Fellers and Flexible, and Kessler and Cylana all carry eight faults total after the first three rounds. 
Seventeen-year-old Kessler and Cylana, a ten-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Skippy II x Darco), were leading the standings coming into tonight's class as the only pair to jump clear through both rounds one and two. Their eight fault total over round three's challenging course leaves the pair in the three-way tie at the top.

Kessler also sits near the top of the standings with her second mount, Mika, with a 13 fault total after the first three rounds. After tonight's competition, she stated, "Both of my horses were great. I think I got a little excited. I left Cylana pretty fresh because it was three rounds of really big jumping, but she actually was pretty wild. I wasn't expecting her to pick up so much under the lights."

"She's still a green horse; she's only done one other night class," Kessler added.


Engle and Indigo jumped clear in round one, then incurred four faults in both rounds two and three for their eight fault total. Indigo is a twelve-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Indoctro. The gelding is coming back from having some time off due to an abscess in his hoof, but jumped well tonight.

Rich Fellers and Flexible also carry eight faults after tonight's class. The pair had four faults in round #1, jumped clear in round #2, and had four faults tonight. Flexible is a sixteen-year-old Irish Sporthorse stallion by Cruising x Safari.

Fellers received wise words from his daughter, who called him this morning. "She just told me, 'Make sure that you let Flexible know that you love him.' That's what I did," he said with a smile.

Rich Fellers and Flexible fight for a spot in the Olympic Team. Photo by Sportfot."

Sitting just behind the three eight-fault scores, Mario Deslauriers and Urico will carry nine faults into Saturday night's final round after finishing tonight's course with just one time fault. Commenting on tonight's course, Deslauriers noted, "I think tonight was one of the biggest tests we've jumped in Palm Beach under the lights, for sure.

Top 12 after three rounds:

1. Margie Engle/Indigo - 8

2. Rich Fellers/Flexible - 8

3. Reed Kessler/ Cylana - 8

4. Mario Deslauriers/ Urico - 9

5. Christine McCrea/Romantocivh Take One - 11

6. Reed Kessler/Mika - 13

7. Saer Coulter/Springtime - 14

8. Laura Kraut/Teirra - 16

9. Kent Farrington/Uceko - 18

10. Lucy Davis/Nemo 119 - 19

11. Bezzie Madden/Cortes C - 20

12. Quentin Judge/HH Carotino - 21

SOurce: Jennifer Wood Media Inc.

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