Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Sleeper and Russell Earn Wins at Biltmore Challenge Selection Trial

RELEASE: May 12, 2015
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: USEF Communications Department

Asheville, N.C. – The Biltmore Challenge, held May 1-2 at the historic Biltmore Estate, played host to a Selection Trial for the 2015 FEI Pan-American Endurance Championship for Seniors & Young Riders and the 2015 FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Riders & Juniors. Athletes aiming to compete at these championships eyed top performances in the CEI2* and CEIYJ2* held on May 1.

Meg Sleeper (Frenchtown, N.J.) claimed top honors in the CEI2* 120km race with her own Syrocco Cadence. She and the 12-year-old Arabian mare finished with a time of 7:22:00, averaging 16.3 km/h. Melody Blittersdorf (Hartland, Vt.) rode her 15-year-old Arabian gelding, Synthetic, to a second-place finish with a time of 7:41:00, with an average speed of 15.6 km/h. Finishing in third place were Marbeth Kollath (Clyde, N.C.) and Poete, Holly Corcoran’s eight-year-old Arabian gelding, with a time of 7:54:00 and average speed of 15.2 km/h.

In the CEIYJ2* 120km race, the top three combinations finished the race within seconds of each other, averaging the same speed of 15.3 km/h. Kelsey Russell (Williston, Fla.) and My Wild Irish Gold, Valerie Kanavy’s 12-year-old Arabian mare, earned the win with a time of 7:50:01. Hannah Weightman (Shamong, N.J.) rode Kanavy’s 10-year-old Arabian gelding, Just Gold, to second place, finishing with a time of 7:50:02. Rounding out the top three, Ragan Kelly (Waco, Texas) and Colin for Gold, Kanavy’s nine-year-old Arabian gelding, crossed the finish line with a time of 7:50:03.

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