For Immediate Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Mary Hilton for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International MEDIA CONTACT: Mary Hilton, Phelps Media Group, Inc. International at (561) 753-3389 or at
WEB SITE: Phelps Media Group, Inc. International Press Releases and Photos are available for download at

USET Foundation and USEF Host Party at WEG Sponsored by Challengeof the Americas and Offield Farms

Aachen, Germany – August 25, 2006- Celebrating the disciplinescompeting during Week 1 (August 20-27) at the World EquestrianGames in Aachen, Germany, the USEF and USET Foundation jointlyhosted a cocktail party on August 23 at the elegant Dorint SofitelQuellenhof Aachen Hotel. The event was sponsored by Tamara Y.Gerber on behalf of the Challenge of the Americas and Karin ReidOffield and Offield Farms.
The well-attended event included a mix of approximately 250athletes and supporters of the U.S. High Performance teamscompeting in dressage, endurance, eventing, and vaulting this week.The guests of honor were the dressage team, winners of the TeamBronze medal earlier in the day – the first medal at the 2006 WEGfor the United States.
During the lovely 90-minute socializing session, equestrianenthusiasts from across the disciplines enjoyed mingling andtoasting with fellow horse folks in a joyful spirit produced notonly by today’s medal, but also by the high hopes and expectationsall share for the upcoming competitions. Extraordinary horsd’oeuvres and refreshments were served in the spacious ballroom asall awaited the highlight of the evening, the arrival of the U.S.Dressage Team Bronze Medalists.
Jim Wolf, USEF Eventing Chef de Mission, delivered welcomingremarks and thanked the generous sponsors of the party. Heintroduced Karin Offield who spoke briefly and eloquently about therelationship between athletes and supporters and the importance ofthe WEG competition. Tamara Gerber, representing the Challenge ofthe Americas – an annual fundraiser for the Breast Cancer ResearchFoundation that features musical dressage competition – spoke nextand wished everyone a safe and enjoyable stay in Aachen and safetravels. She also thanked the riders at the party who haveparticipated in the Challenge of the Americas and encouraged otherriders to participate in the future. “See you in Kentucky,” sheconcluded, referring to the Alltech 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games.
Tucker Johnson, a member of the USET Foundation Board of Trusteesand a competitor in the four-in-hand driving competition at theWEG, spoke next on behalf of the Foundation. He thanked theathletes and the supporters for their contributions to the sportand focused on today’s big victory. “Thanks to the dressage teamfor our first medal,” Johnson said. “With support from theFoundation and the Federation we hope to bring home more medals andmove forward to Kentucky!”
David O’Connor, USEF President, delivered the keynote speech. Hethanked the guests for helping the athletes on the field pursuetheir dreams. O’Connor noted that the pursuit of excellencerequires a road and everyone in the room was part of the road thathelps the athletes travel to reach their goals. He noted thequality of the competition at the WEG and again thanked thesupporters for making it possible for the athletes to compete here.“It is their life’s passion and ours,” O’Connor said.
O’Connor also thanked the endurance team that had competed onMonday, August 21. “We’ll end up on the podium in the near future,I guarantee that!” O’Connor said, eliciting cheers and applause.
O’Connor expressed his gratitude to the dressage team for theirmedal-winning performances over the past two days. “They areprofessional, exquisite riders. Their level of horsemanship isunbelievable,” enthused O’Connor. “They earned that medal in theclassic way of ‘riding what you have, not what you want to have’.”
A Team Gold Medalist in eventing at the 2002 Jerez WEG, O’Connornoted that this year’s eventing team would start the next day(August 24). “We have full confidence that we will be on the podiumon Sunday!” he said.
Also starting on the same day as the eventers are the vaulters.“Our entire vaulting crew is here. We are here with our full game,”said O’Connor. “Go watch them – you’ll be impressed!”
The second week of the WEG (August 28- September 3) featurescompetition in driving, reining and jumping, noted O’Connor. Hepointed out that on September 24, starting at 4:30 pm EST on NBC,the WEG competition highlights would be televised. “This is paidfor by the State of Kentucky, home of the next WorldChampionships!” beamed O’Connor. In conclusion, he enthused, “Let’sstand on the podium a few more times!”
The dressage team members – Debbie McDonald, Steffen Peters,Guenter Seidel and Leslie Morse – arrived at approximately 9:00 pmand were greeted by wildly thunderous applause and cheers. Jim Wolfintroduced them and they elected McDonald to be their spokesperson.McDonald thanked the group for their support and for staying untilthey arrived (the event was scheduled from 6:30 to 8:30pm). Chefd’Equipe Klaus Balkenhol spoke in English and then in German(translated by Seidel) and noted a very special thanks to thegrooms for all their hard work as well as the sponsors and owners.
O’Connor wrapped up the celebration with a rallying speech, pumpingthe already enthusiastic crowd up by declaring that the dressageteam had gotten the U.S. off to a great start and that the TeamBronze they earned was the first of many medals for our country atthe 2006 WEG.The dressage team enjoyed the admiration and gratitude of the crowdand stayed on for a lengthy session of handshaking, hugging, andcongratulations.

Karin Offield and Tamara Gerber with Dressage Team: > Steffen Peters, Leslie Morse, Guenter Seidel, Debbie McDonald, > Klaus Balkenhol, Karin Reid Offield, Tamara Gerber : Karin > Offield and Steffen Peters and that BRONZE MEDAL