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2002/08/20

Dressage Championships of the Americas - Mary Claire Massey Is Silver Medallist by Nancy Brannon Fayette County resident Mary Claire Massey, 16, and her horse "Scrabble" were selected by the USA Equestrian Dressage Committee to represent the USA in the first ever Dressage Championships of the Americas held in Blainville, Canada July 16-21, 2002. Expanded from the North American Dressage Championship concept, the prestigious FEI "Coupe des Ameriques" was held in conjunction with the fourth annual CDI-W Dressage International de Blainville and featured $40,000 in prize money between the two competitions. Mary Claire is the daughter of Bill and Kathy Massey. They live on Orr Road near Arlington. Their farm is home of Masser Stables which offers training and boarding of dressage horses The 2002 FEI "Coupe des Ameriques" was an official FEI Regional Championship. The ground breaking undertaking had riders representing Argentina, Barbados, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala and the United States competing at the Grand Prix, Advanced, Young Rider and Junior Levels. The riders and horses competed as three teams for the Juniors and Grand Prix, and two teams plus one individual competitor for the Young Riders and Advanced (Small Tour). The United States was proudly represented by a total of 18 riders representing all four levels and earning a total of 12 medals, including two Team Golds, two Team Silvers, two Team Bronzes, two Individual Golds, two Individual Silvers, and two Individual Bronzes. Teams and individuals were selected based on qualifying criteria developed by the USA Equestrian Dressage Committee and approved by the USA Equestrian Executive Committee. The final results of the "Coupe de Ameriques" FEI Junior level from the United States are: Silver n Mary Claire Massey on "Scrabble" Silver n Amanda Garrett on Great "Experience" Kathy Massey, Mary Claire's mother, told the Review that the trip to Blainville took a grueling 26 hours. "We hauled Scrabble' to Lexington, Kentucky where he was loaded onto a van along with five other horses to complete the trip to Canada. We left around 2:00 p.m. and arrived in Quebec province around 9:00 a.m. the next day. It was a long night, to say the least." Judging the competition were Mariette Withages from Belgium, Uwe Mechlem of Germany, Elizabeth McMullen of Canada, Linda Zang from the United States, Salim Nigri from Brazil, and alternate judge Janine Rohr from Argentina. "It's always interesting to see five different points of view of the same ride," Kathy told the Review, "especially on Scrabble' who's a non-traditional dressage horse." Scrabble is a 12-year-old Arabian whom the Massey's have owned since he was five years old. "The musical freestyle, part of the required tests, attracted a lot of spectators on Saturday night and Sunday. The bleachers were full. It was good to see so many spectators watch the competition." Mary Claire's ultimate goal is to compete at the Olympic level and this show is one of many steps to get there. "She's getting wonderful experience," says Kathy.

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