June 24, 2004 — The United States Equestrian Federation today announced the Short List for the 2004 Olympic Dressage Team. The four riders and two substitutes are as follows:
2004 U.S. Olympic Dressage Team Short List
Debbie McDonald and Brentina were a discretionary selection and were named to the Short List on June 4. They were ranked first in the nation after the qualifying competitions for the Olympic Selection Trials. They are also No. 2 in the world according to the Fédération Equestre Internationale Rankings and were the 2003 World Cup Champions.
The 2005 Games will be Dover’s sixth. He swept the 2004 Olympic Dressage Selection Trials in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., June 20. Guenter Seidel will compete with either Aragon or Nikolaus. Seidel finished second on Aragon and third on Nikolaus in the trials.
Lisa Wilcox currently resides in Europe where she competes. The selection procedures allow for a rider who competes in Europe and does not participate in the trials to be selected for the Short List provided they have an average at least two percentage points higher than the No. 4 rider/horse combination coming out of the two selection trials. According to the selection procedures, Wilcox and Steffen Peters will be required to compete head-to-head in designated pre-Olympic European competitions to vie for the fourth spot on the U.S. team.
The team leaves next week for Europe where they will compete in Aachen and Lingen, Germany, July 13-18. Leslie Morse will go to Europe to train with the other short-listed riders as the U.S team. She may also compete at some of the pre-Olympic competitions if an additional invitation can be secured. Morse will be available if another horse/rider combination has to be replaced.
Olympic dressage riders are only allowed to ride one horse per games. The selectors, coach Klaus Balkenhol and Seidel will decide which horse he will take to Athens after the competitions in Europe are completed.
The United States Equestrian Federation contributed to this report.