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Schuyler Riley Leaps into World Cup Final Contention

Schuyler Riley Leaps into World Cup Final Contention with Second Place Finish in $75,000 Bainbridge Idle Dice Classic

Wellington, FL – February 27, 2007 – Wellington, Florida’s Schuyler Riley, aboard her seventeen year-old veteran partner Ilian, scored a second place finish in Sunday’s $75,000 Bainbridge Idle Dice Classic, presented by the Palm Beach Post, at the 2007 Winter Equestrian Festival. With that top finish, Riley vaulted into contention for one of the coveted final spots at the Rolex World Cup Finals in Las Vegas in April.

Riley finished second to McLain Ward and Sapphire in the Sunday event. With the victory, Ward takes over the lead in the East Coast World Cup League with 81 points. Riley picked up 17 points for her second place finish and moved into fifth place in the standings with just two qualifying events remaining before the final roster of riders is determined.

Riley knew that it would be a tough task to catch Ward and his Olympic Gold Medal partner Sapphire, and she expressed that she was very happy with the second place finish and the valuable World Cup points that accompanied that top prize. "It was a little bit of a hard decision because I know McLain, even on a ‘not-so-fast’ horse, is really fast. My horse is naturally fast across the ground, and I was trying to balance out the desire for a clear with the desire to try and beat McLain," she said. "I was hoping that just my footspeed with a faster horse might catch him. I wasn’t really trying to go full throttle because I wanted to leave the jumps up today."

"Ilian has been jumping on this field for ten years," said Riley of her long-time equine partner. "This is his tenth season down here, and he feels pretty darn good. When you have him feeling good, he’s such a nice riding horse. He has such a huge heart," she said. "I knew we had a good shot for today."

Riley is aiming for her third Las Vegas World Cup Final appearance, having competed there in 2000 and again in 2005, both times on Ilian. "You have to be a little bit careful and place your horses. It’s really tempting to go every week because there’s so much going on," she explained. "I’ve been trying to gear him up for these two World Cup weeks, and he seems to be feeling in good form."

Riley and Ilian will return to action this Sunday in the $100,000 Zada Enterprises LLC Masters Cup CSI-W. A top placing here, or in the final event, the $75,000 Grand Prix of Tampa on April 1, will assure Riley and Ilian of their third visit to the World Cup Finals.

Photo Credit: Schuyler Riley and Ilian competing in the $75,000 Bainbridge Idle Dice Classic Grand Prix at Wellington, FL – Photo ©2007 Kenneth Kraus/PhelpsSports.com.


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