Kentucky-based equestrian Sterling Graburn went wire-to-wire this weekend at the Southern Pines Combined Driving Event to claim his second USEF National Single Horse Championship title.
The National Championship ran concurrently with the Southern Pines CDE, which was held at the Carolina Horse Park April 13-15.
On Friday Graburn, driving the Larry Denny-owned Ulano, took the lead during the dressage phase of the championship CDE and continued to dominate the competition over the marathon and cones courses, which were contested over the remainder of the weekend. Graburn finished first overall with a final score 119.76, besting the second place finisher by more than 10 points.
The Southern Pines CDE also served as a United States Equestrian Federation Selection Trial that will determine team members for the 2012 Singles World Driving Championships, to be held in Lezirias, Portugal September 12-16.
The win puts Graburn, who is also the head trainer at the Gayla Driving Center in Georgetown, KY, that much closer to a coveted spot on the team, which is expected to be named in August.
Graburn is the only Kentucky-based driver eligible for a spot on the Single Horse team.
"Ulano has been steadily progressing," said Graburn following the win. "I thought we would peak at this show and we did. We will keep on practicing and hopefully end up on the top of the world championships in Portugal."
Graburn is a nationally recognized handler of sport horses. He has won championships at the prestigious Dressage at Devon, and Horse of the Year Awards from the United States Dressage Federation as well as USEF. He claimed his first USEF National Single Horse Championship in 2008.
In order to continue the quest for the gold in Portugal, Team Sterling has launched numerous fund-raising efforts to put the talented competitors on the road. For more information about sponsorships or to make a donation contact Team Sterling's Kathy Gilbertson-Smock at email@example.com, or visit the website at www.teamsterlingdriving.com.
Non-tax deductible donations may be made to:
P.O. Box 11635
Lexington, KY 40576
Tax-deductible donations may be made to:
The American Horse Trials Foundation, Inc.
221 Grove Cove Road
Centreville, MD 21617,
Tele: (443) 262-9555
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