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American Invitational.

Aaron Vale and Chris Kappler Climb into Contention for Budweiser American Invitational Starting Spot

Written by: Kenneth Kraus
Client: American Invitational
Release Date: 2006-03-24

Kenneth Kraus for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

MEDIA CONTACT: Kenneth Kraus of Phelps Media Group, Inc. at (561) 753-3389 or at

WEB SITE: Phelps Media Group, Inc. International Press Releases and Photos are available for download at

Aaron Vale and Chris Kappler Climb into Contention for Budweiser American Invitational Starting Spot

Tampa, FL – March 24, 2006 – With only two events to go, the pressure continues to mount and every penny counts, as show jumping competitors from around the world continue their heated battle for the precious few spots remaining for America’s greatest equestrian show, the 34th Annual $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational presented by The Tampa Tribune and Kash n’ Karry.

With their first and second place finish in last night’s $25,000 WEF Challenge Cup, both Aaron Vale and Chris Kappler have moved up the list and into the fray for the Saturday night classic.

A number of riders currently in the top thirty will not be making an Invitational appearance for various reasons. Some of the foreign riders have had to return to competitions in their home countries, a smattering of minor injuries has sidelined a couple of horses and riders, and some competitors just don’t have a mount ready for the championship test at the stadium. Following Sunday’s Grand Prix of Tampa, the picture will become clearer as to which riders currently in contention will elect to opt out of this year’s event.

The $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational is the grand finale to the 2006 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and will be contested at 7pm on Saturday, April 1, 2006, under the lights at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium. While some riders are guaranteed a spot in the nation’s richest and most exciting show jumping event, based on previous accomplishments, most have to earn their way into a starting spot using their prize money won during the nine week run of the 2006 Winter Equestrian Festival.

There are two more chances to qualify for the Invitational, the $75,000 Grand Prix of Tampa, presented by Kilkenny/ICH, CSI-W on Sunday and the WEF Challenge Cup Series Final next Wednesday.

The thirty-fourth annual Budweiser American Invitational, a free event for those who qualify, is the nation’s most prestigious show jumping event. The event is limited to only thirty top riders. A rider may only ride one horse in the competition.

Invitations will be issued as follows:

1. ONE (1) invitation issued to the winning rider of the 2005 Budweiser American Invitational - Beezie Madden.

2. FOUR (4) invitations issued to riders in positions one through four (1-4) on the 2006 AGA Rider of the Year standings as of March 26, 2006.

3. TWO (2) invitations to be issued at the Organizing Committee’s discretion.

4. TWENTY-THREE (23) or all remaining invitations will be issued to riders based on money won in the WEF Challenge Cup Series Rounds I , II, III, IV, V, VI, VIII and the Final (does not include Round VII) and the following Grand Prix:
*$50,000 Farr XTN Grand Prix of Palm Beach, presented by Western Hay, CSI 2*
*$60,000 Wellington Cup presented by Carlisle, CSI 3*
*$60,000 Kilkenny/ICH Internationale Cup, CSI 3*
*$75,000 Bainbridge Idle Dice Classic, presented by the Palm Beach Post, CSI-W
*$100,000 Zada Enterprises, LLC Masters Cup, CSI 3*
*$150,000 Florida Open presented by Cosequin®, CSI-W
*$25,000 CN Jumper Classic
*$75,000 Grand Prix of Tampa, presented by Kilkenny/ICH, CSI-W


Place Total Rider NAT
QUALIFIED 2005 WINNER $42,973 Beezie Madden USA
2 $61,700 Norman Dello Joio USA
3 $45,470 Kimberly Prince USA
4 $37,705 Nick Skelton GBR
5 $36,393 Eric Lamaze CAN
6 $36,030 Samantha McIntosh BUL
7 $33,590 Mario Deslauriers CAN
8 $30,133 Margie Engle USA
9 $30,000 Robert Smith GBR
10 $29,665 Laura Chapot USA
11 $25,025 Leslie Howard USA
12 $23,930 Kent Farrington USA
13 $21,160 Lauren Hough USA
14 $18,915 McLain Ward USA
15 $17,745 Ian Millar CAN
16 $17,423 Laura Kraut USA
17 $14,950 Chris Pratt CAN
18 $14,640 Eliza Shuford USA
19 $14,635 Rodrigo Pessoa BRA
20 $12,130 Megan Lamaze USA
21 $12,100 Tim Gredley GBR
22 $10,965 Leopold Van Asten NED
23 $9,200 Markus Beerbaum GER
24 $8,593 Georgina Bloomberg USA
25 $8,500 Yann Candele FRA
26 $8,250 Aaron Vale USA
27 $8,193 Chris Kappler USA
28 $7,300 Paige Johnson USA
29 $7,000 Francois Mathy BEL
30 $6,800 Todd Minikus USA
31 $6,500 Eric Flemeng BEL
32 $6,093 Frankie Chesler Ortiz CAN
33 $5,540 Laurie Bucci CAN
34 $5,500 Addison Phillips USA
35 $5,043 Santiago Lambre MEX
36 $4,850 Luciana Diniz BRA
37 $4,500 Cara Raether USA
38 $4,250 Ken Berkley USA
39 $3,950 Candice King USA
40 $3,780 Cayce Harrison USA
41 $3,415 Keean White CAN
42 $3,250 Jeffery Welles USA
43 $3,195 Katie Prudent FRA
44 $3,050 Anne Kursinski USA
45 $3,040 Schuyler Riley USA
46 $2,950 Alison Firestone USA
47 $2,830 Jimmy Torano USA
48 $2,700 Conor Swail IRL
49 $2,400 Jaime Guerra MEX
50 $2,300 Angela Moore USA


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