Chris Kappler ( Show Jumping) - Kappler’s Grand Prix career began in 1984 when he placed fifth in his first major show jumping event at the age of 17. The Pittstown, N.J. native has been a staple on the circuit ever since with 30-career Grand Prix wins in North America and Europe to his name.
Kappler has been named Midwest Rider of the Year four times and has ridden four Midwest Horse of the Year award winners. In 1995, he rode Seven Wonders to the American Grandprix Association (AGA) Horse of the Year title. Kappler made history in 2003 when he became the first rider to ever sweep back-to-back the Budweiser American Invitational and the AGA Show Jumping Championships. He also won a silver medal at 2003 Pan American Games.
Debbie McDonald (Dressage) - One of McDonald’s earliest equestrian memories comes from the Orange Country Fairgrounds where she was laughed at for her reputation for falling from her horse. As a favorite to qualify in the 2004 Olympic Games, McDonald has come a long way.
She has overcome her small stature and a short leg to be one of the most successful riders in the U.S. McDonald’s breakout season came in 1999 when she was named the American Horse Shows Association (AHSA) Equestrian of the Year and USOC Female Equestrian Athlete of the Year.
She currently lives with her husband, Bob, who is a top trainer, clinician and judge, in Idaho where they train as well as teach young riders and horses at Sun Valley ’s River Grove Farm. McDonald would eventually like to conduct clinics as a way to give back to the sport.
Information provided by USOC Press Box