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WOODSIDE-BASED INSTRUCTOR WINS BRONZE, GOLD IN PAN AM GAMES

Original post made by Lisa M. Krieger, Portola Valley: other, on Jul 27, 2007

WOODSIDE-BASED INSTRUCTOR WINS BRONZE, GOLD IN PAN AM GAMES
For Immediate Release
Contact: Lisa Krieger, 650-793-0720, lkrieger@mercurynews.com
(volunteer, Horse Park)
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Equestrienne Gina Miles, whose stellar ride at Woodside's Horse Park last May won her a slot at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, returns from Brazil with an individual bronze medal and a overall score so high that it helped earn a team gold medal in Eventing for Team USA.
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Miles, a popular Horse Park instructor of young Portola Valley and Woodside-based riders, jumped a clean round aboard her giant 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse named McKinlaigh. During
the cross-country phase of the competition, Miles and McKinlaigh had the fastest time of the day.
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Miles and three other members of the U.S. team won the team gold medal by a very comfortable margin, finishing with a score of 162.8 over Canada's 211.1 and Brazil's 235.
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"I owe a huge thank you to every single person who has been a part of this story,'' said Miles, who commutes to The Horse Park from her ranch in Creston. Miles, a mother of two who stands only 5'2'' tall, is a veteran of the 2002 World Equestrian Games Team
and placed third in the 2003 World Cup in Pau, France.
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Recent renovation and upgrading of The Horse Park has caught the attention of the rigorous U.S. Equestrian Federation, which until this spring had not traveled west to seek equestrian team
members for over a decade. On May 28-30, the Federation sent a nine-person delegation to a Horse Park-based trial to seek members for Team USA -- and selected Miles.
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Without the Horse Park, California-based riders such as Miles have to travel to the east coast to compete, putting them at a disadvantage, said Robert Kellerhouse, who organizes USEA-recognized events at the Horse Park and whose team built the Park's tough new jumping
course.
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"Having The Horse Park back on the map is a very big deal for western U.S. riders,'' said Kellerhouse. "The course is now up to a high enough standard to host a (Team USA) selection trial."
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Situated on 272 gently rolling, oak-studded acres on the border of Menlo Park and Woodside, California, the non-profit Horse Park offers "the preeminent location, ease of travel and an enthusiastic equestrian community that makes it a natural place for this to happen," he said.
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Miles, who returns to Woodside to teach and compete in The Horse Park's August 8-10 trials, now sets her sights on winning a gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in China.
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