USA Dressage, Jumping Teams for 19th Maccabiah Games in Israel

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The United States has announced teams for both dressage and jumping for the 19th World Maccabiah Games in Israel July 17-30, the first time equestrian sports are to be included in the event held every four years.

Austria, Chile, Germany, Hungary, Peru and the United States along with host Israel have signaled participation in equestrian sports.

The U.S. dressage team comprises: June Brody of Lebanon, New Jersey; Rebecca Brown of Dallas; Rebecca Cohen of Wellington, Florida and Wendy Garfinkel also of Lebanon with Becky Brown of Dallas as coach. Rebecca Cohen will forego the North American Young Rider Championships to be on the first Maccabi USA Equestrian Team.

The jumping squad: Annastelle Cohen of Clinton, New Jersey; Darren Finkelman of Middlebury, Virginia; Charlotte Gerstenfeld of Fairfax, Virginia; Corinne Goldman of Edgewater, Maryland, and Rebecca Weissbard of Manorville, New York. The coach is Neal Shapiro of Robbinsville, New Jersey, team silver and individual bronze medalist at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games and twice winner of the World Equestrian Festival CHIO Grand Prix of Aachen, Germany.

Sloane Milstein, the Team Manager, said that dressage is expected to be at International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Challenge Medium while jumping at 1.20/1.25-meter for the equestrian competition to be held at Noam Farm near Tel Aviv July 23-25. Equestrian competition will follow FEI regulations.

“The Israel Equestrian Federation will be providing a pool of horses,” she said. “I will be traveling to Israel this March to hopefully see some of the horses in the pool, as well as see if we can find other options to borrow horses for competition as well as practice before the games start. There are a few riders looking to work with contacts in Germany to possibly borrow their horses.”

A total of about 9,000 athletes from 71 countries, amongst them 18 nations that have never participated in the Maccabiah before, will compete in 42 sports at masters, open and junior levels. There will also be paralympic events. The U.S. team is expected to number about 1,000.

The World Maccabiah Games are the third largest international sporting competition in the world and the world’s largest international Jewish event. In addition to being an international sporting competition, Maccabiah is a celebration of Jewish culture, unity and pride.