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Philadelphia, PA, January 9 – Sloane Milstein, Open Equestrian Chairman for the 19th World Maccabiah Games, announced the appointment of the Open Equestrian team for the 19th World Maccabiah Games in Israel, July 2013. The team will be coached by Neal Shapiro, a double medal winner at the 1972 Olympic Games and a two-time winner of the most prestigious show jumping competition in the world, the Grand Prix of Aachen. Shapiro was inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame in 2010.

“When I met Neal, I was surprised how easy going he was and I could tell right away that he will not only be a great coach for the team, but also as a mentor for all of the athletes due to his vast experience in the industry. He will definitely bring confidence to this team and contribute to making this a great experience for everyone,” said Sloane Milstein.

Equestrian sports will be making their Maccabiah debut, and with the added element of riders needing to be competitive on borrowed horses, locating and recruiting riders in a short period of time became quite a challenge.  That said, when it came time for selection, the committee was pleasantly surprised to find that there were numerous riders to choose from. The athletes selected for this team are diverse with wide range of experience and skills, who will work together to assist each other throughout the competition.

Team members include: June Brody of Lebanon, NJ; Rebecca Brown of Dallas, TX; Annastelle Cohen of Clinton, NJ; Rebecca Cohen of Wellington, FL; Darren Finkelman of Middlebury, VA; Wendi Garfinkel of Lebanon, NJ; Charlotte Gerstenfeld of Fairfax, VA; Corinne Goldman of Edgewater, MD; and Rebecca Weissbard of Manorville, NY.

The team has a great mix of experienced and up and coming riders. One of the outstanding athletes is Rebecca Cohen, who has chosen to bypass the North American Young Rider Championships to be part of this first Maccabi USA Equestrian Team.

“These riders will have the opportunity to compete against other elite Jewish equestrian athletes from all over the world,” Milstein commented. “The team is very excited to go to Israel and participate in this amazing athletic and cultural event.”

For more information about the Maccabiah Games or to schedule an interview with one of our athletes, please contact Sara Feinstein at 215.561.6900 x119.

About the organization:

Maccabi USA (MUSA) is a federally-recognized not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization with an extensive history of enriching Jewish lives through athletic, cultural and educational programs.  The organization is the official sponsor of the United States Team to the World Maccabiah Games, the Pan American Maccabi Games and the Maccabi competitions in Europe and Australia, as well as a sponsor of the JCC Maccabi Games for teens in North America.  As the official Maccabi representative in the U.S., Maccabi USA supports Jewish athletic endeavors, enhanced by cultural and educational activities in the United States, Israel and throughout the Diaspora.

MUSA develops, promotes and supports international, national and regional athletic-based activities and facilities.  It strives to provide Jewish athletes the world over the opportunity to share their heritage and customs in competitive athletic settings.  MUSA supports programs that embody the Maccabi ideals of Jewish Continuity, Zionism and Excellence in Sport.  Maccabi USA Builds Jewish Pride Through Sports.

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