NetJets® U.S. Show Jumping Team Earns Bronze Medal in Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of the USA CSIO5* at Palm Beach Masters Series
Riding for their countries, the greatest share of the prize money and valuable points towards the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final in Barcelona, Spain, later this year, patriots from USA, Mexico, Canada, Colombia, Israel and Ireland showcased their talents on Sunday in the $290,000 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of the United States of America CSIO5*, the final event during the second week of the 2019 CP Palm Beach Masters Series. The NetJets® U.S. Show Jumping Team, comprised of Beezie Madden, Lucy Deslauriers, Laura Kraut and McLain Ward, concluded the day with a podium finish in third place on a total score of 12 faults.
Following the initial 24 trips of round one, Madden and Abigail Wexner's Breitling LS led the way for the American squad with the first clear ride for the team, which was followed by two lowered fences in the next rotation by Deslauriers and Lisa Deslauriers' Hester. Kraut and St. Bride's Farm's Confu tackled Alan Wade's (IRL) expansive 15-fence track with precision but unfortunately accrued 4 faults, and their counterparts, Ward and HH Azur, co-owned by Ward and Double H Farm, followed suit with another unlucky rail.
Headed into the second phase of competition, Mexico held the lead on a cumulative tally of zero, while the United States and Ireland sat tied for second place with 8 faults apiece followed by Israel close behind with an additional time fault to their name for 9 faults. Riding in reverse order of the team standings, the returning challengers once again faced the same pattern of formidable nationalistic obstacles. Colombia, Canada and Israel began the rotation, with the United States and Ireland going next and Mexico tackling the track last.
First back for the USA, Madden and Breitling LS turned in a valiant effort as the trailblazers for the Americans, but clipped a rail to add 4 faults to the team total. As the competition continued, Deslauriers and Hester rallied to turn in a penalty-free effort to advance the team's position, which was matched by Kraut and Confu's equally impressive trip that left all of the fences intact. Last to ride as the team anchors, Ward and HH Azur, the 2017 World Cup Final champions, unfortunately dropped a rail to confirm the team's final score of 12 faults over the two rounds of competition.
In the end, the four-member team from Mexico led the class from start to finish on a score of 4 faults accrued over two rounds of riding to capture the gold medal and precious points towards the year-end finale in Barcelona in October.
Maintaining their round one score of 9 faults with three clear rides throughout the second phase, Daniel Bluman, Danielle Goldstein, Ilan Ferder and Ashlee Bond of Israel were awarded the silver medal, followed by the United States in the bronze medal position with a composite score of 12 faults. Madden and Kraut performed the best of the home nation team, each dropping only one rail with their respective mounts.
With all teams beginning with no points, Sunday's event served as the kick-off to the series and the only qualifier in the United States for the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final. North American challengers will be offered two more chances to earn a spot at Nations Cup competitions in Coapexpan, Mexico, and Langley, Canada, later this spring. With Mexico's victory, they head into the next jewel of the series on their home turf boasting 100 points towards the flagship competition, trailed by the United States' 80 points and Canada's 60 points in the North and Central America and Caribbean League.
"I think we had a good day, we just didn't have a great day," said U.S. Chef d'Équipe Robert Ridland. "We are playing catch-up with Mexico going into their home territory. They are always tough at home and we have our work cut out for us. Canada is right behind us, they aren't that far back, and they have their home Nations Cup coming up as well. I think it all looks pretty equal."
For full results from the $290,000 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of the United States of America CSIO5*, click here.