Tag Archives: FEI World Cup

Kocher Records First Ever Longines Win at Del Mar

Andy Kocher (USA) with Navalo de Poheton. (FEI/Nick Souza)

It was a day of many “firsts” for Andy Kocher. Last to go in an eight-horse jump-off, Kocher (USA) and Navalo de Poheton claimed their first World Cup qualifier victory in the $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Del Mar. As a result, Kocher has now pushed into lead position of the standings in the east coast sub league of the North American League.

Kocher and the 16-year-old Selle Francais gelding bested Eric Navet (FRA) and Catypso for the top prize. Chris Pratt (CAN) and Concorde finished in third.

“I looked up at the board and thought I was going to be second, and I would have been very happy to be second,” Kocher said. “Believe me, I would have been thrilled! But it was me this time! I was first! So, it was fun today.”

In a class where a tight time allowed proved problematic for riders in the first round, Kocher got inventive with his often-strong mount. He took three inside turns, two that no other rider attempted, in order to add strides down some of the lines and still make the time.

“There was a really good rider named Terry Rudd, and she had a horse named PS Gazpacho, and my dad always talks about it.” Kocher said. “Last week, he said, ‘I think you should ride Navalo de Poheton like she used to ride that horse. Go any possible inside turn around the course that you can, so you can keep the horse on a slow, short stride and kind of keep him in check.’ Today, I made two kinds of ridiculous inside turns and kind of shocked him, and it worked. So, I took that theory from my dad and a little history from Terry Rudd.”

Kocher, an east coast rider, has competed on both coasts through the first five North American League events and plans to make several other cross-country journeys in the coming weeks.

“We’re going to Calgary (CAN), Lexington (USA), Toronto (USA), Las Vegas (USA), and then I think we’ll come back for one of the weeks of Thermal (USA). I might hit that show in Mexico [at Guadalajara]. We’re going to do a little more out here [on the west coast].”

Andrew Kocher (USA) – 1st: “We had a really good time here [at Del Mar]. The jumps were nice, the footing was nice, and it was a really good course. Thanks to Longines and West Palms Events for having the show. I’m happy now, because I had a good day, but the whole show was nice.”

Eric Navet (USA) — 2nd: “When we have Andy behind, we’re never sure we can win. He’s such a fast rider, and he’s very confident. I knew I had a big chance to be beaten, and that’s what happened. He beat me by just a little bit. That was so close. That means that my horse is getting faster and improving in that area. He’s not very fast by nature. I’m very proud to have a time that close to Andy.”

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Deusser Wins Electrifying Opening Leg in Oslo

Photo: Daniel Deusser and Cornet. (FEI/Mette Sattrup)

Germany’s Daniel Deusser (36) and the unusually-coloured gelding Cornet produced a spectacular winning round at the first leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2017/2018 Western European League in Oslo, Norway. Second-last to go in the seven-horse jump-off, the pair pinned Rio Olympic team gold medallist Kevin Staut from France (36) into runner-up spot with For Joy van’t Zorgvliet HDC while Australian wonder-woman, Edwina Tops-Alexander (43), clinched third with the mare California, just 11 weeks after giving birth to her baby daughter, Chloe.

Deusser was delighted with his new horse which was previously competed by America’s Lauren Hough.

“He’s very sensitive; you have to get to know him a little bit but he has great character – he wants to help you in the end; he wants to win and he has a great instinct in the ring!” — Daniel Deusser (GER)

The move from outdoor shows to the confinement of an indoor arena for the first time this season tested reflexes, control and accuracy, and even some of the biggest star partnerships of the past summer found it difficult to leave all the timber intact over the 13-fence first-round track designed by Britain’s Bob Ellis. It was Tops-Alexander who set the early target in the jump-off with her fiery 10-year-old mare that was formerly competed by Egypt’s Abdel Said when galloping through the timers in 38.22 seconds, and recently-crowned individual European champion, Sweden’s Peder Fredricson, was just 0.2 seconds shy of that with H&M Christian K when fourth to go.

Staut blew the competition wide open with a breath-taking run from his 12-year-old gelding, putting his foot on the accelerator from the very start and racing through the finish in 36.96 seconds to really raise the bar. He thought he’d done a pretty good job.

“I had a plan, and I wasn’t expecting anyone to be faster!” — Kevin Staut (FRA)

But Deusser also had a strategy, and his worked out even better.

“I didn’t see Kevin go, but I did see the first two (Douglas Lindelow SWE and Mark McAuley IRL) and I realised it would be easy to get too deep to the second-last. I thought maybe if I just stayed in the same canter stride I might get a better jump there and then really go for it to the last.” — Daniel Deusser (GER)

And that was exactly how he clinched it, with a flowing run and a super-fast finish in 36.83 seconds that couldn’t be bettered by last man in, Ireland’s Bertram Allen, who faulted at the penultimate oxer.

Deusser took the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping title with his great Cornet d’Amour, also by the stallion Cornet Obolensky, back in 2014 in Lyon (FRA) and his victory has set him on the path to the 2018 Final in Paris (FRA) next April. This was his first indoor show with Cornet whose colour scheme seems to suggest he has splashes of black ink on his grey coat. And he’s excited about his future with the horse which came his way from Hough, who, as the tall German rider explained at the press conference, “is an American rider with an American way of riding – and she’s half my size so there’s been a period of adjustment! Lauren asked me to help her a little bit with him in July and it worked out good so my owners, Stephex Stables, bought him for me to ride and I’m really happy with him.” — Daniel Deusser (GER)

Deusser is now targeting more qualifying points at the second leg of the Western European League in Helsinki (FIN).

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Porter Records Emotional Longines Victory in Sacramento

Mandy Porter and Milano (FEI/Kristin Lee Photography)

Mandy Porter couldn’t help but hold back tears as she stood for the American national anthem after winning the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping qualifier at Sacramento with Milano.

Porter (USA), a Northern California native, and Abigail Weese’s 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding were the only double-clear performers on the evening. Jenni McAllister (USA) and Legis Touch the Sun were second, and Richard Spooner and new mount Chatinus (USA) finished third.

“Milano was so in-form tonight. I couldn’t have asked him to do anything better. As long as I stay out of his way, he’s unbelievable. He just rose to the occasion. I wasn’t sure if he was going to be nervous with the crowd, but in reality, he thrived on it. In the jump-off, he felt solid, not nervous. He basically was saying, ‘Don’t mess this up for me today!’”– Mandy Porter (USA)

Only four riders were able to navigate Marina Azevedo’s (BRA) course without fault in the first round, and when returning for the shortened course, Porter was in the disadvantageous position of having to go first. Not only were she and her mount the only ones to keep all the jumps up, but their blazing time of 39.16 seconds was also good enough to win even if her competitors would have also jumped cleanly.

“Milano is quite fast, and in all honestly, my strategy was not to get too excited rolling back to the vertical [at fence seven],” Porter explained. “I have a tendency to get a little excited, and I wanted to give him the chance to see [the fence] and jump it and be balanced. After that, it was a galloping game.”

Porter’s finish moves her up to fourth place in the standings for the west coast sub league of the North American League with 22 points. The League continues with another west coast stop in Del Mar (USA) on Saturday 21 October 2017.

Mandy Porter (USA) -1st: “We’ll go home [from here], and [Milano] will have a little bit of an easy week next week, and then we’ll be at Del Mar for the [Longines FEI World Cup Jumping™ Del Mar]. Then, we’ll definitely make it out to Las Vegas. I don’t know if we’ll make it out to Calgary, but we’re going to keep plugging away one [show] at a time. This is still new for Milano, too – the indoor shows.”

Jenni McAllister (USA) – 2nd: “[Legis Touch the Sun] is growing up. He’s just turning 11, which is still pretty young, and he’s a very big horse. He’s maturing, and every year he learns one more thing. Every year, he just takes that next step. I tried to sneak inside a fence to the in-and-out [in the jump-off], and it didn’t work out for me. I knew I had to be extra fast [to catch Porter].”

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Canadians Clinch Pole Position in First Qualifier

Yann Candele and Theodore Mancaias (FEI/Liz Gregg)

Team Canada posted the only zero score in the first qualifier to claim pole position going into the title-decider at the Longines FEI Nations Cup™ Final in Barcelona (ESP). On a day of high drama, The Netherlands, USA, France and Germany were next in line when they all finished with four faults, while Belgium, Sweden and Switzerland claimed the last three qualifying places with eight faults apiece.

Team Ireland also finished with eight, but their slower combined times saw the country that claimed team gold at the Longines FEI European Championships in Gothenburg (SWE) four weeks ago line up ninth, and just outside the qualification zone.

As the last side of 15 into the arena, the Canadians had the best of the draw and Yann Candele (46) got them off to a flying start with a clear round riding Theodore Manciais. Another from Tiffany Foster (33) with Tripple X was followed by eight faults for Chris Pratt (48) and Concorde. But with the best three scores to count, it was 2008 Olympic champion Eric Lamaze (49) who wrapped it up with a fault-free effort from Coco Bongo.

Canadian Chef d’Equipe, Mark Laskin, admitted however that he wasn’t entirely confident about how things might play out. And he was more than pleasantly surprised with Candele’s opening effort.

“We had a couple of question marks, a couple of unknowns – some of our horses and riders were not available to come. And Yann Candele, that was only the third time he’s ever ridden that horse, that was the first course he jumped with it, and this is the Nations Cup Final in Barcelona! With Yann I always said I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a couple of rails down, so to come through like that as first rider, it really gave us a spark!” — Mark Laskin (Team Canada)

Candele has his own way of going about things, as his team manager explained.

“He’s been traditionally our lead-off rider because he doesn’t count strides, he just adjusts; he improvises. Even after he went into the ring he did some numbers (of strides) that we weren’t planning, and Eric Lamaze said to me, ‘Why do we even walk the course with him? He might as well just go in and wing it!’” — Mark Laskin (Team Canada)

It seemed that the French would also share a zero score, but last-line rider Roger Yves Bost was disqualified for using hind boots on his horse that weren’t in accordance FEI regulations. But the 2016 Olympic team gold medallist and 2013 European champion will still be part of the French side on Saturday night as that is a separate competition.

Brazil, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Spain and the United Arab Emirates will line out for the honours in the Longines Challenge Cup which is always guaranteed to be a thriller. But for the Canadians, and the seven other qualified nations, it’s all about lifting that very special Longines FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping trophy the following night.

Mark Laskin is hopeful for Canada in the Final, but he’s not prepared to anticipate too much. He said:

“Anything can happen once you get to the dance! We don’t get ahead of ourselves; there are clichés for a reason because it’s a good way to think: one step at a time, one round at a time; we’ll see what happens.” — Mark Laskin (Team Canada)

Mark Laskin – Team Canada, talking about his team’s chances of winning the Longines FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping title: “I’m very happy we qualified; in fact definitely ecstatic! We’ll be there on Saturday night; we are fighters!”

Lauren Hough – Team USA, talking about the course: “This is a fantastic course builder (Santiago Varela). That triple at the end is quite fearsome, but I think it is very jumpable.”

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Ryan Sees Plenty of “Blue” with Longines Win in New York

Devin Ryan and Eddie Blue (FEI/Rebecca Berry)

Devin Ryan entered the jump-off for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping New York with an eight-year-old rookie and left with a World Cup qualifier Champion.

Devin Ryan (USA) and LL Show Jumper’s Eddie Blue topped a five horse jump off at Old Salem Farm (NY) to claim the blue ribbon and the first World Cup qualifier victory of their respective careers. They did so by defeating reigning World Cup Final Champion McLain Ward (USA) and new mount HH Callas, the only other pair to put forth a double clear performance on the day. Jack Towell (USA) and Lucifer V finished third.

“I knew going into it that I had a great horse, and I knew that there was a great field out there. I was the least experienced of the jump-off riders out there, and I’ve been watching them all year. I went out there and rode my plan.” — Devin Ryan (USA)

Ryan began the North American League at Bromont aboard the 10-year-old Cooper, but he saw New York as the ideal place to test his younger mount in tougher waters, a decision for which he was rewarded. Eddie Blue excelled over the testing track set by course designer Alan Wade (IRL); less than 13 percent of the 39 competitors advanced to the shortened course.

“I’ve slowly brought him along throughout the season and used him as second horse in ranking classes,” Ryan explained. “I built him up, and he’s been going so strong. A field like this suits him with his brig stride and big scope, and it gives us time to organize. The field fits the horse, and I thought it was a great place to step up and see what he brought.”

Ryan plans to compete in the next World Cup qualifier on the east coast sub league, which will take place in Washington, D.C. (USA) on Saturday 28 October 2017. The Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League resumes with the west coast sub league at Sacramento (USA) on Saturday 7 October 2017.

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Swail Sweeps Up a Longines Win at Langley

Photo: Conor Swail and Flower (FEI/Rebecca Berry)

Ireland’s Conor Swail and Flower did nothing but win at the Thunderbird Show Park, as the pair completed the sweep by topping the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Langley, kicking off the west coast sub league of the series.

Although declared for the east coast sub league, Swail arrived on the west coast, hungry for valuable ranking points, and the Irish rider came away with the lion’s share of those by proving fastest in a seven-horse jump-off designed by fellow Irishman Alan Wade. Christopher Surbey (CAN) and new mount Daylight VDL finished second, and Jamie Barge (USA) and Luebbo were third. Earlier in the week, Swail and his 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare also won the Maui Jim Welcome Stake and the Steel-Craft Door Products Cup.

“I just continued with the same process that we came here with. It was working very well, so there was no need to try to change too much. My mare was absolutely outstanding, and it was really good to finish it off with the win.” — Conor Swail (IRL)

Last to go in the jump-off, Swail had only Surbey to catch, and a loose gallop up the first three fences left him with room to spare down the final line. Swail and Flower ended up comfortable winners; they were nearly four seconds faster that the runners up.

“I knew the time was easily attainable,” Swail explained. “[Flower] is very good at running and jumping, so I let her run and jump the first few jumps. I didn’t take any major risks and just knew that, with the way she was jumping, she would leave the jumps up as long as I didn’t make any mistakes.”

The North American League continues with a return to the east, with the qualifier in North Salem (NY) on Sunday 17 September 2017.

Conor Swail (IRL): “It’s an early relationship that I have with [Flower]. She is a little unique. She can be quite difficult to ride at times. She’s very spooky and can see stuff that’s not there. She has an extremely funny character, but when she goes into the ring, she’s not spooky at all. She’s dead brave and very careful. I’ve been trying to level out all those situations and make her trust me as much as we can. It’s getting much more consistent. We’ve won a lot since I got her in early January. I feel now that I’m starting to get all the pieces in the right places consistently.”

Christopher Surbey (CAN): “For me, my horse is not as naturally quick as Conor’s horse. He has a really big stride, but he’s a bit slower moving. I had a plan where I could leave stride out here or there. I don’t have much experience with this particular horse. My goal was to be clear and as quick as I could, but I left a lot on the table.”

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Isabelle Lapierre Has Breakout Moment in Bromont

Isabelle Lapierre and Cescha M. (FEI/ Tom von Kapherr)

It was a day of firsts for Canadian Isabelle Lapierre, as the 38 year old rode her own Cescha M to her first World Cup qualifier victory and her mount’s World Cup qualifier debut at the opening leg of the 2017/2018 season of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League at Bromont (CAN).

In front of a hometown crowd, the Quebec native vanquished a six horse jump off. Jennifer Serek and Wicked took runner-up honors, and Heather Caristo-Williams and Qui Vive des Songes Z were third.

“She had a very good year, and she’s always trying to win. We built her up, and she’s just improving every year.” — Isabelle Lapierre (CAN)

Third to return over the shortened track designed by Belgium’s Luc Musette, Lapierre took over the lead briefly set by Serek, crossing the timers in 43.39 seconds, and held through to the end, as neither Ali Ramsay (CAN) nor Charlie Jacobs (USA), riding his 2017 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final partner Cassinja S, could jump cleanly or catch her time.

“Every time I jump here, I feel the crowd is jumping with me,” she added. “I think that’s why I went faster than Jen. The crowd was pushing me. I had an advantage.”

The first World Cup qualifier of the 2017/2018 season in Bromont (CAN) kicked off the east coast sub league of the North American League. The west coast sub league begins at Langley on Sunday 27 August 2017.

Isabelle Lapierre (CAN) – 1st: “I think this event was very amazing. They gave everything for horse and rider to have perfect conditions. They work hard, and the course designer was fantastic and the crowd amazing.”

“The whole year, we planned the shows where we wanted to be ready for here to see what she would do. Now, we have to think differently, because we know she can do that next step. Now, the plan will be built around doing the next step.”

Jennifer Serek (CAN) – 2nd: “This is the first World Cup Qualifier [Wicked] has ever done. I knew there were fast riders behind me, and I gave it my best shot, but I just missed out a little bit.”

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

FEI World Cup Jumping North American League to Reach New Heights in Third Season

America’s McLain Ward claimed top honours at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final 2017 in Omaha (USA) with the mare HH Azur. (Liz Gregg/FEI)

When the 2016/2017 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League capped its second season with a fairytale victory for the USA’s McLain Ward at the Final on home soil in Omaha, Nebraska, it realised a dream for the two-time Olympic gold medalist, who had gone winless in his previous 16 tries at the seasonal finale.

More dreams are certain to become realities again this season, when the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League kicks off its third season this Sunday (6 August) at Quebec’s Bromont International CSI 3*-W, where Canada, Mexico, and the United States’ top Jumping combinations will begin the quest to qualify for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Paris (FRA) in April 2018.

Seven east and seven west coast competitions will determine a total of 14 athletes – seven US athletes from the East Coast sub league, three US athletes from the West Coast league, plus two apiece from Canada and Mexico – that will receive their qualifying tickets for the Final. Putting strategy into play, the League’s format counts the top four scores out of a possible seven results, allowing athletes to determine their route to FEI World Cup™ qualification based on the venues and schedules that best suit their operations.

“The Longines FEI World Cup Jumping North American League is obviously an example of consistency over quite a decent amount of time,” said the reigning Longines FEI World Cup™ champion McLain Ward, whose participation in last year’s North American League with his mare HH Azur propelled them to ultimate victory in Omaha. “You see the top riders aiming to get points early, while others have other strategies. It’s exciting and leads up to a great Final.”

“I don’t think I change too much,” he added. “We’ll just try to keep doing the best we can. It was a great win, especially to do it on home turf.”

Fellow American Lucy Deslauriers is eligible to contest the entire League for the first time, after turning 18 this year, and the young rider will make her FEI World Cup™ debut at Bromont after competing in the show’s national and two-star competitions in the past several years. Others lined up to kick off the League season in Quebec are FEI World Cup™ veterans Charlie Jacobs (USA), Keean White (CAN), and Lucy’s father Mario Deslauriers (USA) who, in 1984, became the youngest rider to triumph in the FEI World Cup Jumping™ Final when he steered Aramis to victory at just 19 years of age when he was still flying the Canadian flag.

“Obviously it’s something I’ve been working toward for a while now,” Lucy Deslauriers said. “I did my first World Cup qualifier in Ocala this winter at Live Oak, so that was the biggest I had jumped at that point. It went well, and I was pretty happy. I gained a little experience at that height, more so than I had leading up to that show. I hope my performance this coming weekend will reflect that.”

Competing at International Bromont CSI 3*-W also holds special meaning for the young Deslauriers due to a deeply rooted family connection. Lucy’s grandfather Roger Deslauriers is the general manager of the Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park.

“It’s very special, and I’ve been doing the two-star competition and some of the other small classes for many years now,” Lucy Deslauriers said. “To finally be able to compete in the World Cup qualifier, with a lot of the family here, including my parents and my brother, it will be very special.”

Bromont kicks off the east coast sub-league of the North American League (NAL).  The west coast sub-league will begin at Thunderbird Show Park in Langley, British Columbia on 27 August 2017.

Social Media

Follow all the action from the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League, including live updates, features, and behind the scenes visuals on social media.

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By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

US Athletes Look for Success at 2017 FEI World Vaulting Championships for Juniors

Lexington, Ky. – Artistry, athleticism, and talent will be on display this week when U.S. vaulting is showcased at the 2017 FEI World Vaulting Championships for Juniors. Running from August 2-5, 2017, in Ebreichsdor, Austria, the U.S. brings a contingent of 14 vaulters competing for titles in the Individual Female, Individual Male, Pas de Deux, and Squad Junior Championships. Chef d’Equipe Mary McCormick and Assistant Chef d’Equipe Jessica Garrod will guide the U.S. vaulters.

Individual Female Championship
Tessa Belardi (Aptos, Calif.) and Ana Schult (Longmont, Colo.) will make their first appearances at the junior world vaulting championships. They will be joined by Bodhi Hall (San Jose, Calif.), who competed in the 2015 junior world vaulting championships. She will vault on First NoBady, a 2004 PZHK gelding, and will be assisted by Lunger Emma Seely.

Recently, Belardi placed third in the Individual Female CVIJ2* competition at the Pacific Cup CVI in May and she will vault with Diva 506, a 2003 Oldenbug mare, and Lunger Carolyn Bland. Schult won the Individual Female CVIJ2* title at the Pacific Cup CVI. She will vault with Dresdn, a 2007 Hungarian Warmblood gelding and Lunger Elke Nousse.

Individual Male Championship
Luke Overton (Stanwood, Wash.) makes his return to the FEI World Vaulting Championships for Juniors after competing in 2015. Jace Brooks (Eagle Mountain, Utah), the 2016 Silver Individual Male USEF/AVA National Champion, will join Overton. Both competed in the Pacific Cup CVI and Canada Cup CVI in May where they placed first and second in both competitions, respectively. Overton and Brooks will vault with Dresdn and Lungers Stefanie Nussmuller and Devon Maitozo, respectively.

Pas de Deux Championship
Hall, a 2015 junior world vaulting pas de deux champion with Michelle Guo, will team up with Caroline Morse (Los Gatos, Calif.) for a chance at the 2017 title. The pair began vaulting together in the spring of 2016 where they have earned four top three finishes. Most recently they won the Pas de Deux CVIJ2* competition at the Canada Cup CVI. They will vault with First NoBady, a 2004 PZHK gelding, and Lunger Nousse.

Bridget Kiernan (San Mateo, Calif.) returns to the FEI World Vaulting Championships for Juniors following a third place finish with Sarah Dunn in 2015. She brings a new partner in Janie Salisbury (Atherton, Calif.). The pair placed first in Pas de Deux CVIJ2* competition at the Pacific Cup CVI. They will vault with Diva 506 and Lunger Bland.

Squad Championship
A talented squad has high hopes in the FEI Squad Championship. Miki Yang (Los Altos Hills, Calif.) and Audrey Kiernan (San Mateo, Calif.) are the most experienced vaulters in the squad, having represented the U.S. at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and the 2015 FEI World Vaulting Championships for Juniors. Their teammates, Belardi, Bridget Kiernan, Annika Malmstrom (Palo Alto, Calif.), and Lena Nicoletti (Sunnyvale, Calif.), are up for the challenge of their first world championship appearance. Earlier this year at the Pacific Cup CVI, the squad finished second in the CVIJ2* squad division. The squad will vault with Amontillado 9, a 2008 Holsteiner gelding, and Lunger Bland.

Watch the entire championship live on FEI TV.

Find out more about the 2017 FEI World Vaulting Championships for Juniors.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Newly Crowned FEI World Cup Champion McLain Ward Moves to World Number One

McLain Ward with HH Azur (Liz Gregg/FEI)

McLain Ward (USA), the newly crowned Longines FEI World Cup™ champion and two-time Olympic team gold medallist, has reclaimed the world number one spot in the Longines Rankings.

“It is always a great honour to be number one. It reflects the consistency at the top level that we all strive for. Being named number one in the Longines Rankings immediately after my World Cup win is just a great feeling!” — McLain Ward

Ward and his 2016 Olympic mount HH Azur clinched victory at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Finals in Omaha (USA) last Sunday, bringing the 2016/17 season to a fairytale close and boosting Ward up from fourth to the number one spot in the Longines Rankings.

He replaces Germany’s Daniel Deusser, who has held pole position since January and now drops back to third. Fellow US Olympic teammate, Kent Farrington, remains in second, with Christian Ahlmann (GER) dropping from third to fourth and Eric Lamaze (CAN) holding onto fifth place.

Ward made his Olympic debut at Athens 2004 when he was a member of the US gold medal-winning team. He earned a second Olympic team gold at the Beijing 2008 Games, and finished sixth individually at London 2012. Ward also won individual gold and team bronze at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games with Rothchild.

Despite announcing his retirement in April 2016, two months later Ward took over as world number one from French Olympian, Simon Delestre. Heading into the Rio Olympic Games in incredible form, Ward and HH Azur were foot-perfect throughout to help the US to team silver.

Press contact:

At FEI:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations & Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46