Lucy Davis and Barron jumped two clear rounds and earned the Furusiyya Leading Rider of the Day Award (Shannon Brinkman)
Lexington, KY – The U.S string of top Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup performances continued Friday in an exciting showdown at CHIO Rotterdam. Eight teams took on the 12 obstacle challenge of Dutch course designer Louis Konickx and the formidable all female team of Americans Beezie Madden, Laura Kraut, Lauren Hough, and Lucy Davis finished second. With a total score of five faults they were in contention for the win till the very end, and proved to be among the very best competitors in the world.
Making the finish even more exciting for the U.S. team was the performance of its youngest rider, Lucy Davis. Davis, who only last year won the Lionel Guerrand-Hermes Trophy*, was the stand-out rider Friday on a team of very accomplished veterans. Her double clear effort was the U.S. team’s only one and one of only three in the entire competition. For that she was awarded the Furusiyya Leading Rider of the Day Award.
“Rotterdam has always been kind to the U.S. and today was no exception,” said Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland. “Bert de Nemethy won his final European Nations Cup here in 1978, and most recently George Morris brought a team here that won in 2010. What was most satisfying about this year’s Team was that it was the first ‘3/2’ of the year – matching 3 veterans from the 2010 all girls Team, Beezie, Laura, and Lauren with two of our most promising newcomers: Lucy and Saer. The result speaks volumes of where we stand in the sport today and where we will be in the future.”
Saer Coulter (San Fransisco, CA) and Copernicus Stables, LLC’s Springtime were the U.S. team alternates on Friday.
The U.S. Team led off the competition in round one, and nearly finished clear on the scoreboard. Fault free efforts by youngster Davis (Los, Angeles, CA), who on this team anchored by veterans would prove to be the MVP, riding Old Oak Farm’s Barron and Madden (Cazenovia, NY) on Abigail Wexner’s Cortes ‘C’ were nearly matched by Laura Kraut, but Cherry Knoll Farm, Inc.’s Cedric took off and almost ran right by the water obstacle (the penultimate on the course). A skillful correction from the Longines Global Champions Tour points leader kept Cedric on-track though, and they put only a foot in the water on the way to a four fault finish.
The Americans carried those four faults into the second round. They started out in a tight spot, two points behind Germany and one point ahead of Spain, Switzerland, and France. But the competition quickly thinned. As the round progressed downed rails and time faults were prevalent as the Germans, Americans, and French were the only three teams able to put together more than one clear round.
Lauren Hough (Wellington, FL) and Quick Study recovered from eight faults in the first round to start Team USA’s round two with a single time fault. A clear round from Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, FL) & Cedric, and another beautiful clear from Davis & Barron guaranteed the team a score of five or lower. The first three German riders, Christian Ahlmann, Hans-Dieter Dreher, and Philipp Weishaupt finished clear, with nine, and clear respectively.
The French team also had two clears, but with a nine fault total score they were out of contention for the win before the final horses on the U.S. and German teams entered the arena.
Madden and Cortes ‘C’ would end up taking eight faults, so German anchor Ludger Beerbaum was left needing to finish the course with all rails in place. He did, but took his time and created some suspense by earning two time faults, and narrowly avoiding a jump-off.
Complete results are available here.
The U.S. Nations Cup season has been very successful thus far. After winning the $75,000 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup presented by G&C Farm at CSIO Wellington, and taking second and fourth at the $100,000 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup at the CSIO5* Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ Tournament, the U.S. won the North American, Central America and Caribbean League and qualified for the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Season Series Final in Barcelona, Spain September 26-29.
For more about CHIO Rotterdam, go to www.chio.nl.
Follow the 2013 U.S. Jumping Team here.
By Andrew Minnick
*The Lionel Guerrand-Hermes Trophy is presented to a Young Rider in one of the Olympic disciplines who exemplifies both sportsmanship and horsemanship.