Lexington, KY – The fourth and final USEF Observation Event for the US Show Jumping Team for the 2012 Olympic Games wrapped up a selection process that started with the Selection Trials in March. The $200,000 CN Performance Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows in Calgary hosted 12 Long-Listed American combinations out of the 37 starters who took on Bob Ellis’ course. At the culmination of the class, Rich Fellers (Willsonville, OR) took top honors again; he was fastest of the seven which jumped first round clears.
Fellers’ effort on Mollie and Harry Chapman’s 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse stallion reinforced his win in Thursday’s Husky Energy Cup (the first part of the Observation Event). The 2012 Rolex/FEI World Cup champions returned to form after a hiatus from competition since the Del Mar Horse Show in May.
Lexington, KY – The 2012 Rolex/FEI World Cup Champions have not been in the ring in six weeks – but based on their performance in the Husky Energy Classic on Thursday night at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, it didn’t make any difference.
Rich Fellers and Flexible bested a field of 19 and made it look easy, stopping the jump-off clock at 51.237 to score victory by just less than a second over Beezie Madden and Coral Reef Via Volo. This class serves as the first half of the final Observation Event for the US Show Jumping Team for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Fellers and Flexible jumped one of only three first round clears over the 1.60m track designed by Bob Ellis, and scored their third consecutive victory in a USEF Observation Event. With Harry and Mollie Chapman’s 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse stallion, Fellers took top honors at two classes at Del Mar in May, but since then Flexible has been waiting for Spruce Meadows to return to the ring. It was a detour from his normal schedule but with selection for the 2012 Olympic Games on the line, so far for Fellers, it has paid off.
Lexington, KY – The fourth and final USEF Observation Event for the 2012 US Show Jumping Team highlights this week’s schedule at Spruce Meadows in Calgary. Eleven riders from the USEF Show Jumping Long List have one more chance to prove their mettle as they vie for a spot on the 2012 Olympic Team.
Thursday’s Husky Energy Classic serves as the first of the two classes designated by the USEF for observation, and the second is Saturday’s CN Performance Grand Prix. Both classes are held at 1.60m height.
Both classes will be shown live on www.usefnetwork.com, Thursday June 14th at 8 PM Eastern and Saturday, June 16th at 4:30 PM Eastern.
The leader of the Long List, based on her victory of the USEF Observation Event classes in March, is 17-year-old phenom Reed Kessler (Lexington, KY). The reigining co-National champion has been racking up clear rounds from Florida to Kentucky to Calgary. She arrived in Canada two weeks ago and already claimed the top honors in the 1.60 meter Spectra Energy Cup last week with her top ranked horse Cylana. It was her first win at the prestigious Spruce Meadows tournament. She will compete the 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare and Mika, a 12-year-old Selle Francais gelding, both owned by her family.
Devon, PA – It was another glorious day at the Devon Horse Show and 15 horses lined up for the $50,000 Idle Dice Open Jumper Stake in the storied Dixon Oval at the 2012 Devon Horse Show. This afternoon’s class served as the second half of the third USEF Observation Event for the U.S. Show Jumping Team for the 2012 Olympic Games. Fourteen combinations, 13 of which are vying for a trip to the 2012 London Olympic Games, tested Michel Vaillancourt’s track and only two horses managed to leave up all of the jumps.
Charlie Jayne (Elgin, IL) cruised to an exceptional clear on Pony Lane Farm’s Chill RZ adding just one time fault to seal the victory over the difficult course.
“I thought the course was big,” said Jayne. “I thought the course was as technical as two nights ago. I thought it was hard and that the jumps came up quick. I thought the water came up quick and that lie was very difficult. I thought you needed some stamina; I think it was a big round two nights ago and it was bigger today. By the last line, I think your horse really needed some energy left. I couldn’t have asked much more from my horse; he was amazing all week.”
Devon, PA – A small but mighty field of show jumping horses lined up to tackle the penultimate USEF Observation Event for the U.S. Show Jumping Team for the 2012 Olympic Games. Thirteen combinations from the USEF Show Jumping Long List headlined the field of 16 in the 2012 $100,000 Wells Fargo Grand Prix of Devon.
The Dixon Oval always proves a tremendous venue at the Devon Horse Show and with improvements made over the last few years, the storied competition, though steeped with history, continues to evolve into the modern age. Another chapter in its history was written this evening as McLain Ward scored his seventh Grand Prix of Devon title. The win was full of emotion as Ward (Brewster, NY) battled back from a shattered kneecap in January to fight for his spot on his third Olympic Team.
“Obviously it feels great,” said Ward after his win. “I haven’t jumped jumps that big in a while. It’s nice to be back – it was a really hard four months.”
Devon, PA – All eyes will be on the Devon Horse Show this week as 13 of the top jumping combinations in the U.S. compete in the third of four 2012 U.S. Show Jumping Team Observation Events. Horses and riders on the USEF Long List for the U.S. Show Jumping Team for the 2012 Olympic Games will jump in Thursday’s Wells Fargo Grand Prix of Devon and Saturday’s Open Jumper Stake.
Beezie Madden will be extremely busy this week as she brings her three long listed horses to compete at the Devon Observation Event. Madden will compete Coral Reef Via Volo in the mare’s first Observation Event classes this week. The 14-year-old Belgian Warmblood and Madden teamed up to win Team Gold and Individual Silver medals for the U.S. at last year’s Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. She will also ride Abigail Wexner’s talented geldings Simon and Cortes ‘C’. Both horses had strong showings at the Observation Event in Lexington, KY earlier this month. Simon jumped to victory in the $50,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic and collected third place honors in the $75,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix. While Cortes ‘C’ finished fourth in the latter.