US Show Jumping Team Begins Quest for FEI Nations Cup Title at CSIO4* HITS Ocala
McLain Ward and Rothchild (RedBayStock.com)
Ocala, Fla. – The Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team returns to action this week, taking on seven countries in the FEI Nations Cup™ CSIO4* Ocala on Friday, February 17. U.S. Show Jumping Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland will lead the team of Lauren Hough and Cornet 39, Lillie Keenan and Super Sox, Beezie Madden and Breitling LS, and McLain Ward and Rothchild as they look to get off to a strong start in the North America standings. Ali Wolff and Casall will serve as the reserve combination. The U.S. has drawn seventh in the order and will compete in the following order:
McLain Ward with Rothchild: 2016 Rio Olympic Games Team Silver medalist Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) returns to CSIO4* HITS Ocala with his 2015 Pan American Games Gold medalist partner, Rothchild, Sagamore Farms’ 2001 Warmblood gelding. The combination helped lead the team to a Gold medal during last year’s competition. Their most recent grand prix victory came during the $380,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix CSI5* at the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival in February.
Lillie Keenan with Super Sox: Keenan (New York, N.Y.) and Super Sox, Chansonette Farm LLC.’s 2006 Hanoverian gelding, will get their competition year in full swing at CSIO4* HITS Ocala. Most recently, the 2016 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final Team Bronze medalists placed second at the CSI3* Grand Prix of Opglabbeek in November.
Lauren Hough with Cornet 39: Hough (Wellington, Fla.) and Cornet 39, Willow Grace Farms’ 2004 Oldenburg gelding, picked up nine top-10 finishes in 2016, including the $130,000 Engel & Völkers Grand Prix CSI4* in March. They were members of last year’s Gold medal-winning team at CSIO4* HITS Ocala.
Beezie Madden with Breitling LS: 2016 Rio Olympic Games Team Silver medalist Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) will ride Breitling LS, Abigail Wexner’s 2006 Dutch Warmblood stallion. The combination was part of last year’s Gold Medal-winning Team at CSIO4* HITS Ocala. They recently tied for first place in qualifier for the $35,000 SOVARO Qualifier for the Wellington Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League at the CSI3*-W Palm Beach Masters.
Ali Wolff with Casall: Wolff (New Albany, Ohio) and Casall, Blacklick Bend Farm’s 2005 Holsteiner gelding, arrive at CSIO4* HITS Ocala after a productive 2016. The combination earned eight top-10 finishes. Most notably, they placed second in the $86,000 Engel & Völkers Grand Prix CSI3* at Angelstone in August.
Watch the live stream of the FEI Nations Cup™ CSIO4* Ocala on FEI TV on Friday, February 17, at 2 p.m. ET.
By Dana Rossmeier, US Equestrian Communications Department