U.S Riders Romp in the $75,000 FEI Nations Cup presented by CN
RELEASE: March 7, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Joanie Morris
Wellington, FL – Nine teams contested the $75,000 FEI Nations Cup CSIO 5**** presented by CN on March 7 at a festive Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. In a night off from the USEF Selection Trials for Show Jumping, which continue on Sunday afternoon, the Nations Cup brought out true international flavor.
Fans, bands and patriotism showed up to support the different teams and be part of the action including a very vocal Irish contingency. They were rewarded for their support during the first round – picking up only five faults.
But under the watchful eye of Chef d’Equipe George Morris, the American squad proved too tough to handle in a competition that has alluded them in recent memory.
In the first round, the ever-consistent duo of Kent Farrington and Up Chiqui led off for the U.S. and had the middle element of the triple down. Coming up quickly at fence three, the triple combination was troublesome all evening.
Ft. Lauderdale resident Danielle Torano jumped a dynamite clear on Marlo riding in the second spot, and 19-year-old Hillary Dobbs rode well beyond her years and jumped clean – picking up one time fault. Riding in the anchor position, the ever dependable McLain Ward on his classy veteran mare Sapphire, who has already been named to the USEF Short List for the 2008 Olympic Team in Show Jumping, jumped clear giving the U.S. a first round total of one and taking the lead into the second round.
“It felt great to pull my weight in the Nations Cup team and all of us put in clear rounds” said Dobbs. “It was such a relief, I was very excited to be part of another Nations Cup team. It was an amazing experience.”
The top six teams returned for the second round: Canada, Great Britain, Venezuela. Mexico, Ireland and the U.S.
Farrington, first to go again for the U.S., made no mistake and jumped a foot perfect clear round with Up Chiqui. Torano had fence four down after the triple with Marlo but recovered instantly and finished up beautifully. Dobbs followed with Quincy B and continued to gain valuable Nations Cup experience jumping clean again. Because the U.S. couldn’t be beat after these three riders went, Ward and Sapphire didn’t need to jump in the second round.
“Sapphire felt great,” said Ward. “I had the nice luxury of not having to jump in the second round which had never happened to me before.”
That left the U.S. with a total of four faults and a win one their home turf.
“We had a tricky time putting a team together,” said George Morris. “This falls right in the midst of our Olympic Selection Trials. They did brilliantly and I’m very proud of how well they did.”
The Canadians were second in an emotional performance: the evening was dedicated to Lynn Millar, Canadian Show Jumping master Ian Millar’s wife, who died this week after a tremendously courageous battle with cancer.
For more information please contact Joanie Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org.