Ten US Riders Charge to the 2010 Rolex/FEI World Cup Final in Geneva
RELEASE: April 13, 2010
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Joanie Morris
McLain Ward and Sapphire Look to go One Better in 2010 (Shannon Brinkman/ USEF Archives)
Lexington, KY - With 10 riders representing the United States at the 2010 Rolex/FEI World Cup Final (April 15-18), the American assault on Geneva looks very strong. Led by 2009 runner-up McLain Ward and his legendary Sapphire, the 34-year-old will look to go one better in Switzerland than they did in Las Vegas one year ago. Fortunately, they won't have the fleet-footed Shutterfly to chase as the defending champ's rider, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, has just had her first child. Ward won the East Coast quest for the 2010 Final. Together, Ward and Sapphire have won two Olympic Gold medals and are fresh off a huge win in the $500,000 FTI Finale Grand Prix in Wellington, FL.
While winning the World Cup Final has eluded Ward thus far, his teammate Mario Deslauriers still holds the record for being the youngest rider (age 19) to ever take the title in 1984. Deslauriers made the switch from Canadian to American citizenship in 2009, so this will be his first shot at a second title as an American. Riding Jane Clark's Urico - Deslauriers will look to improve on a successful winter campaign in Florida.
Rich Fellers and the diminutive Flexible (owned by Harry and Mollie Chapman) were second in 2008 with an incredibly consistent performance, the Irish Sport Horse stallion made the trip to Geneva all the way from his Oregon home. It will be Flexible's third straight appearance after winning three qualifiers (and in turn topping the West Coast rankings).
Fellers and Ward lead a strong group returning for a shot at the title: Hillary Dobbs - who is somehow trying to also finish her degree at Harvard, will ride in her second Final on Quincy B, Todd Minikus and Pavarotti return after an impressive circuit in Florida, Michelle Spadone divided her time between California and the East with Melisimo while earning enough points for a spot at her second Final and Richard Spooner, who went to his first Final in 1979 as a groom for the great Canadian Ian Millar will ride Cristallo in the Holsteiner gelding's fourth consecutive final.
Lauren Hough and Quick Study, an 11-year-old Selle Francais
gelding owned by Meredith and Laura Mateo, are fiercely competitive across the globe, Hough has been a stalwart of the US jumping program since 2000, when she rode on the Olympic team in Sydney at just 22 years old.
Ken Berkely will ride in his first Final aboard the Weismans' Carlos Boy. The lovely grey gelding picks up fans whenever and wherever he jumps and Geneva should be no exception. Joie Gatlin and Camaron Hills Quick Dollar ruled the West Coast with consistency, picking up points in ten qualifiers. Gatlin won her first Grand Prix when she was just 17 years old, so her experience will be a great asset to Camaron Hill Farm's Irish Sport Horse as he contests his first Final.
Ward and Sapphire, Hough and Quick Study, Spooner and Cristallo, Deslauriers and Urico, Dobbs and Quincy B, Fellers and Flexible and Minikus and Pavarotti have all been named to the USEF Long List for the US Show Jumping Team for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. The World Games will be held in September in Lexington, KY.
Under the guidance of the US Chef d'Equipe, George Morris, 10 US riders will take on the field of 42 competitors from 19 countries. It is the year to break the tie with Germany, as both the US and defending nation have seven wins a piece at the Final. ENDS
For all the information, please visit: http://www.usef.org/_IFrames/breedsDisciplines/discipline/competitions/RolexWC.aspx.
For 2009/2010 World Cup Standings, please
Please contact Joanie Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Don't miss any of the action:
Watch the Excitement Unfold on www.feitv.org which will also showcase the FEI World Cup Final, Driving.
The provisional FEI TV broadcasting schedule from the Palexpo Arena in Geneva is as follows:
Thursday 15 April 2010 - 19.10 to 21.15 CEST, Rolex FEI World Cup™Final, Jumping
Friday 16 April 2010 - 19.10 to 21.45 CEST, Rolex FEI World Cup™Final, Jumping
Saturday 17 April 2010 - 22.10 to 23.15 CEST, FEI World Cup™Final, Driving
Sunday 18 April 2010 - 13.25 to 16.45 CEST, Rolex FEI World Cup™, Jumping