US Show Jumpers Second at La Baule in First Leg of Meydan FEI Nations Cup
RELEASE: May 14, 2010
Lexington, KY and La Baule, France
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Joanie Morris
- Ten teams were in the hunt at the first CSIO of the 2010 Meydan FEI Nations Cup including Poland, a team taking the huge step from the FEI Promotional League to the Meydan Nations Cup, who led off the jumping in La Baule, France.
As the show celebrated its 50th anniversary before a capacity crowd and six clear trips out of the first 10 horses made it look as though the course would be soft. That form didn't hold however and as the class unfolded, the rails began to fall.
Richard Spooner did his part for the US effort, guiding a masterful effort with Cristallo, and reined in 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding's enthusiasm as the lead-off combination for the USA.
Owned by Show Jumping Syndications, Cristallo made light work of the course and jumped and enthusiastic clear in the first round. Hillary Dobbs then had one down on Quincy B (owned by the Dobbs Group) in her first appearance at La Baule for the US. Somehow Dobbs is also managing to finish up classes at Harvard University while on this European jumping trip. Mario Deslauriers, after making a name for himself in the show jumping world riding for Canada, delivered on the expectation as a newly minted US citizen with Urico for owner Jane Clark. The nine-year-old Urico tried his heart out and rose to the occasion in his first Nations Cup. McLain Ward and his legendary Sapphire (owned by Ward and Blue Chip Bloodstock) had a rare moment of miscommunication, and Sapphire had a rail down behind at the end of the course. Each team of four drops the highest score so this meant the US carried just four faults into the second round - tied with France and Great Britain for the top spot. Spain was a time fault back in fourth.
The second round evolved into a battle between the US and the home country of France, and it came down to the final two riders from each country.
Ward and Sapphire had the unthinkable happen: the superstar mare uncharacteristically had the first fence down, but then proceeded to jump perfectly around the rest of the course. Their score of four had to count because despite the fact that both Spooner and Deslauriers jumped immaculate clears to finish on zero for the Nations Cup, Dobbs had two down and a time fault on Quincy B, meaning that Ward had to jump clear or else force a jump-off. The European Champion did just that, Kevin Staut produced a textbook effort on Kraque Boom for the win on France's home turf.Winning Started Early at CSIO La Baule for US Jumping Riders
Ward had already won two classes at CSIO La Baule before the Nations Cup got underway. With Louisburg Farm's Pjotter Van De Zonnehoeve, he jumped to victory on both Thursday and Friday in the Prix Echo de la Presqu'ile Guerandaisa and the Prix du Cinquantenaire respectively.
Beezie Madden was sixth in Thursday's class with John Madden Sales and Elizabeth Busch Burke's Exclusive and Hillary Dobbs was fourth in the Prix du Cinquantenaire with Marengo. Dobbs was also fifth in the Prix Generali with Corlett and Madden was third in the Prix du Conseil Général de Loire Atlantique behind the Individual Olympic Gold medalist from Canada, Eric Lamaze, who rode Hickstead to the win. Madden and Abigail Wexner's Mademoiselle was less than two seconds off the winning pace further solidifying their partnership which began over the winter. Fellow American Richard Spooner rode Pako (owned by his wife Kaylen) to a tie for fifth in the same class which featured 72 starters.
Chef d'Equipe George Morris and the US team will continue to be busy as the competition continues throughout the weekend. Please visit: http://www.usef.org/_IFrames/breedsDisciplines/discipline/competitions/MeydanNationsCup.aspx to stay up to date.ENDS
For more information or media requests, please contact Joanie Morris at email@example.com.