Future of U.S. Jumping Shines Bright at CSIO Wellington; Young Riders Prove Unbeatable as Juniors and Child Riders Both Claim Fourth Place Honors

RELEASE: March 2, 2013

Wellington, FL- The International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center belonged to the future of the sport as Young Riders, Juniors and Child Riders went to task over beautifully built courses by Anthony D'Ambrosio. The first rounds of the three FEI Nations Cup competitions, which
The U.S. Young Rider Team stood atop the podium (Sportfot)
The U.S. Young Rider Team stood atop the podium (Sportfot)
were being held as part of CSIO Wellington, were jumped during the windy afternoon session, with riders returning for a second round under the lights.

The U.S. fielded three strong teams which under the guidance of Chef d’Equipe Michelle Grubb demonstrated the next generation of American jumpers are an exciting and talented group. In the $10,000 FEI Young Riders Nation Cup presented by Hollow Creek Farm the U.S. completed a dominating performance to win on home turf with a score of 10. The American Juniors demonstrated consistency as they cruised to fourth place in the $2,500 FEI Junior Riders Nations Cup presented by Hollow Creek Farm on a 12 fault total. The Child Riders also displayed tact in a fourth place effort to finishing with a total of 13 faults in the FEI Children’s Nations Cup presented by Hollow Creek Farm.

“This has been a great week,” said Grubb. “This is the start of something really special.”

$10,000 FEI Young Riders Nation Cup presented by Hollow Creek Farm

The U.S. Young Rider Team of Catherine Pasmore, Mattias Tromp, Abigail McArdle and Liza Finsness drew the enviable starting position of third in the four country field for the first round Saturday afternoon.

Pasmore (Wellington, FL) and Pasmore Stables’ nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Z Canta led-off the U.S. jumping effort with eight faults, incurred at fences five and 12, in the first round. But the veteran pair rebounded in their second trip to jump an immaculate clear, setting the tone for the U.S. under the lights.

“She’s been great,” said Pasmore. “I rode terribly in the first round but we turned it around in the second round which was great. I’m happy to be part of this great team.”

Riding in the second spot for the United States were Tromp (North Salem, NY) and Baeyaert Farm Inc.’s Casey. The 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding produced a clear jumping effort but was just over the time allowed; incurring a one fault round in afternoon. They returned for the evening’s second round and after rolling the back rail at the first fence settled into a rhythm just adding an additional time fault for a second round total of five.

“I started out today with a time fault and had an unlucky rail and another time fault (in the second round) but this was a great experience.”

McArdle (Barrington, IL) brought David McArdle’s Cosma 20 in to Saturday’s competition and produced an efficient and faultless round in the afternoon. In round two the 10-year-old Hanoverian mare again never looked as though she thought of touching rail in a second foot perfect round for McArdle. The pair were the sole competitors to jump a double clear in Saturday’s Young Rider competition.

“Being able to represent your country is such an honor,” said an ecstatic Mc Ardle. “This was a great experience and I hope we can do it again.”

Finsness (Wellington, FL) anchored the U.S. Young Rider Team with her veteran 16-year-old Warmblood gelding Ormsby Hill. In the first round the combination were penalized four faults for a foot in the open water at fence six.

After the first three U.S. riders completed the second round, Finsness did not need to make a return trip to the International Arena as the United States had clinched victory with the clears by Pasmore and McArdle and Tromp’s five fault round.

“Ormsby was amazing today, we had the water; I pushed him too hard,” said Finsness. “We didn’t have to go tonight because my teammates were awesome.”

Placing second behind the U.S. was Canada with 15 faults and third went to the Colombian Team with 48 faults.

$2,500 FEI Junior Riders Nations Cup presented by Hollow Creek Farm

The $2,500 FEI Junior Riders Nations Cup presented by Hollow Creek Farm hosted a truly international field, as eight nations sent teams into the International Arena Saturday afternoon. With the top six teams from round one returning for a second time under the lights. Collecting the winner’s spoils was the team from Brazil with a total of six faults. Mexico and Venezuela were second and third respectively with eight and nine faults.

Sydney Shulman (Greenwich, CT) jumped Back Country Farm’s Little Lady D'Elle in the lead off position for the Americans. In both rounds the 14-year-old Selle Francais mare got strong on the approach to the vertical at fence nine incurring four faults marring otherwise beautifully executed performances.

Next up for the U.S. was Lucas Porter of Bartonville, Texas and Sleepy P Ranch, LLC’s 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding Phineas. The talented pair jumped a forward clear round in their first trip around D'Ambrosio’s testing track. They returned for round two looking to secure a double clear for the U.S. but it was not meant to be as they just clipped the oxer jumping into the combination at six for a four fault total.

Chloe Reid and Chloe D. Reid, LLC’s Damascus produced a four fault effort in the afternoon after rolling the top rail at fence nine. Reid (Washington, DC) and the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare returned under the lights and again presented a stylish round but were caught out at the vertical at nine for a second time Saturday, resulting in another four fault total.

Anchoring the U.S. Junior Team was Lillie Keenan (New York, NY) on Chansonette Farm, LLC’s 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding Londinium. In round one the pair produced a stylish clear round that never looked in doubt. They returned in round two and again jumped an effortless fault-free round.
Keenan was one of only three competitors to jump a double clear in the $2,500 FEI Junior Riders Nations Cup presented by Hollow Creek Farm.

“This was a really exciting experience and thank you to Hollow Creek Farm. There are not very many opportunities to get to be part of a team like this. I love the energy of being on a team and I think we learned a lot today. It was a good lesson for the U.S.,” said Keenan. “I really match well with my horse, this is the first team competition with him and he jumped a bunch of clear rounds this week which was good.”

Jumping as an individual in CSIOJ competition, the United States’ Katherine Strauss (South Hampton, NY) earned the leading rider title after collecting 51 points with Katherine Strauss, LLC’s Chellando Z.

FEI Children’s Nations Cup presented by Hollow Creek Farm

The U.S. team of McKayla Langmeier, Jordyn Freedman, McKenzie Kasper and Brett Burlington put forth a determined effort over two rounds of jumping in the FEI Children’s Nations Cup presented by Hollow Creek Farm which saw six teams line-up for the first round. At the end of round two Brazil stood on a total of two faults to clinch victory over Argentina, with a four fault total, and Venezuela on nine faults.

Riding Missy Clark’s Looping Star, Langmeier (East Granby, CT) got things started for the U.S. with a solid trip, just barely tapping the rail at fence nine in the afternoon session. The 16-year-old Hanoverian gelding returned in the evening and jumped impeccably in round two to produce a fault-free effort. 

Freedman (Longmeadow, MA) and her own 14-year-old Warmblood gelding Swag entered the ring second for the U.S. team and looked well on their way to a clear in round one, but added one stride too many at the final vertical, fence 12, and incurred four faults. The pair returned under the lights and again were penalized four faults after rolling the top rail of the vertical jumping into the double at four.

In the third spot for the U.S. were Kasper and her own Tum Tum. The Alpharetta, Georgia native and 13-year-old KWPN mare jumped two eight fault trips, incurring penalties at 4A and 11 in their initial round and lowering the heights of 4A and 12 under the lights.

Rounding out the U.S. Team effort was Burlington (Coral Gables, FL) on her own nine-year-old Zangersheide mare  'Tis Picobello Z. As the anchor leg, the pair scored one fault for finishing just over the time allowed in the first round. They returned under the lights to jump faultlessly and cruise around D'Ambrosio’s course easily within the time.

George H. Morris Retirement Ceremony

In a special ceremony held before the second round of the $2,500 FEI Junior Riders Nations Cup presented by Hollow Creek Farm, the USEF honored legendary trainer and Chef d’Equipe, George Morris with a retirement ceremony held in the center of the International Arena. Former students, team members and U.S. team officials gathered to celebrate the storied career of one of the greatest icons of the sport, with speeches and a video tribute.

“Thank you for your years of service to Team USA,” said USEF President Chrystine Tauber. “We are forever indebted to you.”

Ever the horseman and the consummate supporter of the American Team and its programs, Morris thanked all those that had made his journey possible.

“Thank you to all my riders and their owners and the support staff. We had a great run and we are going to have a better run. I’m very passionate about the Americacn style of riding and I will continue to support it,” said Morris. “Don’t think about pulling off my shoes, in 2013 I’m working harder than ever.”

For Video-on-Demand, news and photos from Saturday’s competition visit;

For more information about CSIO Wellington visit;

Follow the 2013 U.S. Jumping Team here.