Lexington, KY – The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce the eight East Coast show jumpers who will represent the nation during the 2005 Budweiser FEI World Cup Show Jumping Final in Las Vegas, April 20-24. They are: McLain Ward of Brewster, New York, Laura Kraut of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, Kimberly Frey of Hume, Virginia, Anne Kursinski of Frenchtown, New Jersey, Schuyler Riley of Wellington, Florida, Lauren Hough of Wellington, Florida, Georgina Bloomberg of New York, New York, and Candice King of Wellington, Florida.
The $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup in Tampa, March 30, was the final deciding factor in trimming a long list of talented riders. The last in a series of 12 qualifying competitions for the East Coast League, it proved to be a night of promise for some, and disappointment for others. A driving force throughout the qualifiers, McLain Ward’s 96 points ensured his spot in Las Vegas before the final qualifier. Having participated in 12 classes already, he wasn’t eligible to gain points in this final class; instead, he completed a double clear round on Neuville, earning a third place finish. Competitive finishes at the Challenge Cup were a must for Anne Kursinski, Schuyler Riley and Georgina Bloomberg, and all three rose to the challenge. Riley came in fourth on Ilian, Kursinski in tenth on Lorenzo, and Bloomberg in eleventh on Nadia—enough for each to secure her standing and make the trip to the World Cup Final.
Coming in first at the Challenge Cup was Alison Firestone on Intrepide Du Valon, with a double clear round at 34.66 seconds. Sheila Burke and Caya were second, at 36.66 seconds.
Traditionally, only the top seven riders from the East Coast League advance to the World Cup Final—however, as this year’s Final takes place in Las Vegas, two wild cards have been allotted to show jumpers in the host country, one of which will go to the East Coast. This wild card has ensured that both Georgina Bloomberg and Candice King, tied with a total of 71 World Cup qualifying points, will go to Las Vegas. Ward, Kraut, Frey, Kursinski, Riley, Hough, Bloomberg and King will join Richard Spooner, Nicole Simpson, Joie Gatlin and Gabriella Salick from the West Coast League, in a ride for the title at the 2005 Budweiser FEI World Cup Show Jumping Final in Las Vegas, April 20-24. To see the complete results from the East and West Coast Leagues, log onto www.usef.org, click on High Performance, and then Show Jumping. Rankings can be found under the World Cup header.