Barcelona, Spain – The Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team heads to the Longines FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final at CSIO5* Barcelona with the reigning Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Finals Champion and boasting eight podium appearances out of 10 Nations Cup competitions, four of them gold medal performances. The U.S. team is ready to compete in Barcelona, September 28-30. Under the experienced guidance of Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland, team members Lauren Hough, Laura Kraut, Beezie Madden, Chloe Reid, and McLain Ward will look to add another medal to the list of U.S. accomplishments as they take on teams from 14 countries in one of show jumping’s most prestigious team challenges.
Competing over the course of three days, U.S. combinations begin competition on Thursday, September 28 in the following order:
Lauren Hough and Ohlala: Olympian and 2015 Pan American Games bronze medalist Hough (Wellington, Fla.) will be first on course for the U.S. team on Thursday. Aiding in the U.S. bronze medal finish in the 2016 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final CSIO5* Barcelona, Hough competed in four Nations Cup competitions this year. She and The Ohlala Group’s Ohlala helped the U.S. team secure a silver medal at CSIO4* Ocala and three gold medals: CSIO5* Sopot, CSIO5* Dublin, and CSIO5* Spruce Meadows’, respectively. Riding two of the six double clear rounds in Dublin, Hough and the 13-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare, along with the all-female team, were awarded the prestigious Aga Kahn trophy, marking the seventh time a U.S. team has won it and the first time for an all-female U.S. team.
Laura Kraut and Confu: Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) played a key role in the U.S. bronze medal in last year’s Nations Cup Final. A two-time Olympian and team gold medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Kraut was most recently part of the all-female, gold-medal U.S. team in Dublin with Confu, St. Bride’s Farm’s 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding, who Kraut will partner with this week. While Kraut has competed for the U.S. team in three Nations Cup competitions in 2017, including podium finishes at Sopot, CSIO5* Aachen, and Dublin, the Jumping Final will serve as Confu’s second Nations Cup appearance. This handy, gray gelding and Kraut will add depth to the U.S. team.
Beezie Madden and Darry Lou: Four-time Olympian and three-time Olympic medalist Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) is a beloved athlete in international show jumping. Her accolades include a team silver medal in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, as well as team gold medals in 2004 and 2008 in Athens and Hong Kong, respectively. Additionally, she medaled in the 2006 and 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games. Madden has a relatively new mount in Abigail Wexner’s nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion, Darry Lou. In their first Nations Cup competition together at Spruce Meadows, the combination aided the U.S. team in its gold medal effort. Having competed in four Nations Cup competitions in 2017, including two silver and two gold medals, Madden has veteran experience to guide Darry Lou through the course, serving as an important combination for the U.S. team’s performance.
McLain Ward and HH Azur: Four-time Olympian Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) and Double H Farm and Francois Mathy’s HH Azur will anchor the U.S. team. Ward has aided in the success of the U.S. team in major competitions across the globe, including a silver medal in Rio, a bronze medal at the 2014 Alltech® FEI World Equestrian Games, and two silver and one gold medal for the U.S. team in Nations Cup competitions in 2017. Ward and the 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare have earned high honors in numerous Grand Prix competitions, including the coveted gold medal at the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final in Omaha, Neb. in April. Having won the hearts of fans around the world, HH Azur and Ward will look for continued success in Barcelona.
Chloe Reid and Codarco: Serving as the alternate for the U.S. team and a relatively new, but talented arrival to the world of international show jumping is the 20-year-old Reid (Washington, D.C.). She and Team Reid LLC’s 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse stallion, Codarco have represented the U.S. in three of the four 2017 Nations Cup teams that Reid has been named to. Most recently, Reid and Codarco rode for the U.S. Show Jumping Development Team at FEI Nations Cup CSIO3* Samorin, with double clear rounds. This followed a double clear performance by the combination in June at FEI Nations Cup CSIO5* Falsterbo and a silver medal at FEI Nations Cup CSIO4* Wellington. Reid will serve as an important component in her first Nations Cup Jumping Final.
More information on the Longines FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final can be found here. The order of go is now posted for Thursday. The competition will be streamed live on FEItv.org beginning Thursday, September 28 at 8:30 a.m. EST and will continue on Friday and Saturday, September 29 and 30 at 3 p.m. EST.
For live updates and to cheer on the the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team, follow US Equestrian on Facebook (@USequestrian and @USAShowJumping), Twitter (@USequestrian) and Instagram (@USequestrian). Reid will be taking over the US Equestrian Instagram story beginning Thursday, September 28.
The USEF International High Performance Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, USOC, and USEF Sponsors and Members.