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Difficult Day for NetJets U.S. Jumping Team in BMO Nations Cup CSIO5* at Spruce Meadows

by U.S. Equestrian Communications Dept. | Sep 9, 2023, 8:51 PM EST

Calgary, AB, Canada – The NetJets U.S. Jumping Team did not finish the BMO Nations Cup CSIO5* at Spruce Meadows during the ‘Masters’ Tournament after a combination was eliminated in the first round and another elected to retire in the second. The challenging track set on the grass in the International Ring was designed by Leopoldo Palacios (VEN). Ireland took the win on a final score of five, with Germany earning second on a total of six faults, and Canada taking third on 12. The NetJets U.S. Jumping Team was led by Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland.

“Today was disappointing for us as a team. We came into this competition wanting to give some of our younger and newer combinations more experience in an environment like this, and while we did that in many respects, it wasn’t close to the result we were aiming for,” said Ridland. “It was a rough fall for Mimi, and thankfully both her and Celina are okay. We’ll come back to fight another day and now need to look ahead to the upcoming FEI Jumping Nations Cup Final and the Pan American Games."

Natalie Dean & Acota M 
©MackenzieClark

Natalie Dean (Palo Alto, Calif.) and Acota M navigated their first effort around track late in the first rotation of riders, as the U.S. drew last in the team order, going seventh. The pair were efficient with the time, but three rails down put them on a score of 12 as the first combination to complete for the team.

Brian Cournane (Wellington, Fla.) made his international debut for the NetJets U.S. Jumping Team after changing nationalities from his native Ireland in the last few years. He rode his own experienced partner, Armik, and the pair recovered quickly after an unexpected slip on the grass, which almost unseated Cournane, to finish their first round with four jumping faults and five time.

Aboard her own Berlinda, Alessandra Volpi (Woodside, Calif.) has had a consistent season, representing the U.S. in numerous Nations Cups around Europe throughout the summer season. The pair started off strong through the first half of the track, but saw faults come towards the latter third of the course, finishing on a total of 12 faults.

Mimi Gochman (Palm Beach, Fla.) was unseated from Celina BH, a 2010 Holsteiner mare owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC, early in the course after a miscommunication at fence three. Both horse and rider walked out of the ring under their own power.

Returning with only three combinations in the second round, Dean and Acota M, a 2013 Oldenburg mare owned by Marigold Sporthorses, LLC, improved on their first-round score, finishing under the tight time allowed and completing with eight jumping faults. Cournane and Armik, a 2009 Oldenburg gelding, were looking to add a strong score in the second round, but the pair misread the distance at the one-stride, with Cournane opting to retire following the combination. With their retirement and only three combinations facing the second round, the team was unfortunately unable to finish.

Final Results

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