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NetJets® U.S. Jumping Team Finish Third in Inaugural North American Leg of Longines League of Nations at World Equestrian Center – Ocala

by US Equestrian Communications Dept. | Mar 23, 2024, 11:30 PM

Ocala, Fla. – The NetJets U.S. Jumping Team earned a solid third-place finish in the first-ever North American leg of the new Longines League of Nations competition hosted at World Equestrian Center in Ocala, Fla. The team finished with a final score of 12 faults after two rounds of elite jumping competition against the 10 best teams in the world. Ireland took the win on a total of five, while Switzerland finished in second on eight faults. 

“The format here gives you options and we considered that in the second round. We ended up with our standard plan, with our three clear rounds moving to the second round, but I like the format a lot and I think it’s great for the spectators, especially for people who don’t know our sport or how team competition works,” said Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland. “We always aim for the podium. This is the top 10 teams in the world, so being on the podium when you have the quality of teams we had here, is still a very good result for us, though we’re always pushing for the win.” 

Laura Kraut and Baloutinue
(Devyn Trethewey/US Equestrian)

Laura Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) and Baloutinue were selected as the trailblazers for the team, riding first in the U.S. rotation of rider-and-horse combinations and testing the beautifully presented track designed by Alan Wade (IRL). The U.S. went fifth in the order out of the 10 teams competing. The dependable pair were precise and efficient, crossing through the timers clear and well under the time allowed to start the team off strong. 

The hometown duo of Aaron Vale (Williston Fla.) and Carissimo 25, a 2013 Holsteiner gelding owned by Debbie Smith and cared for by Nicky Cook, produced a strong round for the team, just nudging out the top rail of the tall liverpool vertical after the open water to add four to the total score with Farrington and Ward still to come in the order. 

Continuing to add valuable experience to their successful resume, Kent Farrington (Wellington, Fla.) navigated Landon through the track, showcasing the tremendous scope and athleticism of the 2013 Zangersheide gelding owned by Haity McNerney and cared for by Denise Moriarty. The pair were quick and careful, adding another clear-round in the third rotation for the team. 

As anchors, McLain Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) and Callas produced a lovely clear, and with the U.S. already in the top eight teams moving to the second round, the team was able to drop the four faults from Vale. They headed into the second round tied with Ireland and the Netherlands on zero faults.

Kraut and Baloutinue, a 2010 Hanoverian gelding owned by St. Bride’s Farm and cared for by Margo Thomas, returned for the second round with the task of keeping the U.S. competitive on the leaderboard. The pair delivered, notching the fastest double-clear effort of the evening, and finishing as the only U.S. combination to jump clear in both rounds. 

“I have so much confidence in my horse. We have such a great partnership now and I really feel like I know him so well. I think going first served the team well so we could bring back information to the team in the later rotations,” said Kraut. Of the venue and atmosphere, she continued, “This is incredible for the sport here. For the people in the U.S. to get to see the sport, live and at this level, is probably not only just exciting, but also incredibly educational at the same time.” 

Farrington and Landon jumped to eight faults in the second round after dropping a foot in the water and the A element of the double combination towards the middle of the course. The pair’s score put the Irish and U.S. in a neck-and-neck battle for the podium, alongside the Swiss and Dutch. 

With Ward returning aboard Callas, a 2008 Holsteiner mare owned by Beechwood Stables LLC and cared for by Irvin Perez, the pair fought to keep the team on the podium ahead of the Dutch. The duo looked strong throughout their second trip, but a rub at the B element of the triple combination added four faults to their score, but with the team on a total of 12, and faster than the Dutch, the team secured third place overall in front of an enthusiastic home crowd cheering them on. The NetJets U.S. Jumping Team earned 80 points for their podium finish, adding to their 55 points from Abu Dhabi, as they sit in fourth overall in the LLN standings. The next leg of the Longines League of Nations series will take place at St. Gallen in Switzerland from May 30-June 1. 


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World Equestrian Center features two premier equestrian and multidisciplinary venues in Ocala, Florida, and Wilmington, Ohio.

These exclusive facilities comprise state-of-the-art arenas, expansive stadiums, versatile outdoor space, sporting fields and well-appointed exposition centers. An abundance of lodging options and luxury accommodations are conveniently located on-site, along with shopping and dining throughout each property.

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