Barcelona, Spain – The NetJets® U.S. Jumping Team placed 12th in the first round of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup Final on Thursday and will now turn their focus towards the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup Final Challenge Cup on Saturday, October 5. Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland led the team comprised of Eve Jobs, Laura Kraut, Richard Spooner, and McLain Ward, finishing on a team total of 17 faults.
Richard Spooner (Agua Dulce, Calif.) and Quirado RC, entered the Olympic Arena at the Real Club de Polo de Barcelona as the pathfinders for the team, which drew tenth out of 18 nations in the class order. Spooner and Quirado RC, a 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Show Jumping Syndications International, accumulated 13 faults. Eve Jobs (Los Altos Hills, Calif.), who made her Nations Cup Final debut with Venue D’Fees Des Hazalles, a 14-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare owned by Jobs, jumped second and completed the difficult track set by Santiago Varela with just four faults in a strong effort for the pair.
“Eve was phenomenal. Her ride was great. For a 21-year-old rider to basically do two championships in one year, coming out of the Pan American Games with a bronze medal and the momentum that created, it’s given her a really strong year, and we have to take that as a positive coming out of today.”
Laura Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) and Fleurette, a 10-year-old Selle Francais mare owned by St. Brides Farm, crossed through the timers with a total of 12 faults as the team’s third combination, while McLain Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) and his veteran partner, HH Azur, a 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare, whom he co-owns with Double H Farm, served as the anchor pair and finished with just a single time fault.
“McLain’s mare jumped great, as we expected. As for Richard’s horse and Laura’s mare, it was unexpected. They both are a little bit new to this, and it was a tough course. It was one of those unexpected days and that can be a killer when you have some rounds like that together in the first round. Everyone has their ‘A’ team here, and there’s Olympic qualification on the line for seven teams, so it didn’t take much to create the situation that we’re in.”
Ridland elaborated on the continued commitment to the overall program strategy for the future, which is to build young talent and ensure success for the team in the years to come. He added that when there are disappointing days, it’s imperative to elevate the positives, which was Jobs’ performance in the highly pressurized environment of the FEI Nations Cup Final.
“We’ve stuck to what our plan has been all along, and it can get bumpy when you do that, but it’s the right thing to do. There are definitely some positives to take away from today. We’re dealing with young riders and young horses. Laura’s mare has tremendous talent and Richard’s horse is in the same situation. Richard was hoping for a better round, as we all were, but we have to remember that we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for that horse’s four clear rounds in qualifying. Every once and a while you have to put up with a day that just doesn’t quite work out the way you want it to. The course was tough, but very fair. It was a great competition and we have to just move on.”
The Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup Final Challenge will take place on Saturday, October 5 at 3:00 p.m. ET at the Real Club de Polo de Barcelona.
Learn more about the FEI Jumping Nations Cup Final here.
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