By US Equestrian Communications Department
The NetJets U.S. Jumping Team finished just off the podium with a two-round total of eight faults in the FEI Nations Cup of Rome CSIO5* at Piazza di Siena, taking fourth place behind France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The team of Lillie Keenan, Laura Kraut, Brian Moggre, and Chloe Reid were led by Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland in the two-round competition which featured 10 teams and served as the first Observation Event ahead of team selection for the 2022 FEI Jumping World Championships.
“I told the group after the class that we had a good day at the office. We had three young riders, two of them still really getting to know their horses, and they each had a ride they put in the bank and a ride they learned from moving forward,” said Ridland. “It’s preparation and a learning experience. We really had a useful day and a good finish. Laura obviously showed us why she was anchor by doing what Laura always does and it was a very nice double-clean for her, and a good start to our summer season.”
Lillie Keenan (New York, N.Y.) and Argan de Beliard were the trailblazers for the team, finding their way around the Uliano Vezzani-designed course with an excellent clear round within the time, starting off strong in the first round. The pair made quick work of the complex and technical course, which featured most combinations and fences set to the max specifications of 1.60m.
As the second combination to test the track, Chloe Reid (Ocala, Fla.) and Souper Shuttle added just a single rail to their first appearance together in the picturesque sunken ring of the Piazza di Siena. Third in the order, Brian Moggre (Flower Mound, Texas) and Balou du Reventon, added eight faults in their first tour of the course, which would become the team’s drop score of the round with Kraut to follow on her longtime partner Confu.
With the pressure on to produce a clear round and move the team forward on a competitive score of four, Laura Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) and Confu delivered, bookending the clear efforts for the team to put them in a strong position before the start of the second round.
With the pressure mounting, Keenan and Argan de Beliard, a 2010 Selle Français gelding owned by Chansonette Farm, rode efficiently in their second effort, adding just four faults after dropping a single rail on course. Reid and Souper Shuttle, a 2011 Hanoverian mare owned by Live Oak Plantation, worked to replicate their earlier round, but dropped two rails, a careful plank, and the third element of the triple to add eight to their score.
Both Moggre and Kraut needed to produce clear rounds to keep the team within striking distance. Moggre and Balou du Reventon, a 2006 Oldenburg stallion owned by Ann Thompson, were back next to challenge the course again. The pair executed a perfectly planned track, navigating the difficult questions with ease and leaving the rails intact to finish the day with a clear effort inside the time. Kraut and Confu, a 2007 Holsteiner gelding owned by St. Bride’s Farm, used their experience and confidence together to produce a clear effort as the team’s final combination, crossing through the timers in 73.87 seconds, one of the faster rounds of the day, and finishing as the only double clear effort of the four U.S. combinations. The team finished tied with the Netherlands on a final score of eight, with the Dutch team earning the podium finish based on time.
The €450,000 Rolex Grand Prix of Rome CSIO5* will feature the four U.S. combinations on Sunday, May 29, beginning at 1:00 p.m. GMT+2. For more information, please visit www.piazzadisiena.it.