By US Equestrian Communications Department
The NetJets U.S. Jumping Team challenged the rain to finish fifth in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of Canada CSIO5*. Team Ireland finished in first place on a final score of five with Mexico taking the silver medal position on 13 faults, and Australia following in third on 22 faults. The team was led by Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland, which saw Karl Cook, Ailish Cunniffe, Kent Farrington, and Hunter Holloway start second in the order of six international teams to take to the manicured main arena of Thunderbird Show Park outside of Vancouver, B.C.
“We came here with an emphasis on getting experience. Kent had a great show and won some of the 5* classes, including the Grand Prix, and he was the lead-off rider with a young horse competing at this level for the first time. The other riders came for their own experience and growth, and you have to learn from it. It was productive in that aspect, but it wasn’t the result we were looking for,” said Ridland. “It’s what we’ve been emphasizing and we’re giving a lot of riders their initial experiences in Nations Cup competitions early on in their careers and truthfully, it’s a big adjustment – jumping two rounds at 1.60m with the water– it’s the sport at a different level, so you have to experience it and that was and is our goal. The results are a byproduct of everything that happens, but the main emphasis was experience and we got that today.”
Farrington (Wellington, Fla.), the most seasoned athlete on the team, led off the order aboard Landon, a 2013 Zangersheide gelding owned by Haity McNerney, producing a clear round to start the team off strong in the duo’s first team appearance together. The pair were efficient and careful around the 1.60m track set by Peter Holmes (CAN), which featured fifteen jumping efforts on grass footing, creating a challenge with the unpredictable weather of the afternoon.
As the second pair in the team order, Hunter Holloway (Topeka, Kan.) and Pepita Con Spita made their way around the track, dropping two rails to add a total of eight faults to their score in their debut for the NetJets U.S. Jumping Team. Karl Cook (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.) and Coachella, a 2012 Oldenburg mare owned by Signe Ostby, were eliminated in the first round after a stop at the water and elected not to return for the second round of competition. Ailish Cunniffe (South Salem, N.Y.), in her second appearance in 2022 for the team, anchored with Vivaldi du Theil, and added eight faults to their score, pushing the team forward to round two on a total of 16 faults.
Returning for their second trip, Farrington and Landon looked strong through a majority of the course, but dropped the final two fences, adding eight to the team’s score of 16 carried over from the first round. Holloway improved on her results from the first round with Pepita Con Spita, a 2011 Westphalian mare owned by Hays Investment Corp., to finish their trip with four faults.
As the final combination for the team in the second round, Cunniffe guided Vivaldi du Theil, a 2009 Selle Français gelding owned by Graylish LLC to a score of eight faults, with the team finishing on a final total of 36 faults.
The next appearance for the NetJets U.S. Jumping Team will be at the Aachen CHIO as they look to defend their title in the Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup CSIO5*.
U.S. Junior Jumping Team Takes Third in FEI Jumping Nations Cup CSIOJ
The U.S. Junior Jumping Team competed alongside their senior counterparts at Thunderbird Show Park, contesting the FEI Jumping Nations Cup CSIOJ against North American neighbors Canada and Mexico. The team was led by Chef d’Equipe DiAnn Langer and featured four up-and-coming combinations for the program.
Leila Diab (San Fransisco, Calif.) and her own Matahari HL, a 2013 Rheinisches mare, led the team’s effort around the track set at 1.40m and designed by Peter Holmes (CAN). The duo added just a rail to their first tour of the course, with three combinations to follow behind them. Andrew Lopez (Portola Valley, Calif.) and his own George ZG, a 2011 Royal Dutch Warmblood gelding, were the second combination to test the track and dropped a single rail to add four to their score. Sahana Ganesan (Palo Alto, Calif.) rode her own Fast Lucca, a 2008 Hanoverian gelding, to a first-round score of eight faults, with Alexa Leong (Sacramento, Calif.) and her own Carlsson 72, a 2011 Hanoverian gelding, competing as the anchor combination for the team. The pair dashed through the finish, moving the team forward on a team total of eight.
Diab and Matahari HL improved upon their first trip to secure a clear round for the team in their second effort around the course. Lopez and George ZG finished their second round with a total of eight faults, while Ganesan and Fast Lucca completed their second round with twelve faults, which would serve as the team’s drop score in the final round. Leong and Carlsson 72 produced a second clear round effort for the team and notched the only two-round faultless effort of the four combinations. The team finished the weekend on a combined total of 16 faults. Mexico took the win with a final score of nine, with Canada securing second with twelve faults.