Wellington, FL – The second USEF Selection Trial for the US Show Jumping Team for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games got underway as part of the $75,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix. Thirteen horse/rider combinations came into the second Trial tied atop the rankings on a score of zero.
After there were only two.
Two of the stalwarts of the US show jumping circuit cruised to polished efforts. Lauren Hough and Laura Kraut, both from Wellington, FL took control of the USEF Selection Trials and remained perfect, tied atop the leader board on a score of zero.
Hough and Quick Study put on a jumping clinic in their second clear round of the week. The 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding looked confident and scopey around Guilherme Jorge’s course, jumping especially impressively down the troublesome triple combination at 11abc. Hough was very impressed with her horse.
“For me personally, the first round was as good as he could jump,” said Hough.
She went through to the jump-off and had one rail down, but for Hough, the jump-off was another chance to get him in the ring – the focus was the first round trial.
“He’s a horse with a lot of energy,” said Hough. “There were only five in the jump-off so I didn’t go full speed. The more rounds he jumps the better he is, he had an unlucky rail but I’m very pleased with where we are.”
Kraut and Cedric also continued their ways, duplicating their Thursday clear with another immaculate round. The diminutive grey 12-year-old gelding, owned by Happy Hill Farm, jumps higher than the height of his own head for fun – and he looked even more mature than when he jumped to Team Gold at the 2008 Olympic Games. They skipped around the course easily and Kraut couldn’t have asked for more.
“He felt great,” said Kraut of Cedric. “I’ve never felt him better – ever. He’s more seasoned now, now he’s doing most of the work and I’m just along for the ride.”
Kraut is one of the country’s most experienced riders in the country having jumped in 50 Nations Cup for the US and two Olympic Games. She and Cedric jumped with heavy hearts, despite their brilliant results. Cedric’s owner, Peter Wetherill – a huge supporter of the entire equestrian industry – died last week.
“I wish he was here to see this,” said Kraut. “He would be very pleased.”
Two years ago, Kraut and Cedric also won the USEF Selection Trials for the 2008 Olympic Games run in a similar format.
Clear rounds were hard to find throughout the class and although seven total had first round clears, only five returned for the jump-off. Off those, Brazilian superstar Rodrigo Pessoa triumphed with Double H Farm’s Champ 163 – winning the class with a time of 39.41.
“It was my first win with him,” said Pessoa. “I started riding him a year ago. I’m riding him a little different than I used to – giving him more room in front of the fences.”
Whatever Pessoa is doing is working, and Champ thrived.
Nicolas Pizarro and Crossing Jordan were just behind on 41.13 – making the Mexican rider’s first ride under the lights ever, a successful one. He came to Florida last week to prepare for next week’s FEI Nations Cup presented by CN and was using this class as a tune-up. Kraut rounded out a truly international duo in the overall standings.
Hillary Dobbs is also sitting pretty after just one time fault in Saturday’s class with Quincy B puts her just behind Kraut and Hough in the Trials standings. The 14-year-old Holsteiner put in another brave effort for his 21-year-old rider, securing their place in some very tough company.
The Top Six in the Trials Standings are as follows:
Lauren Hough/Quick Study/Laura and Meredith Mateo
Laura Kraut/Cedric/Happy Hill Farm
Hillary Dobbs/Quincy B/Hillary Dobbs
Candace King/Skara Glen’s Davos/Skara Glen Stables
Beezie Madden/Mademoiselle/Abigail Wexner
Richard Spooner/Cristallo/Show Jumping Syndications
For complete standings please visit: https://www.usef.org/_AUAIFrames/CompUp/Data/Result175.pdf.
The Trials continue on Wednesday at 3pm at The Stadium where the competition will continue on the grass across Southshore Blvd from the main show grounds.
At the conclusion of the Trials, per the USEF Selection Procedures nine horse/rider combinations will be named to the USEF Long List based on their final overall placing from the USEF Selection Trials for Jumping. There are also up to six places on the long list available at the recommendation of the USEF selectors. A total of 15 horse/rider combinations will be named on Monday, March 8, 2010.