Omaha, Neb. – March 29, 2017 – A total of 38 of the world’s best show jumping riders and 43 horses have arrived at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska, for the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final held March 29–April 2.
The jog was held on Tuesday, and on Wednesday, riders were given the chance to school their horses in the small, indoor main arena in the 1.40m Jumping Training Session as they prepared for the four days of rigorous competition ahead.
Riders were provided only 90 seconds and a short course of nine obstacles, designed by Alan Wade, as an opportunity to warm-up for Thursday’s one-round speed leg of the Final.
U.S. riders who have chosen to attend this year’s championship include: Laura Kraut, McLain Ward, Audrey Coulter, Charlie Jacobs, Todd Minikus, Karl Cook, Jenni McAllister and Jamie Barge.
“We are thrilled to be in Omaha this week,” said Kraut. “They have really rolled out the red carpet. The facility is great and we are eating some good steak! [Zeremonie] feels great; she has plenty of energy and she seems to like the environment. We have the best of the best here and I’m expecting fierce competition.”
“Everyone has been very pleasant and it has been a welcoming atmosphere,” said Jacobs. “The arena is lovely and the footing is really good. I’ve been here for two nights already and everyone seems excited that the World Cup is here in Omaha. It’s really nice to be a part of it. We did the warm-up today and the horses felt very good. I’m looking forward to a good weekend.”
The U.S. only filled eight of the 10 spots allotted in the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League. Notably missing is world number two ranked athlete, Kent Farrington. Yet, even so, U.S. Chef d’Équipe Robert Ridland feels confident and positive going in to Thursday’s first round of competition.
“I think we’re ready,” said Ridland. “Everyone looked good out there, the horses are comfortable with the arena and the riders feel confident so I think we are ready to go. I’m impressed. I’ve never been here before. In fact, many of us have never been here before but I think this venue is as good as any that we go to here and in Europe. We know why we came — we came to win — so we’ll see.”
The first round of the Final will be held on Thursday with a speed class at 7 p.m. This class will be set at a maximum 1.60m in height and is designed to give a rider with a rail down a chance to stay in the running. Athletes who are eliminated or who retire in the first competition are not permitted to take part in the second round of competition on Friday. Be sure to follow Phelps Sports all week long for daily coverage of the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final!
Order-of-go for Thursday’s first round of competition in the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final:
1. Markus Brinkmann/GER/Pikeur Dylon
2. Keean White/CAN/For Freedom Z
3. Maikel Van der Vleuten/NED/VDL Groep Verdi Tn N.O.P.
4. Olivier Robert/FRA/Quenelle du Py
5. Eric Navet/FRA/Catypso
6. Martin Fuchs/SUI/Clooney
7. Jamie Barge/USA/Luebbo
8. Jenni Martin-McAllister/USA/Legis Touch the Sun
9. Rein Pill/EST/A Brok
10. Sergio Alvarez Moya/ESP/Arrayan
11. Todd Minikus/USA/Babalou 41
12. Max Kühner/AUT/Cornet Kalua
13. Nicola Philippaerts/BEL/H&M Harley vd Bisschop
14. Marcus Ehning/GER/Pret A Tout
15. Christopher Surbey/CAN/Chalacorada
16. Christian Heineking/GER/NKH Calango
17. Simon Delestre/FRA/Chadino
18. Leopold Van Asten/NED/VDL Groep Zidane N.O.P.
19. Charlie Jacobs/USA/Cassinja S
20. Romain Duguet/SUI/Twentytwo des Biches
21. McLain Ward/USA/HH Azur
22. Guido Klatte jun./GER/Qinghai
23. Gregory Wathelet/BEL/Forlap
24. Gabor Szabó Jr./HUN/Timpex Bolcsesz
25. David Kubiak/POL/Bagazza M
26. Denis Lynch/IRL/All Star 5
27. Kevin Staut/FRA/Reveur de Hurtebise H D C
28. Martin Rodriguez Vanni/URU/Liborius
29. Nayel Nassar/EGY/Lordan
30. Lorenzo de Luca/ITA/Ensor de Litrange LXII
31. Laura Kraut/USA/Zeremonie
32. Steve Guerdat/SUI/Bianca
33. Ludger Beerbaum/GER/Chiara 222
34. Sheikh Ali Al Thani/QAT/Carolina 31
35. Audrey Coulter/USA/Capital Colnardo
36. Henrik Von Eckerman/SWE/Mary Lou 194
37. Karl Cook/USA/Tembla