The excitement is building, as teams from six nations have entered for the CSIO5* Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of the United States of America, the only qualifier in the U.S. for the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final in Barcelona, Spain, next fall. The prestigious team competition, February 13-17, is the second of three elite, high performance events being held at the picturesque Deeridge Farms in Wellington, Florida as part of the 2019 Palm Beach Masters Series.
The Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ is celebrating its 110th year in 2019. Equestrian sport’s most historic team challenge features international teams made up the world’s top-ranked horses and riders. After holding a brief residence in Ocala, the event is making a celebratory return to Wellington thanks to the newly-expanded Palm Beach Masters Series®, where it will remain through 2021.
Teams from six nations – Canada, Colombia, Ireland, Israel, Mexico and USA – will go head-to-head in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ USA, navigating courses set by one of the world’s most respected course designers, Ireland’s Alan Wade. The world-class event will host 60 Olympic-caliber athletes from 13 countries who will be competing with 116 horses for a whopping $716,500 in prize money. Deeridge Farms’ Nations Cup week will also include FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Youth competitions for Young Riders, Juniors, and Children, showcasing the next generation of elite show jumping talent.
A major force on the international circuit, the five-member NetJets® U.S. Jumping Team will feature a powerhouse contingent comprising four Olympic veterans, the last two Longines FEI World Cup™ Champions and three of the four members of the U.S.’s gold medal team from the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™. The U.S. team features Beezie Madden, a four-time Olympic veteran, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and the reigning Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final Champion; McLain Ward, a fellow four-time Olympian with two gold medals and winner of the 2017 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final; 2008 Olympic and 2018 WEG team gold medalist Laura Kraut; 2000 Olympic veteran Margie Engle; and Devin Ryan, 2018 WEG team gold medalist and runner-up at the 2018 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final.
Other top U.S. riders who will be competing as individuals include Olympic veterans Lucy Davis, Kent Farrington and Lauren Hough, along with Lucy Deslauriers, recent Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Wellington Champion Alex Granato, Eve Jobs, Marilyn Little, Todd Minikus, Wilton Porter, Jessica Springsteen, Catherine Tyree and Adrienne Sternlicht.
The roster of riders from the other nations’ teams includes some of the biggest names in the sport. Canada’s athletes include Mario Deslauriers, an Olympic veteran who won the 1984 FEI World Cup Final at just 19 years old; Hyde Moffat; Erynn Ballard, Tiffany Foster, Susan Horn, Amy Millar, and Keean White.
Mexico will be represented by five athletes, including Eugenio Garza Perez, Enrique Gonzalez, Manuel Gonzalez Dufrane, Fernando Martinez Sommer, and Juan Jose Zendejas Salgado. The Irish contingent is strong, as it features Cormac Hanley, Darragh Kenny, Paul O’Shea, Conor Swail, and Shane Sweetnam.
Daniel Bluman, a two-time Olympic veteran, heads the list of entries from Israel that also includes Ashlee Bond, Ilan Ferder, and Danielle Goldstein. Riders from Colombia include Juan Pablo Betancourt, Ilan Bluman, Juan Manuel Gallego, John Perez Bohm, and Roberto Teran Tafur.
In addition to the six countries sending teams to compete, Australia, Brazil, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Switzerland and Venezuela will have riders competing as individuals. Headlining this group of riders are some of the sport’s most accomplished riders, including Great Britain’s Ben Maher, currently the seventh-ranked rider in the world according to the Longines Jumping Rankings, and Martin Fuchs of Switzerland, who made his Olympic debut in 2016 and was the individual silver medalist at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™.
“We are thrilled and honored to bring the prestigious Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ USA back to Wellington,” commented Lou Jacobs, co-founder of the Palm Beach Masters Series® with siblings Charlie Jacobs and Katie Robinson. “We have a superb list of entries, and we look forward to welcoming everyone to Deeridge Farms for what we believe will be one of the most exciting equestrian events in the country.”