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Karen Polle: Japan’s Rising Star

Karen Polle might not be a household name yet – the appellation may not spontaneously spring to mind when thinking of the cream of the crop in the show jumping world – but give her time. Not everyone can claim to have jumped clear in their senior team debut, after all. In six years, she and her 14-year-old gelding With Wings have grown up together, progressing from low junior jumpers to winning five-star grand prix. Born in Tokyo and raised in the United States, the 24-year-old holds dual citizenship and three years ago began competing for her mother’s homeland of Japan. Her breakout year came in 2015 with victory in the $250,000 Hampton Classic Grand Prix, defeating a host of jumping’s elite, including 2017 World Cup winner McLain Ward. Last July, the Yale graduate became the first Japanese rider to score an international win at Spruce Meadows. After successfully clinching…

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