FEI World Cup Finals Set to Begin in the Netherlands
April 16, 2012 -- The U.S. contingent arrives in 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands with expectations of strong performances at the 2012 FEI World Cup Finals. In total, 11 riders have travelled to Holland to compete in the most prestigious indoor competition of the year. The United States will be represented by two dressage riders in the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final, while nine jumpers will contest the Rolex/FEI World Cup Final. The Finals will run April 17-22 at the Indoor Brabant.
Jan Ebeling returns to the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final. (Photo by Shannon Brinkman)
Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final
Both Jan Ebeling and Shawna Harding make a return trip to the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final, after having impressed in 2011. For Ebeling (Moorpark, Calif.) this will be the third time he has competed Rafalca in the Finals, they also competed in 2009 and 2011. They head to 's-Hertogenbosch on the heels of second place finishes at the Mid-Winter Dressage Festival and in the $5,000 FEI Rancho Valencia Grand Prix Freestyle. After making their World Cup debut last year, Harding (Aiken, S.C.) and Come On III have improved throughout the 2011/2012 season and are poised for a strong result.
USEF Dressage Technical Advisor Anne Gribbons believes both Ebeling and Harding are prepared to produce solid tests at the 2012 Final.
"Both had a go at it last year, they come in with more experience this year and we hope for even better performances. They now should feel comfortable and can go for broke."
Rolex/FEI World Cup Final
In the Rolex/FEI World Cup Final, the U.S. will be represented by a mixture of rising stars and veteran talent. Of the nine riders set to jump in s'-Hertogenbosch, six are members of the USEF Long List for the U.S. Show Jumping Team for the 2012 Olympic Games. Margie Engle, Rich Fellers, Kent Farrington, Beezie Madden, Charlie Jayne and Kirsten Coe all jumped at least one clear round during the USEF Selection Trials for the U.S. Show Jumping Team for the 2012 Olympic Games.
To see the USEF Long List for the U.S. Show Jumping Team for the 2012 Olympic Games click here:
Margie Engle topped the North American East Coast League standings. (Photo by Sportfot)
Team veteran Engle (Wellington, Fla.) heads to Holland after having topped the North American East Coast League standings for the 2011/2012 qualifying season and collecting joint National Champion honors at the 2012 USEF National Show Jumping Championship with Indigo. Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y)., who like Engle has made many Nations Cup and Championship appearances for the U.S., looks to improve on her fourth place finish at the 2011 Finals. She will ride Cortes 'C' in 2012. Farrington (Wellington, Fla.) was Madden's teammate on the Gold medal winning team at the 2011 Pan American Games. He will ride his partner from those Games, Uceko at the 2012 Finals.
Also qualifying from the East Coast League are three up-and-coming stars in the sport. Jayne of Elgin, Ill. brings Athena and Uraya to his second Finals appearance. Coe also is making a return trip to the indoor competition. The Johnston, S.C. native will ride Baronez and Combina. Michelle Spadone (Kennett Square, Pa.) in her third Rolex/FEI World Cup Final appearance rounds out the East Coast entry with Uitteraard and Uwwalon.
Topping the West Coast League is Richard Spooner (Agua Dulce, Calif.) and he brings longtime partner Cristallo to 's-Hertogenbosch. The pair have been on a tear of late competing at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival; winning the $100,000 Fidelity Investments CSI 3* Grand Prix and placing second in the $200,000 FEI World Cup Grand Prix CSI 4* presented by The Bainbridge Companies. Also qualifying from the West Coast is Fellers (Sherwood, Ore.), who will bring the diminutive Flexible to his fourth World Cup Final. The pair, which were second in at the 2008 Finals, heads to Holland after tying for third place at the 2012 USEF National Show Jumping Championship.
Francie Steindewell-Carvin (La Canada, Calif.) is the final of the U.S. entry. She and Taunus have been preparing diligently on the West Coast circuit to make her Finals debut.
Chef d'Equipe George Morris is excited about the 2012 Rolex/FEI World Cup Final and believes the U.S. riders can excel in Holland.
"'s-Hertogenbosch has had this Final before and they did a great job." Said Morris, "We have a nice group this year. Some entries I think could get into the top 10; we might even have a shot of winning with one or two. There are also some newer horses, greener horses going. We will see what happens but anyway it will be a good week."
To find out more about all the U.S. competitors at the 2012 FEI World Cup Final click here