"We've always said that winning our home (FEI) Nations Cup is a priority," said Chef d'Equipe Robert Ridland, who two weeks ago led the United States to a second-place finish in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup presented by Edge Brewing Barcelona at CSIO4* Ocala. "We've had a great two weeks and we used eight different riders for the two (FEI) Nations Cups and I really think this shows the depth we have."
Leading off for the U.S. was Minikus (Loxahatchee, Fla.) with Two Swans Farm's 10-year-old Oldenburg Babalou 41, and the pair jumped two immaculate rounds over Anthony D'Ambrosio's 12-obstacle track to be one of only three pairs to produce a double clear.
"Although she's quite green, I think she's got a big future," said Minikus of Babalou 41. "I'm grateful for this experience and getting her this exposure. I'm very happy with her and very proud of her."
King (Wellington, Fla.) and Bellissimo LLC's Kismet 50 also jumped a clear in the first round to continue the American momentum. In round two, the 14-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare lowered the third element of the triple at nine to finish on a score of four faults for their return effort.
Jumping in the third spot for the United States was Engle (Wellington, Fla.) with Royce. The team veterans produced the third faultless effort of round one for the home nation, ensuring the Americans would head into the second round on a score of zero. In round two, Elm Rock Partners, LLC's 11-year-old Oldenburg stallion collected four faults for a rail at the second fence, sealing victory for the United States.
Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) was set to anchor the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team with Double H Farm's13-year-old HH Carlos Z. However, it was not necessary for the pair to start in either round as the scores for the first three American combinations proved unassailable.
Finishing in second-place was Canada on 12 faults, with Ireland finishing third on a score of 16.
Follow the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team here.