July 31, 2014 -- The United States has high hopes of strong finishes in European CSIO5* Nations Cup competition this week, as they field teams in both Hickstead, England, and Gijon, Spain.
In Friday's Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup of Great Britain presented by Longines at CSIO5* Hickstead, the U.S. sends a veteran team into competition. McLain Ward, Reed Kessler, Margie Engle, and Beezie Madden look to showcase the form that earned them spots on the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Short List for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
The Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team, led by Chef d'Equipe Robert Ridland, has drawn second in the order of eight teams for Hickstead's Nations Cup.
Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) will ride Sagamore Farms' Rothchild.
Rotchild is a 2001 Warmblood gelding.
A double Olympic Gold medalist, Ward heads into Hickstead's competition on remarkable form after earning multiple victories in June and July at the Spruce Meadows Tournaments. With Rothchild, he was the winner of the CP Grand Prix of the final day of the CSIO5* Spruce Meadows 'Continental' Tournament. In May, the pair was the winner of the Antwerp Grand Prix on the first stop of the 2014 Longines Global Champions Tour.
Kessler (Lexington, Ky.) will ride Kessler Show Stables' Cylana.
Cylana is a 2002 Belgian Warmblood mare.
Two weeks ago, Kessler and Cylana were valuable members of the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team that earned second place in the Mercedes-Benz FEI Nations Cup at CSIO5* Aachen. Before heading to Aachen, the 2012 USEF National Co-Champions earned a third-place finish in a Speed Class at CSI5* Paris. In Hickstead, Kessler joins her teammates from the 2012 Olympic Games, Ward and Madden.
Engle (Wellington, Fla.) will ride Elm Rock Partners, LLC's Royce.
Royce is a 2004 Oldenburg stallion.
Engle, a 2000 Olympic Games veteran and 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games Team Silver medalist, looks to utilize the vast experience that has guided her to more than 200 Grand Prix victories on Friday in Hickstead. The 2012 USEF National Co-Champion, who tied with Kessler for the honor, has been riding Royce for just two years and has already amassed multiple top placings, both stateside and abroad. Most recently, the pair finished 11th in the prestigious Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen.
Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) will ride Abigail Wexner's Cortes 'C'.
Cortes 'C' is a 2002 Belgian Warmblood gelding.
Madden recently returned to competition after spending nearly two months out of the saddle due to a broken collarbone. The 2013 Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Finals winner and Cortes 'C' will look to display the form that helped them jump double-clear efforts last year in two European Furusiyya FEI Nations Cups and earned them victory in the Longines Global Champion Tour's Grand Prix of Chantilly. Madden has jumped in multiple Nations Cups and championships with her Hickstead teammates, including in the Olympic Team Gold medal-winning efforts with Ward in 2004 and 2008, on the Silver medal-winning 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games team with Engle and Ward, and at the 2012 Olympic Games with Ward and Kessler.
Learn more about CSIO5* Hickstead here.
On Saturday, Catherine Pasmore , Georgina Bloomberg, Quentin Judge, and Ashlee Bond-Clarke will represent the U.S. in CSIO5* Gijon's Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup. In Spain, the American effort will be led by Chef d'Equipe DiAnn Langer.
Pasmore (Wellington, Fla.) will ride Pasmore Stables, LLC's Bonanza Van Paemel.
Bonzanza Van Paemel is a 2001 Belgian Warmblood gelding.
Pasmore makes her third Nations Cup start of the summer this week in Gijon after representing the U.S. in Lisbon and helping to earn a third-place finish at CSIO5* Falsterbo three weeks ago. Last week, she earned a fourth-place finish in the Grand Prix at CSI4* La Coruña.
Bloomberg (New York, N.Y.) will ride Gotham Enterprizes LLC's Juvina.
Juvina is a 2001 Warmblood mare.
Bloomberg heads into Gijon's Nation Cup on strong form after jumping multiple clear rounds a week ago at CSI5* Paris, including earning a fourth-place finish in the Longines Global Champions Tour of Paris Grand Prix with Juvina. Additionally, the pair was also a member of United Sates' third-place effort in Falsterbo.
Judge (Wellington, Fla.) will ride Double H Farm's HH Copin Van De Broy.
HH Copin Van De Broy is a 2002 Belgian Warmblood stallion.
Judge only began riding HH Copin Van De Broy this year, but has quickly found top results with the stallion, including a third-place finish in the ATCO Power Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Spruce Meadows. The pair is already off to a strong start in Gijon, winning the Funeraria class on Wednesday.
Bond-Clarke (Hidden Hills, Calif.) will ride Little Valley Farms' Chela LS.
Chela LS is a 2004 La Silla mare.
Bond-Clarke and Chela LS have enjoyed a successful 2014 campaign, both stateside and abroad. They kicked off the year with wins in Thermal in the HITS Desert Classic presented Zoetis and the AIG $1 Million Grand Prix. In July, they were also part of the third-place effort in Falsterbo.
To learn more about CSIO5* Gijon, click here.