September 25, 2013 -- The United States heads into the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final as the winner of the North American League and will look to again showcase its winning form. Teams from 18 nations have traveled to Barcelona, Spain, to contest the inaugural Final, which is held in conjunction with CSIO5* Barcelona, September 26-29, 2013.
Chef d'Equipe Robert Ridland brings a group of steely veterans and rising stars to Spain. Beezie Madden, McLain Ward, Reed Kessler, Lucy Davis and Katie Dinan all produced double-clear efforts in Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup competition this year and look to do so again this weekend in Barcelona.
Laura Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) had originally been named to represent the U.S. at the 2013 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final with Cherry Knoll Farm Inc.'s Cedric. However, the 2008 Olympic Games Team Gold medalists withdrew after the Holsteiner gelding incurred a minor injury at CSI5* Lausanne. Following the withdrawal, Dinan was added to the U.S. squad.
"While losing an Olympic Gold medalist days before a championship event can never be a good thing, Laura's replacement, Katie Dinan, arrives into Barcelona 'on a roll,' after her recent performances at the American Gold Cup," said Ridland. "Although our team is anchored by two double-Gold medalists (Madden and Ward), the 'signature' of this year's squad has to be its unprecedented youth. Reed, Lucy and Katie, all under 21 years of age, come to the Final with a lot of confidence, following a string of strong performances this year on the senior team."
Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) heads into Finals competition on impeccable form as the second-ranked rider in the world on the Longines FEI Rankings. The 2013 Rolex/FEI World Cup champion has anchored the U.S. in Nations Cup competition five times this year, jumping double-clear three times (CSIO5* Rotterdam, CSIO5* Hickstead and CSIO5* Dublin) and helping the U.S.to victory on home turf at CSIO5* Wellington.
At CSIO5* Barcelona, Madden will ride Abigail Wexner's Simon and Cortes 'C.
Simon is a 1999 Dutch Warmblood gelding.
Cortes 'C' is a 2002 Belgian Warmblood gelding.
Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) is among the most decorated riders on the jumping scene,having stood on the podium at Olympic, FEI World Equestrian and Pan American Games as part of the U.S. team. In 2013, he has once again amassed a string of top results, including jumping double-clear to help the U.S. Stripes team earn second place at the CSIO5* Spruce Meadows 'Continental' Tournament.
At CSIO5* Barcelona, Ward will ride Sagamore Farms' Rothchild's, and his own and Grant Road Partners LLC's Zander.
Rothchild is a 2001 Warmblood gelding.
Zander is a 2004 KWPN gelding.
Kessler (Lexington, Ky.) made her Olympic debut in 2012 alongside Madden and Ward and continues to impress on the world stage. The 2012 USEF National Champion jumped a double-clear round at CSIO Wellington to help the U.S. to victory and represented the U.S. in three other Nations Cup competitions (CSIO5* Spruce Meadows 'Continental, CSIO5* Hickstead and CSIO5* Gijon) this year.
At CSIO5* Barcelona, Kessler will ride her own Cylana and Ligist.
Cylana is a 2002 Belgian Warmblood mare.
Ligist is a 2000 Swedish Warmblood gelding.
Davis (Los Angeles, Calif.) enters CSIO5* Barcelona in top form, having won the Grand Prix of Lausanne at the CSI5* Lausanne two weeks ago. Additionally, the 20-year-old earned the Furusiyya Leading Rider of the Day Award at CSIO5* Rotterdam after jumping double-clear and helping the U.S. to a second-place finish.
At CSIO5* Barcelona, Davis will ride Old Oak Farm's Barron.
Barron is a 2004 Belgian Warmblood gelding.
Dinan (Wellington, Fla.) also has a wealth of top-level and Nations Cup experience in 2013. Alongside her trainer, Ward, she jumped double-clear at the CSIO5* Spruce Meadows 'Continental' Tournament to help the U.S. Stripes team earn second place. Additionally, the Harvard University sophomore helped the U.S. to a third-place finish at CSIO5* Dublin.
At CSIO5* Barcelona, Dinan will ride Grant Road Partners LLC's Nougat Du Vallet and Glory Days.
Nougat Du Vallet is a 2001 Selle Francais gelding.
Glory Days is a 2001 Swedish Warmblood gelding.
The Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final gets underway Friday when all 18 nations jump in the single round Qualifying Competition. The top eight teams from Friday return Sunday for the single round Final Competition, where all teams will start on zero faults. Teams that do not move forward to the Final Competition will jump Saturday in the single round Consolation Competition.
To learn more about the CSIO5* Barcelona visit; http://www.csiobarcelona.com/esp/index.asp
To learn more about the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Series visit; http://fei.org/fei/events/fei-nations-cup-series/furusiyya
Follow the 2013 U.S. Jumping Team here.