WELLINGTON, FL — MAR. 2, 2013 — The United States produced a spectacular effort in Friday's $75,000 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup presented by G&C Farm to win America's only Nation Cup for a fifth time on a total of four faults. Seven countries sent teams into the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center to contest two rounds of jumping over Anthony D'Ambrosio's 12 obstacle track. Earning second and third place were the teams from Canada and Germany on five and nine faults respectively.
Leading-off for the U.S. were Kent Farrington and R.C.G. Farm's Uceko. In the first round the 2011 Pan American Games Team Gold medalists produced a four fault trip with only a rail at the final oxer marring an otherwise lovely effort. Farrington (Wellington, FL) and the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding returned to the International Arena later in the evening with an improved performance jumping an effortless clear in round two.
"My horse was a little wild in the first round and got strong at the end," said Farrington. "But I was really happy with the way he came back in the second round."
Second to go for the U.S. was Lexington, Kentucky's Reed Kessler and her own 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare Cylana. The 2012 London Olympic Games veterans produced two polished performances as one of only five combinations to jump double clear Friday evening. The pair never looked in doubt of a clear in the first round as they jumped a stylish, fault-free effort. Kesser and Cylana duplicated their impressive performance in the second round again leaving nothing to chance and cruising over the course immaculately.
"It's my fourth Nations Cup and my first win and first double clear," said an excited Kessler. "To be on the home team was great and it's really fun to win a Nations Cup."
Laura Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, FL) and Cherry Knoll Farm, Inc.'s Cedric demonstrated the form that helped them clinch Team Gold for the U.S. at the 2008 Olympic Games as they jumped an impressive faultless effort in round one. In round two the 15-year-old Holsteiner gelding once again looked as though he were on springs but just rolled the rail on the vertical at 11A for four faults.
"I'm thrilled with Cedric, he was great both rounds. I got a little over cautious coming to the last line (in the second round) and he barely touched it. He probably thought he was double clear, so he's happy."
Anchoring the U.S. team in Friday's Nation Cup were Beezie Madden and Abigail Wexner's Simon. In round one the three-time Olympian gave the 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding a very positive ride to the open water at six, resulting in the low brickwall on the take-off being dislodged. However, because Simon did not disturb the water or tape on landing, the pair were not penalized; producing the third clear for the U.S. in the round one.
"I probably had the most interesting round, other than the water he was fabulous."
Madden did not return for round two, as the first three U.S. riders' totals in their second appearances meant the U.S. victory was secure without needing a score from the Cazenovia, New York native.
"Thanks to my teammates I didn't have to go again," said an appreciative Madden.
The U.S. victory in the $75,000 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup presented by G&C Farm was also vital in qualifications for the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Season Series Final. Among countries from the North and Central America and the Caribbean Islands regions the U.S. earned 100 vital points towards qualifying for the Series Final at the end of September.
To learn more about the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Season visit: http://www.fei.org/events/series-and-finals/fei-nations-cup-jumping/introduction-and-rules
Robert Ridland made his debut as U.S. Chef d'Equipe a winning won and acknowledged that the $75,000 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup presented by G&C Farm was an important part of the plan in getting to the Finals in September.
"People said to me 'you've got your big guns tonight,' and we did," said Ridland. "We made it a priority to come here and do well."
For Video-on-Demand, news and photos from the $75,000 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup presented by G&C Farm visit; http://www.usefnetwork.com/featured/FTIWEF2013/.
For more information about CSIO Wellington visit; http://www.equestriansport.com/.