Coapexpan, Mexico—May 8-11
The U.S. show jumpers closed out a successful week at the CSIO Coapexpan (Mexico) on May 11 by earning three of the top four places in the Gran Premio Veracruz grand prix.
Beezie Madden and her team gold and individual silver medal-winning partner from the 2011 Pan American Games, Coral Reef Ranch’s 16-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare Coral Reef Via Volo, proved unbeatable to earn the victory in the Gran Premio Veracruz. The 2012 Olympic Games veterans were the only combination to jump double clear in the two-round class that saw 27 combinations head into Round 1 and 15 come back for the second round.
Finishing in third place for the United States was Jon McCrea on Candy Tribble’s Special Lux. The 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding returned with a four-fault effort in Round 2 to stop the timers in 44.60 seconds.
Sarah Segal and David Segal’s 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding Ramses jumped a four-fault effort in Round 1 and produced a clear in the second round to earn a fourth place finish in a time of 44.66 seconds.
Rounding out the U.S. effort on Sunday was Jon’s wife, Christine McCrea and Candy Tribble and Windsor Show Stables’ 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Zerly who produced 8 faults in Round 1 and 4 faults in Round 2 to finish on 12 faults in 44.84 seconds to in 13th place.
Just two days earlier, Madden and Coral Reef Via Volo had been the U.S. representatives in a jump-off that decided the top placing in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup competition.
After two rounds, the U.S. and Canadian teams were tied for the lead with 5 faults each. U.S. chef d’equipe Anthony d’Ambrosio chose Madden and Coral Reef Via Volo to go back to jump-off against Canada’s 10-time Olympian Ian Millar to decide the title.
Madden set a fast pace to finish in a time of 33.40 seconds but a rail jumping into the double combination meant they would finish with 4 faults. Millar then produced a steady clear with Star Power, leaving all the rails in place and finishing in a time of 41.96 to earn victory for Canada.
For Round 1 of the Nations Cup, the Americans had had the unenviable draw of being first into the ring to take on Frederic Cottier’s 12-obstacle course. Leading off for the United States was Jon McCrea of East Windsor, Conn., who was making his U.S. team debut with Candy Tribble’s 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Special Lux.
The pair looked on track for a clear round until lowering the vertical at fence 7 resulting in 4 faults. Jumping in the second spot for the U.S. was Sarah Segal of Flemington, N.J., and Robert Segal’s talented 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding Ramses. The combination proceeded to produce an immaculate clear as the first competitors to record a fault-free round.
Teammates from the gold medal-winning 2011 Pan American Games effort, Christine McCrea (East Windsor, Conn.) and Madden rounded out the U.S. contingent. In Round 1, McCrea left all the rails in the cups with Candy Tribble and Windsor Show Stables’ 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Zerly but collected a single time fault after finishing just over the time allowed. Jumping in the anchor position for the U.S. was Madden who piloted Coral Reef Via Volo to a four-fault performance after lowering the oxer at fence 10.
The U.S. returned with a hard fought effort in Round 2 as they looked to edge the Canadians for the victory. Jon McCrea got the Americans off to a strong start, producing a faultless round with Special Lux. Segal followed with her second flawless round of the afternoon to keep the U.S. neck-and-neck with Canada as well as making her and Ramses one of only three pairs to produce a double clear in the Nations Cup.
Christine McCrea and Zerly started off their second round in strong form but rails at 7 and 9A meant they finished with an eight-fault total.
Madden returned in the second round to record a clear with Coral Reef Via Volo ensuring the U.S. would finish on a two-round total of 5 faults.
With their second place finish on Friday the U.S. team earned a further 90 points towards qualifying for the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Season Series Final and heads into the third and final qualifier at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, (Alta.) on June 12-15 on a total of 180.