The North American League qualifying for the Rolex FEI Show Jumping World Cup final has concluded, and there are some heavy hitters headed to ‘s-Hertogenbosch (the Netherlands) for the Final on Apr. 19-22.
Show jumpers from Mexico, Canada and the United States all competed against each other in the East Coast and West Coast North American Leagues. The top two riders from Mexico qualify, as well as the top two Canadians. Seven U.S. riders from the East Coast league can go, along with three U.S. riders from the West Coast league.
With the London Olympic Games looming on the horizon, many riders have opted out of a World Cup Final appearance this year. But the top two from the East Coast league—Margie Engle and Michelle Spadone—are confirmed as traveling to the Netherlands to participate. Engle finished in first in the final standings with 108 points to Spadone’s 91.
The third-placed finisher in the East Coast standings, Mario Deslauriers, has declined his World Cup invitation, as has McLain Ward, who was in fourth despite not competing since January due to an injury.
Kent Farrington, Kirsten Coe, Beezie Madden and Charlie Jayne will round out the East Coast U.S. rider contingent at the Final. Russian rider Ljubov Kochetova, who is now based in Wellington, Fla., will also attend the Final by virtue of placing seventh in the North American East Coast standings.
Richard Spooner will lead the U.S. riders from the West Coast qualifying list. He and Cristallo have been on a good streak lately and bypassed the USEF selection trials for the U.S. show jumping team at the London Olympic Games, so are fresh for the Final. He’ll be joined by Rich Fellers on the indomitable Flexible—they were second in the 2008 FEI World Cup Final. Francie Steinwedell-Carvin won an intense points battle for the third spot in the West Coast League and will attend as well.
Both the top two Canadian qualifiers—Ian Millar and Chris Pratt—decided to give the Final a miss, so Eric Lamaze will fly the Canadian flag in Den Bosch. He doesn’t have Hickstead, who jumped to second place in the Final last year, but he’s got some exciting new horses to make a bid with.
Antonio Maurer and Everardo Hegewisch Diaz Infantes are the two Mexican riders qualified for the Final, but their participation has not been confirmed.
Check in with www.chronofhorse.com for all the action from ‘s-Hertogenbosch—Molly Sorge and Lisa Slade will be there to report on each day’s activities.