Tuesday, Mar. 5, 2024

Loose Horse And Daring Jump-Off For U.S. Victory At Palm Beach Masters Nations Cup



Wellington, Fla.—Feb. 16

For the U.S. team, the Longines Nations Cup of the United States of America played out a little bit like it was scripted for TV in order to produce the most drama possible.

In the first round, only Laura Kraut and Confu jumped clean for the home team, and Margie Engle and Royce treated the crowd to a little extra excitement when the 16-year-old Oldenburg stallion spooked after the finish line and sent Engle into the turf before taking a few passes around the ring on his own.


Royce took a tour (or two) of the ring by himself. Kimberly Loushin Photos

“Royce hadn’t shown all week, so he was nice and fresh, and with the heat I maybe left him a little too fresh,” said Engle. “And as I was finishing I kind of relaxed, and as it started to rain they put one of the plastic bags over the speakers right as I was going by, and I didn’t have my reins. So he darted right and I exited left.

“I just thought I’d check out how nice the footing was,” she joked. “It was really nice! So I got up nice and personal.”

Engle was uninjured in the fall and was in good spirits at the press conference following the class.


Royce over the final fence (this time with Margie Engle leaving the ring in the tack!)

Going into the second round, the United States was down by 4 faults behind Ireland and Great Britain who were both on 4. But Jessica Springsteen (RMF Zecilie), Engle and Kraut all put in clear rounds, so anchor rider Beezie Madden (Darry Lou) didn’t have to jump.

It worked exactly as Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland wanted when Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire and Cornwall BH dropped a rail, forcing it to go to a jump-off.


“I told Laura when she went in, ‘We don’t want Beezie going in the second round,’ ” said Ridland. “That’s exactly what the script was.

“And for once [course designer Alan Wade] actually set a good course,” he joked. “You messed up. Last year we had a great team here and you messed up.”


Laura Kraut thanked Confu for his double clear efforts.

The U.S. had to go first over the short course, and Madden turned in a blazing round in 33.11 seconds to put the pressure on Alexandra Thornton and Cornetto K. The Brit made a valiant effort, but in the end was three seconds off Madden’s pace, giving U.S. the gold and relegating Great Britain to silver. Mexico took bronze.

“I for sure didn’t want to leave the door too open for her to be faster than me, and I think my horse actually kind of rises to the occasion when I put a little pressure on him,” Madden said. “So I have to say, right from the first jumps in the schooling area, he was jumping better than in the first round. I think probably in hindsight I left him a little too fresh, but he kind of wanted to play a little after fence 1, and I had to kind of kick him in the belly. He came through.”


Beezie Madden and Darry Lou.


Jessica Springsteen and RMF Zecilie.


Beezie Madden and Darry Lou racing to the final fence in the jump-off.


The winning U.S. team (from left, Margie Engle, Laura Kraut, Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland, Beezie Madden and Jessica Springsteen.)


Beezie Madden thanked Darry Lou for his efforts.


Laura Kraut and Confu through the triple combination.


Emily Moffitt and Winning Good put in two clear rounds for Great Britain.


Amanda Derbyshire and Cornwall BH represented Great Britain.


Alexandra Thornton smiled as Cornetto K raced through the timers after the second round.


Deeridge: watch some horses, see some swans.


Josie Eliasson had a quiet moment with RMF Zecilie.


Daniel Rihan Goyeneche rode Couleur van Berkenbroek for Team Mexico.


Laura Kraut and Confu.


Nicolas Pizarro fist pumped to the Mexican crowd after a clear round with Fabrice DN.


H5 Just The Music was ready to race over the course with Carlos Hank Guerreiro.


Manuel Gonzalez Dufrane was the anchor rider for Mexico on Hortensia Van De Leeuwerk.


Some excited young Israel fans.


Brian Cournane was the lead off rider for Ireland with Armik.


Some spectators come in small packages.


Canada’s Sam Walker had a hairy moment with Kel’star Du Vingt Ponts …


…. but with some amazing acrobatics …


… the gelding managed not to lower the height of the fence, so though they knocked a rail out, they were not penalized.


Rodrigo Lambre’s Catover showed beautiful form for Brazil.


Tiffany Foster put in two clear rounds for Canada with Figor.


Tiffany Foster and Figor.


Jessica Springsteen and RMF Zecilie.


Hey there, adorable!


Emily Moffitt thanked Winning Good.






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