Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023

Watch Why They Won: Sweetnam Cruises To World Cup Victory With James Kann Cruz



Shane Sweetnam got his long-awaited first Longines FEI Jumping World Cup victory Saturday night during the National Horse Show (Kentucky), sweeping to the top of an 11-horse jump-off with James Kann Cruz.

Sweetnam, who went fourth in the jump-off for the $226,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Lexington, stopped the clocks in a time of 33.41 seconds that proved unbeatable. Defending champion Daniel Bluman of Israel and Gemma W came closest, finishing second in 34.14. Devin Ryan (USA) finished third for the second week in a row with Eddie Blue (34.22), which secured him the lead in the NAL standings with 30 points. 

Shane Sweetnam and James Kann Cruz. Kimberly Loushin Photos

“To win this class is a big deal,” said Sweetnam, whose summer base is in Lexington, adjacent to the Kentucky Horse Park. “For me, it was always one of the ones I wanted to win.”

Sweetnam caught plenty of air in the first round, as James Kann Cruz, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Kannan—CSF Telly Kruz, Cruising) owned by Gizmo Partners LLC, showed off his brilliant power and scope. In the jump-off, that could have cost valuable time on the clock, but it also allowed Sweetnam to take more risks in his track. The pair set themselves apart with a pair of left-out strides and a bold turn back to a combination toward the end of the course. When James Kann Cruz slipped, it left the horse not even a stride to judge the fence. Still, he cleared it with ease.


Daniel Bluman and Gemma W.

“I felt that there were a lot of fast riders, good riders behind me. Honestly, when I came out of the ring, I was thinking I still might not have done enough,” Sweetnam said. “I definitely wasn’t sure I had the win, but I really did as much as I could in the ring.

“We slipped a little bit going into the double, and [James Kann Cruz] had to show how amazing he was,” he added. “That wasn’t planned, but it just shows how talented he is.”

Watch their winning jump-off, courtesy of

See complete results here.



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