“Let’s throw him in the ocean!” Scott Brash is lucky to have escaped without a good dunking in salt water as he wrapped up the Longines Global Champions Tour stop in Miami with a clean sweep of the headline classes.
Spectators wearing bikinis lined the ring and seagulls cried overhead as some of the top horses and riders in the world took the stage at the $127,000 American Invitational. The Invitational looked very different as it was incorporated into the schedule of the Longines Global Champions Tour in its Miami stop, and the international domination of the top three placings reflected a new face for the class that’s an integral part of U.S. show jumping history.
Two years ago, McLain Ward had to sit and watch Daniel Bluman win the big finale grand prix of the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Fla., since Ward was on a forced vacation from the show ring after breaking his kneecap in January.
The U.S. show jumpers heading to Las Vegas on April 15-19 for the Longines FEI Show Jumping World Cup Final have been confirmed and they include two former World Cup Final winners—Beezie Madden, who won in 2013, and Rich Fellers, who was victorious in 2012.
Wondering what events this week and weekend are available for live streaming? You won't be bored! It's the finale weekend of the Winter Equestrian Festival and the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, and some of the top California dressage riders are competing in the Festival of the Horse CDI in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. And it's all on www.coth.com.
Representatives from the Fédération Equestre Internationale and Longines have announced the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping North American League. Western European World Cup qualifying events have in the past enjoyed title sponsorship from the overall World Cup sponsor, and Longines was the title partner for that league and the Chinese League. Now the North American league joins them as Longines adds their support to the series in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Laura Graves took the dressage world by storm in 2014, popping out of relative unknown status to not only make the U.S. team for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (France) but also finish as the top U.S. rider, placing fifth in the freestyle individually. Then, she went home. And waited until March of this year to aim Verdades down the center line again.
On paper it’s a completely unremarkable result. Professional trainer Jenn Simmons, who has ridden around three-star tracks and developed multiple horses to the advanced level, piloted a horse to a bottom-of-the-pack score while competing at beginner novice at Sporting Days Farm Horse Trials II (S.C.) on March 1.
There was no ribbon attached to that result, for sure, especially since Simmons was competing hors concours. But a post she made on her Facebook page that evening showed just how intensely special Shannondale McGyver’s performance had been for her.