Barcelona, Spain – Oct. 4, 2021 – The Netherlands, under the direction of Chef d’Equipe Rob Ehrens, won the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ in Barcelona on Sunday, ending with a score of zero penalty points. The NetJets® U.S. Jumping Team finished in fifth place, consisting of Lillie Keenan, Laura Kraut, Schuyler Riley, and Spencer Smith.
The NetJets® U.S. Jumping Team qualified through Friday’s opening round and returned on Sunday afternoon for the second round on a clean slate against seven other teams.
The team’s pathfinders were Lillie Keenan (New York, N.Y.) and Skyhorse, a 14-year-old Belgian Sport Horse gelding owned by Chansonette Farm LLC. They had a beautiful trip going but ended up finishing with eight jumping faults and a one-time fault.
Spencer Smith (Wellington, Fla.) and Quibelle, a 12-year-old Hanoverian mare owned by Gotham Enterprizes LLC, put in a brilliant clear round to help the team. This was their first Nations Cup together and only the second Senior Nations Cup ride for Smith.
Schuyler Riley (Wellington, Fla.) and Robin de Ponthual, a 16-year-old Selle Francais gelding owned by Katherine Gallagher, had four faults on the “b” element of the double combination.
Anchor rider Laura Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) and Baloutinue, an 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by St. Bride’s Farm, had bad luck, lowering the height of the first and last jumps on course for eight faults.
“If Lillie hadn’t left all the jumps up on Friday, we wouldn’t have been here today,” described Ridland. “Schuyler and Robin were so solid both rounds; they were a hair away from being clean both times. Baloutinue has so much energy and stamina and has been such a huge part of these past few months from Tokyo to Aachen to Barcelona. He’s so tough and game and gets a much-deserved rest now. Our alternate, Michael Hughes, came at the last minute when we had a spot open up. It was great having him here as the fifth rider, and he had a very good show.”
The U.S. team finished on 12 total faults for fifth place. The Netherlands won on a clear score, while Ireland was second with one fault and Belgium with four faults. Sweden also had four faults but slower times putting them into fourth place, while the U.S. landed in fifth place. Germany placed sixth on 13 faults, Brazil was seventh with 14 faults, and Spain wrapped up with the eighth place with 26 faults.
“It’s been quite a run,” said Ridland of the U.S. team’s results over the past two months, from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to Spruce Meadows and CHIO Aachen and now the Longines FEI Nations Cup Final in Barcelona. “To be honest, we’re ecstatic. There were so many riders, young and veteran when you look back at the schedule. We always aim for the podium, and in three of the four events, we were there, and we were pretty close here in Barcelona. Every one of those riders contributed.”
Sunday afternoon’s event was the cap to a great week of athleticism at the Barcelona International Show Jumping Competition, part of the city’s Merced Fiestas, hosted at the inimitable Real Club de Polo de Barcelona, a favorite of fans and riders alike.
For more information about the CSIO Barcelona, visit www.csiobarcelona.com.