Mill Spring, North Carolina, USA – The NetJets® U.S. Jumping Team continued its second day of competition on Thursday, September 20, at the FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) Tryon 2018. The team improved their standing to the silver-medal position with 12.59 penalties going into Friday’s final competition. With the aim of a Tokyo 2020 Olympic team qualification, the U.S. team of Devin Ryan, Adrienne Sternlicht, Laura Kraut, and McLain Ward, led by Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland, will fight to stay on the podium and focus on that goal heading into the second round. Ward and Clinta accumulated only one time fault, which shot them into the silver medal position in the individual standings.
Thursday’s round was a qualifier for the team and individual standings. The results from Thursday’s round will be combined with Wednesday’s opening round and Friday’s Round 2 for the final team score.
Devin Ryan (USA) & Eddie Blue
As the trailblazer for the team, Devin Ryan (Long Valley, New Jersey, USA), and Eddie Blue, LL Show Jumpers, LLC’s nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, left all of the jumps up, but a foot in the water added four faults. They stand on 7.64 penalties in 20th place individually.
“The seven strides to the water got a little bit normal than steady for me, so I was a foot off of it, and instead of jumping a 13-foot water, he was jumping a 14-foot water today,” explained Ryan. “That’s his first time ever putting a foot in the water. He jumped everything super, made huge efforts. I don’t think he rubbed a jump on course. I’m really happy with him.”
Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) & Cristalline
Adrienne Sternlicht (Greenwich, Connecticut, USA) made it her plan to return for a second day of jumping in a relaxed state of mind. It paid off, as she and Cristalline, Starlight Farm LLC’s 10-year-old Bavarian Warmblood mare, jumped clear and finished with just one time fault. They are now on 5.26 penalties in 12th place individually.
“This is really my comfort zone. I think this Nations Cup format is really where we thrive,” she said. “I really thought about taking every fence at a time. I think that’s where my time fault came, but I was more focused on jumping a clear round because that was what our team needed.”
Laura Kraut (USA) & Zeremonie
Laura Kraut of Wellington, Florida, USA, and Zeremonie, Old Willow Farms LLC’s 11-year-old Holsteiner mare, had two slight rubs that resulted in eight faults. Added to their penalties from Wednesday, they have a total of 9.87 for 26th place individually.
“I don’t think she knows that she had any fences down. All the parts [of the course] people were struggling with, she did so well,” said Kraut. “I am truly disappointed, but I can’t be disappointed in her because I think she did a great job. The show jumping gods just weren’t with her today. For tomorrow, we are ready to come back and put in a clear and hopefully get ourselves a medal.”
McLain Ward (USA) & Clinta
Anchor rider McLain Ward (Brewster, New York, USA) rode Clinta, an 11-year-old Oldenburg mare he owns with Sagamore Farm, to a fantastic round. They have just 2.08 penalties behind Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca and Irenice Horta on 1.19 penalties and in front of Peder Fredericson (SWE) and H&M Christian K on 2.16 penalties.
Ward added a stride to the double combination in the last line on course, which, he said, “would be difficult, but I thought it was the right choice.”
He continued, “She jumped the triple bar so big, even though we got the right stride to it, I really started to run out of room. Her athleticism there was incredible. She didn’t give up and jumped out [of the combination] easily. She finished up great.
“[Clinta and I] haven’t been through [WEG] before, but I never go in the ring thinking I’ve got it all figured out,” said Ward. “I’m thrilled with her and thrilled with the team.”
Switzerland leads the team standings with 11.64 penalties and Germany is in third place with 18.09 penalties.
The NetJets U.S. Jumping team returns Friday, September 21, for their third ride, which counts toward individual standings and determines team medals, at 1:30 p.m. ET.
For complete individual results, please click here.
For complete team results, please click here.
Source: Press release by Jump Media / US Equestrian Communications Department for US Equestrian / USEF – United States Equestrian Federation
Photos: © US Equestrian / Shannon Brinkman