Wellington, Florida, USA – March 21, 2023 – As the third season of Major League Show Jumping (MLSJ) quickly approaches its opening day, teams have finalized their rosters for the 2023 edition. Eight teams return to the series stacked with rich talent from both horses and riders.
During the off season, team managers made pivotal trades and are introducing new blood to MLSJ in spades. Reigning MLSJ champions Helios return with heavy-hitting veterans Ashlee Bond (ISR), Karl Cook (USA) and Mark Bluman (COL). They have infused fresh talent as well in Colombia’s Roberto Teran (COL), coupled with the transfers of Canadian’s Erynn Ballard (CAN) from Team KPF (formerly Team Lugano) and Sam Walker (CAN) from Northern Lights.
The Trailblazers have stacked their lineup with five riders ranked among the top-50 in the world, including returning athletes Daniel Bluman (ISR), Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Lillie Keenan (USA). Manager Cara Raether-Carey (USA) made moves in the last several months with incoming trades of Conor Swail (IRL) from Eye Candy and Kyle King (USA) from Roadrunners. Egypt’s Nayel Nassar (EGY) will also rejoin the MLSJ series after debuting during season one, this time wearing the Trailblazers uniform.
“According to the latest MLSJ Power Rankings, The Trailblazers are the ones to watch this season after big trades in Conor from Eye Candy and Kyle from Roadrunners, as well as the new acquisition of Nayel,” said Keean White, MLSJ Co-Founder. “We have seen the caliber of horse and rider rise significantly again this year and the stats point to one incredible season ahead.”
MLSJ Pre-Season Power Rankings – average world ranking of top-4 riders on each team
Trailblazers – 21
Roadrunners – 72
Spy Coast Spies – 74
Helios – 91
Eye Candy – 112
Northern Lights – 176
Team KPF – 222
Crusaders – 232
Roadrunners struggled to find consistent time on the podium in 2022 but intend to change that in 2023 as U.S. phenoms McLain Ward (USA) – former number-one in the world – and fellow WEF gold medalist, Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) return to the roster alongside a trade from the Crusaders of Ireland’s Daniel Coyle (IRL). Kaitlin Campbell (USA) returns to the start list with the additional acquisitions of Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) and up-and-comer Zume Gallaher (USA).
Never to be counted out, Eye Candy returns with their four seasoned winners: Ireland’s Paul O’Shea and Richie Maloney, as well as Canadian’s Amy Millar and Jacqueline Steffens Daly. Eye Candy Manager Erica Hatfield picked up a trade of Nick Dello Joio (USA) from Crusaders and newcomer to the league, Jessica Mendoza (GBR).
Team KPF, led by number-thirteen in the world Kent Farrington will return U.S. riders Natalie Dean and Vanessa Hood, as well as newcomers Alison Firestone (USA), Mimi Gochman (USA) and Tomas Yofre (ARG). Sticking to their Irish roots, Spy Coast Spies’ Shane Sweetnam (IRL) held on to Jordan Coyle (IRL) and welcomed Darragh Kerins (IRL) to the team. A trio of girl power in Margie Engle (USA), Lacey Gilbertson (USA), and Ashley Vogel (USA) also stays with the Spies.
The Crusaders shook up their roster with additions of young U.S. talent in Hallie Grimes, Charlotte Jacobs and Audrey Schulze. They return with Callie Schott (USA), Alessandra Volpi (USA) and Mexico’s Nicolas Pizarro.
Powered almost solely by Canadians, the ShowPlus Northern Lights welcomes Vanessa Mannix and Sean Jobin back alongside Ali Ramsay, Nicole Walker, Lexi Ray and Alexis Sokolov (USA).
The 2023 MLSJ season commences at Thunderbird Show Park in Vancouver, BC, on May 25, and will continue its North American tour throughout Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.
For more information about Major League Show Jumping, visit majorleagueshowjumping.com and download the MLSJ App.
Source: Press Release from Major League Show Jumping
Photos: © Major League Show Jumping / Atalya Boytner
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