Mill Spring, N.C. – On the final day of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) Tryon 2018, the NetJets U.S. Jumping Team showed their strength and depth with all four riders finishing in the top-16 of the FEI World Jumping Individual Championship. The team’s top finisher was McLain Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) on Clinta, an 11-year-old Oldenburg mare he owns with Sagamore Farm. They just missed the medal podium, placing fourth..
Ward and Clinta came into the final day of competition in fifth place, and after toppling the rail at fence 4b of the triple combination, they added four faults to their total and slotted into seventh place going into the second round.
“I thought the mare jumped brilliant,” said Ward of his opening round. “Honestly, I wouldn’t have ridden the line any different. I was a little concerned about ‘a’ with how high she jumped over the liverpool in the Nations Cup. She came off the ground well. It was an unlucky rub. It’s a bit disappointing, but I’m not [disappointed] in the horse.”
In round two, Ward rode a masterful clear round but added one time fault to finish on a total of 11.08 penalties. Ward and Clinta placed behind Simone Blum (GER) and DSP Alice (3.47 penalties), Martin Fuchs (SUI) and Clooney (6.68 penalties), and Steve Guerdat (SUI) and Bianca (8.00 penalties).
“The main goal was reached,” said Ward, referencing the team’s gold medal from Friday. “It’s a little bittersweet not to be in the medals individually, but I’m thrilled with Clinta and proud of this team. This was a great championship for us..”
Kraut (Wellington, Fla.) and Zeremonie, Old Willow Farms LLC’s 11-year-old Holsteiner mare, made a big jump up the standings from 17th to sixth place after they were one of only five clear rounds in Round A.
“I just can’t believe how well she did that,” said Kraut, who has ridden Zeremonie for six years. “I’m lucky I’m on a horse with so much energy. She was really just on.”
Returning for the second round, Kraut and Zeremonie picked up eight faults to finish on 18.87 penalties for 10th place.
“I had to ask a lot of her. It was hot and difficult,” she acknowledged. “She jumped into the triple [combination] great and just lightly rolled that. I thought I had the plank, no problem. She must have just barely touched it, and she jumped the rest great. She had a great week. I couldn’t be happier for her in her first championship.”
Kraut noted, “I don’t know how many championships [there have been] where four [from the same team] make it into the final day, and then to have three in the top-12, it just goes to show we had a really good week. We had four riders in the top-16. That’s really impressive. We have a lot to be proud of.”
Sternlicht, (Greenwich, Conn.) and Cristalline, Starlight Farm LLC’s 10-year-old Bavarian Warmblood mare, had a slight rub at fence 4a of the triple combination for four faults in the first round and 14.26 total penalties, which put them into the top 12 and round two.
“I was the most relaxed I’ve been in five months of jumping, since the observation events began,” said Sternlicht of her first round ride. “I walked the course and I was so excited to jump. The last time I can remember her feeling this good in the morning when I rode her was at Devon [Horse Show in May]. I can’t ask for anything more. It’s been an incredible first championship experience for me, so I’m really, really happy.”
In the second round, Sternlicht and Cristalline had four jumping faults and two time faults to finish on 20.26 total penalties for 11th place.
“Every course I’ve jumped here has been the biggest course I’ve ever jumped in my life,” said Sternlicht. “Walking up here for the final round, I thanked Robert Ridland, our Chef d’Equipe, for giving me the opportunity. The top-12 was never in the realm of possibility in the world I was living in. I knew my horse could make the top 25 if I didn’t get in her way. I don’t know what else to say other than thank you to my amazing animal.”
Ryan of Long Valley, N.J. and Eddie Blue, LL Show Jumpers, LLC’s nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, had four faults at fence five in the opening round to finish on 16th place with 16.64 penalties.
“That was a little bit rider error there,” said Ryan of his faults. “We just got a little too close to it. But the whole course, he just made a huge effort. Even the last jump, I could just feel his power and scope and he was still fresh. Overall, I think I had a consistent week with my horse. I think consistency says a lot about a horse and a combination. It was nice to be here and not have any big hiccups in the ride, especially with this being my third [team event].”
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