Blogger Susan Artes says goodbye

She didn't get to ride in the final after her horse got hurt, but walking the courses and rooting on the U.S. contingent was the next-best thing.

As the curtain comes down on the 2015 Longines FEI World Cup Show Jumping Final, I am thankful to have been a part of it. Being given the opportunity to walk the courses allowed me strategize as though I’d be riding Zamiro. While the jumps were definitely big and wide for the last day, the riders were up for the challenge.

Susan Artes and U.S. coach Robert Ridland

Rich Fellers and the 19-year-old Flexible had two down in each round this afternoon, but still showed the world that it is possible to be competitive with a senior horse.

I’m really proud of Vinton Karrasch, who took my place when Zamiro got hurt. He got better with each passing day. My heart jumped every jump with him, and I could tell by his smile as he left the arena that he was happy with his round. He finished 22d.

It was certainly a tense moment as the winner, Steve Guerdat of Switzerland, toppled a rail at the last jump, barely making the time allowed. Had he been a few fractions of a second slower, we would have had a jump off between three riders tied with nine faults.

With three U.S. riders placed in the top ten, I’m sure our team coach, Robert Ridland, is still pretty pleased, even though we didn’t win.

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