Top U.S. jumping athletes have their sights set on the 2023 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Omaha, Nebraska, in April. These World Cup™ hopefuls shared tips they keep in mind and in practice while gearing up for the event.
- McLain Ward: Stay Positive
“Just because you didn’t have a jump-off or you had an unlucky four faults and you’re not sitting where you want, [try] not to be discouraged.”
- Devin Ryan: Try Not to Overthink
“I think we sometimes think too much when we get to the championships and we want to over prepare ourselves. I think we can make it too complicated. If your horse has been in good form, don’t change the program you have. Don’t change anything special. Keep on doing what you’re doing, because that’s how you got there.”
- Lillie Keenan: Practice the Gallop
“With World Cup™ Finals in mind and being that it’s indoor, one training tip that I keep revisiting … I think it’s easy to fall out of the habit of remembering how to gallop. But, really, horses jump their best out of a gallop. Especially when you’re going to an indoor event, it’s all the more important to keep the pace. I like to take my horses out and just gallop in a big field. Practice [galloping] in different places that aren’t necessarily comfortable. No matter what level you’re jumping, it’s important to do that. [For example], when you go into a jump-off and you want to up the gear, you don’t want to feel like you don’t know what you have under you. So, I really like to remember that horses are meant to gallop and jump. That’s the basis of our sport.”
- Brian Moggre: Establish Your Goals
“I have two [tips] for you,” said Moggre. “First, smooth is fast. The smoother you can be, the faster you’re going to be. And second, establish clear goals. Set goals, and create a plan in order to execute it. I think that’s the number one step in being able to achieve anything—to recognize the goal and work backwards.”
- Hunter Holloway: Get Comfortable in Small Spaces
“Gearing up for World Cup Finals, you know you’re going to be in a tiny indoor arena. … I think getting used to jumping in that small of an arena helps a lot. No matter what, when you put that many big jumps [in a ring], no matter the size of the ring, it’s going to feel tiny. Usually it’s the rider that the horse is waiting for. It’s usually on us if something doesn’t go right or if a mistake happens.”
- Laura Kraut: Keep the Jumping to a Minimum
“I’m a big believer in doing a lot of flatwork but also a lot of hacking out and riding out cross-country. Not just walking, but actually letting the horses trot, canter and gallop to keep their minds fresh and happy. That’s really my routine. And when we do jump, it’s normally an exercise of some form like gymnastics, never courses.”
Holloway is currently the top U.S. rider on the the FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League rankings list at 4th, followed by Keenan in 7th, Ward in 9th, Ryan in 10th, Moggre in 12th, and Kraut in 21st.
For the full standings, click here.
Thanks to Absorbine for our coverage leading up to the 2023 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final, including rider interviews, competition reports, photos, videos and more!