January 1, 2017–With this season’s Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League winding down, the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Omaha, Nebraska is a hot topic in the equestrian community. How do some of the world’s best athletes feel about this esteemed championship event?
– “I think with any championship like the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final, when you’re riding with the best and watching the best, you learn a lot.”—Audrey Coulter
– “Before [the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League] when there were 12 or 13 qualifiers, everyone would take it easy for the first few shows, and then kill themselves for the last few to get points. Now with only seven stops [in each Sub-League], every show counts and every class is important.”—Nayel Nassar (pictured right, Amy K. Dragoo photo)
– “It’s everybody’s goal [to qualify], but I try to go one day at a time. Tomorrow morning, I’ll get up and hope my horse is sound and healthy. Obviously with 20 points in the bag, it’s something I have to take a look at and pay attention to and especially on home soil—to have the World Cup™ Jumping Final in North America is the ultimate advantage—Jonathan McCrea, after winning the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Bromont
– “The final is a very particular type of competition. It’s in a small indoor arena, so you really need an indoor specialist and they have to be able to hold up over five rounds, which also is a lot of jumping.”—Kent Farrington
– “I would like to go back to the World Cup™ Jumping Final this year. It would be my 22nd or 23rd World Cup Final!” —Leslie Howard
– “I think the main thing that Longines has brought to the sport in North America as a sponsor is unity. Shows here have always been based on the show management, but there was no unity from show to show. Now, there’s strong leadership from Longines, which creates unity for the athletes and for the spectators. Without unity, the sport will never grow. The brand makes it more of an event and it makes the sport more accessible to spectators.”—Karl Cook.
Fast Facts About the League
– So far in the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League this year, five mares, four geldings and one stallion have won events.
– $2.4 million in prize money is up for grabs across the League, and $1.4 million is on offer for the Final next spring.
– Athletes from three nations (U.S., Germany and Mexico) have won League qualifiers so far this season.
– Only four qualifiers are left (two in the Eastern Sub-League and two in the Western Sub-League) for riders to win coveted points.
Current Standings Eastern Sub-League:
1. Kent Farrington – 72
2. Audrey Coulter – 45
3. Mclain Ward – 44
4. Laura Kraut – 37
5. Lauren Tisbo – 36
6. Georgina Bloomberg – 34
7. Jonathan McCrea – 33
8. Charlie Jacobs – 32
9. Jack Towell – 31
10. Keean White- 28
1. Enrique Gonzalez – 42
2. Nayel Nassar – 41
3. Karl Cook – 38
4. Jenni McAllister – 36
5. Christopher Surbey – 33
6. Eduardo Menezes – 32
7. Eric Navet – 22
8. Nikolaj Hein Ruus – 17
8. Laura Jane Tidball – 17
10. Richard Fellers – 17
Find out the latest news, results, interviews, photo galleries and behind-the-scenes action at Practical Horseman. >> http://practicalhorsemanmag.com/fei-world-cup-nal