Twenty-five riders will return for the individual jumping championship at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina. Only 9.3 penalties separate the current leader and the 25th-placed rider, while 5.7 penalties separate the top 10. Here’s a look at the top 10 competitors:
1. Simone Blum (GER) and DSP Alice, 2.47 penalties
The 28-year-old rider had a break out year in 2016 and comes from a family of equestrians. Her father Jürgen Blum competed in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics in eventing.
2. Max Kühner (AUT) and Chardonnay, 2.97 penalties
Max previously represented Germany at international level, but switched to compete for Austria at the beginning of 2015. Max and the 11-year-old Holsteiner stallion Chardonnay placed 14th at the 2016 FEI World Cup™ Final Gothenburg.
3. Martin Fuchs (SUI) and Clooney, 4.68 penalties
Martin and Clooney finished 4th in the 2017 FEI World Cup™ Final Omaha. The pair also competed at 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro where they finished 6th in the team and 9th in the individual competition. In 2015, Martin also won a bronze at the European Championships and placed 11th at the World Cup Final.
4. Lorenzo de Luca (ITL) and Irenice Horta, 5.19 penalties
Lorenzo placed 10th at the 2017 FEI World Cup™ Final Omaha and competed at the 2014 World Equestrian Games.
5. McLain Ward (USA) and Clinta, 6.08 penalties
The World No. 2-ranked show jumper, McLain won the 2017 FEI World Cup™ Final Omaha with HH Azur. The pair also won a team silver medal at the 2016 Olympics and placed 9th individually. McLain earned a team bronze at the 2014 World Equestrian Games with Rothchild. With his mare Sapphire, McLain won team gold at both the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2004 Athens Olympics, as well as a silver medal at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen in 2006.
6. Cian O’Connor (IRL) and Good Luck, 6.69 penalties
Cian won an individual bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics with Blue Loyd 12. With Good Luck, Cian won a European gold team medal and individual bronze.
7. Fredrik Jönsson (SWE) and Cold Play, 7.23 penalties
Fredrik competed at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta with Ulfung, finishing 13th. He comes from an equestrian family—his father Jan won a bronze medal in eventing at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, and his wife Piia Pantsu represented Finland in eventing at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.
8. Danielle Goldstein (ISR) and Lizziemary, 7.80 penalties
Born in the U.S. and based in Wellington, Florida, Danielle became an Israeli citizen in 2010. She competed at the 2014 World Equestrian Games, and the 2017 and 2015 European championships.
9. Steve Guerdat (SUI) and Bianca, 8 penalties
Steve won the individual gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics with Nino Des Buissonnets. The pair also placed 4th at the 2016 Rio Olympics and 11th at the World Equestrian Games in 2014. He won the team bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics with Jalisca Solier. Steve is also a two-time World Cup champion, winning back to back in 2015 and 2016 with two different mounts. Riding Bianca, he placed 8th at the 2017 World Cup Final, and 9th at the 2018 World Cup Final.
10. Pedro Veniss (BRA) and Quabri de I’lsle, 8.17 penalties
Pedro competed in two Olympic Games--2008 and 2016 (his team placed 5th). At the 2010 World Equestrian Games, his team placed 4th and he rode Quabri de I’lsle to a team 5th place at the 2014 WEG. In 2007, he won a team gold medal at the Pan American Games.