U.S. Young Rider Jumping Team Brings Home Gold at the FEI Jumping Nations Cup Hagen CSIOY
The FEI Nations Cup Hagen at Future Champions in Hagen, Germany, unveiled the official format for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Jumping and Dressage. Representing the U.S. in jumping, the U.S. Young Rider Jumping Team of Samantha Cohen, Claire McKean, and Giavanna Rinaldi rode brilliantly under the guidance of Chef d’Equipe Anne Kursinski to a fault-free win in the FEI Jumping Nations Cup Hagen CSIOY. Germany finished second with four faults, followed by France with eight, to round out the top three nations.
“The three rider team was outstanding,” said Chef d’Equipe Anne Kursinski. “There is no substitute for this type of experience. They bonded and will never forget this, at this age, and at this level. It’s an invaluable experience. I’m so glad we brought a team.”
With the FEI selecting Hagen to debut the new format, 19 nations made up of three combinations competed with no drop score, and the individual competition going first, Kursinski was optimistic about the new format but noted the additional pressure it may add with no drop score option. “I liked how the top 10 teams (out of 19 competing in the Nations Cup) came in today with a clean slate, everyone starts the day fresh. I’m a bit old fashioned and I like the drop score, not having a drop score will certainly add pressure at the Olympic level. It’s excellent that the FEI had this event to test out the new format and iron out the details.”
In the first team qualifier round, Giavanna Rinaldi of St. Charles, IL, and Cleo van de Helle, Ashford Farming Ireland and Stephen Macken’s eight-year-old Holsteiner gelding, pulled one rail adding four faults to the team score. Teammate Samantha Cohen of New York, NY, and Billy Fanta, her 11-year-old Anglo-European mare had two unlucky rails, adding eight faults, while anchor Claire McKean from The Woodlands, TX, and Isabelle, her own 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, added one time fault for a team score of 13 faults for a sixth place finish. The top 10 team finish qualified the U.S. to advance into the final and determined the start order.
In the final, all U.S. riders jumped fault-free to secure the gold.