Teams from six nations, including many of the biggest names in the sport, have entered for the CSIO5* Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of the United States of America, the only qualifier in the U.S. for the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup Final in Barcelona, Spain, next fall.
The prestigious team competition takes place this weekend at Deeridge Farms, a world-class venue in the heart of Wellington. It is the second of three elite, high-performance events as part of the Palm Beach Masters Series.
The Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup is celebrating its 110th year in 2019 and features international teams made up of the world’s top-ranked horses and riders. National federations from around the world assemble teams of their most talented horse-and-rider combinations, and the groups compete as a team, just as they do in the Olympics. After holding a brief residence in Ocala, the event is making a celebratory return to Wellington thanks to the newly expanded Palm Beach Masters Series, where it will remain through 2021.
Teams from six nations — Canada, Colombia, Ireland, Israel, Mexico and the United States — will go head-to-head in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup USA, navigating courses set by one of the world’s most respected designers, Ireland’s Alan Wade.
The world-class event will host 60 Olympic-caliber athletes from 13 countries who will be competing with 116 horses for a whopping $716,500 in prize money. Deeridge Farms’ Nations Cup week, which got underway Wednesday, Feb. 13, also includes FEI Jumping Nations Cup youth competitions for Young Riders, Juniors and Children, showcasing the next generation of elite show jumping talent.
Having won the team gold medal at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games, the team silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, championed the last two FEI Jumping World Cup Finals and took the FEI Nations Cup team silver medal at the 2017 final and team bronze medal in 2016, the U.S. riders are a force to be reckoned with and will undoubtedly give competitors a run for the money.
The five-member NetJets U.S. Jumping Team for the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup USA will feature four Olympic veterans, the last two Longines FEI World Cup Champions and three of the four members of the U.S.’s gold medal team from the 2018 WEG.
The U.S. team features Beezie Madden, a four-time Olympic veteran, two-time Olympic gold medalist and the reigning Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final Champion; McLain Ward, a fellow four-time Olympian with two gold medals and winner of the 2017 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final; 2008 Olympic and 2018 WEG team gold medalist Laura Kraut; 2000 Olympic veteran Margie Engle; and Devin Ryan, 2018 WEG team gold medalist and runner-up at the 2018 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final.
Other top U.S. riders who will be competing as individuals include Olympic veterans Lucy Davis, Kent Farrington and Lauren Hough, along with Lucy Deslauriers, recent Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Wellington Champion Alex Granato, Eve Jobs, Marilyn Little, Todd Minikus, Wilton Porter, Jessica Springsteen, Catherine Tyree and Adrienne Sternlicht.
The entry list of riders from the other nations’ teams includes some of the biggest names in the sport. Canada’s athletes include Mario Deslauriers, an Olympic veteran who won the 1984 FEI World Cup Final at just 19 years old, as well as Hyde Moffat, Erynn Ballard, Tiffany Foster, Susan Horn, Amy Millar and Keean White.
Mexico will be represented by five athletes, including Eugenio Garza Perez, Enrique Gonzalez, Manuel Gonzalez Dufrane, Fernando Martinez Sommer and Juan Jose Zendejas Salgado.
The Irish contingent is strong, featuring Cormac Hanley, Darragh Kenny, Paul O’Shea, Conor Swail and Shane Sweetnam.
Daniel Bluman, a two-time Olympic veteran, heads the list of entries from Israel that also includes Ashlee Bond, Ilan Ferder and Danielle Goldstein.
Riders from Colombia include Juan Pablo Betancourt, Ilan Bluman, Juan Manuel Gallego, John Perez Bohm and Roberto Teran Tafur.
In addition to the six countries sending teams to compete, Australia, Brazil, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Switzerland and Venezuela will have riders competing as individuals. Headlining this group of riders are some of the sport’s most accomplished riders, including Great Britain’s Ben Maher, a three-time Olympic veteran and currently the seventh-ranked rider in the world, and Martin Fuchs of Switzerland, who made his Olympic debut in 2016 and was the individual silver medalist at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games.
“We are thrilled and honored to bring the prestigious Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup USA back to Wellington,” said Lou Jacobs, co-founder of the Palm Beach Masters Series with siblings Charlie Jacobs and Katie Robinson. “We have a superb list of entries, and we look forward to welcoming everyone to Deeridge Farms for what we believe will be one of the most exciting equestrian events in the country.”
The best views for the Palm Beach Masters Series events are from the Berkshire Bank VIP Club, an exquisite two-story venue for watching the top-level competition in both competition arenas. Club members are treated to special amenities and one-of-a-kind culinary creations from Delaware North’s Patina Restaurant Group. In addition to the gourmet food served, a complimentary open bar and table service are also included.
The Palm Beach Masters Series wants everyone to come to the event and wave their flags for the FEI Nations Cup USA, so they have made the Berkshire Bank VIP Club more accessible than ever. Individual VIP club membership with access to casual fare and an open bar is just $500 per guest for the entire show. The price serves as a cover charge for the week and does not include a reserved table, but offers first-come, first-served seating at high-top cocktail tables throughout the first floor. First floor access must be purchased for the week on a per-person basis.
Additionally, reserved ringside VIP tables can be purchased on the first floor for $1,500 per day. In order to purchase and access a table, all guests must have already purchased membership access. Each reserved table seats six and is good for one day of use. For ticket information, visit https://palmbeachmasters.com/event/nations-cup/vip-hospitality.
The Palm Beach Masters Series has added several exciting features to its 2019 events. The Just World International Kids’ Zone, new Boardwalk Boutiques, the Taylor Harris Beach Bar and new picnic style tailgating spaces offer a one-of-a-kind experience for the whole family.
New for 2019, general admission and parking are free for all spectators. General admission seating in the grandstands is available on a first-come, first-served basis for all events.
Further information on the Palm Beach Masters Series is available at www.palmbeachmasters.com.