U.S. Finishes Tenth in Team Competition

October 7, 2010

Lexington, KY – The U.S. team had an unfortunate night under the lights for the finale of team jumping at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. They started the night in third placed and slipped to tenth by the end of the evening.

“I’ve been showing horses since 1948, and that’s just horse showing,” said U.S. chef d’equipe George Morris. “We had a great year. There are ups and downs. It’s like life. Horses are a reflection of life. It isn’t just up, up, up, up. That’s horse showing. I’ve been to a lot of horse shows, and I tell you it is not all up. Mostly it’s down and sometimes up.”

Last night’s course was the same course from Tuesday with a few adjustments. Lauren Hough and Quick Study were the first Americans on course, but an uncharacteristic warm-up translated to three rails down in their round.

“The end of my warm-up was not good,” said Hough. “He stopped a few times which is uncharacteristic of him. I think he was just a bit rattled. He doesn’t knock fences like that down. I think his brain—he left it out here in the warm-up. It’s the worst day in the world to do it, but this is the sport and you’ve got to keep going.”

Mario Deslauriers and Urico were up next for the U.S. and also ran into some problems starting with fence 7—a difficult triple bar that replaced Tuesday’s water jump.

“My horse started out great,” he said. “He was very ready tonight. He was jumping good out here. He jumped the triple combination well. I was a little close maybe on number two and made a big effort there. We got going after that and jumped the wall nicely, and my distance was fine. I think the lights and being nine years old—and last night I was watching my videos, and he was already over-jumping yesterday a little bit. I think he was just trying to jump too high, and he got himself in trouble a bit and then I lost my stirrup and I couldn’t keep it going to the plank so I had to make a circle. I was trying to catch up the time a little, but I was already late a little bit. I was trying to bring it home without doing too much more damage. That’s show jumping for you.”

Cedric and Laura Kraut had not had the best show up to this point, and after the rounds her two teammates had tonight, she went in the arena with quite a bit of pressure on her shoulders. The pair handled it well and pulled out a stellar, clear round.

“To be honest he was as good as he was yesterday—just the little bit of bad luck yesterday. He should have been double clear. Tonight was just easy. He is perfect. What more can I say. That’s how he’s been all year. That’s why the first night it just took us all by such surprise that he was so panicked by everything, but he settled in now. Maybe a day too late.”
Sapphire and McLain Ward were third to last in the order of go and had two rails down including the same fence that caused them a problem yesterday and the last fence which plagued his teammates this week as well.

“It just wasn’t our horse show after the first night,” said Morris.

The competition continues Friday evening for the top 30 riders. Finishing in 19th and 26th, both Kraut and Ward will move on to attempt individual medals for the U.S.

Top honors Wednesday went to the Germans followed by France and Belgium.

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