Meet the US Olympians

By Irene Elise Powlick

With just two weeks to go before the opening ceremonies of the 2016 Olympic Summer Games taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, it’s time for you to get to know the horses and riders that will be representing our country on the Hermes US Olympic Show Jumping Team.

The Riders:

  • Mclain Ward: This 40-year-old, Brewster, NY, native is currently ranked number one in the world! A multiple Olympic medal winning equestrian, Ward is contesting his fourth consecutive Olympic Games. He went to the 2004 and 2008 Games with his mount Sapphire, where he won Individual Gold and Team Gold. In the the 2012 Olympics in London, he competed on Antares F. Recently, Ward has been on a hot streak, winning seven major CSI classes within three weeks in May, while traveling from Rome to Devon to get the wins. With a wide variety of horses, incredible talent, and a cool head, Ward is one to count on when it comes to jumping for the team.
  • Kent Farrington: A 35-year-old who now resides in Wellington, Farrington is known for riding hot horses and racing to wins. This new Olympian has won nearly everything there is to win when it comes to Grand Prix classes. In 2015, Farrington won the Rolex International Jumping Riders Club Top Ten Final, Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prixs, and the premier event at the Dublin Horse Show. Since being named to the US team, Farrington won both the $375,000 Pan American Cup and the $500,000 ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Spruce Meadows. This speed demon is one to watch for both team and individual championships at the Olympic Games.
  • Beezie Madden: Coming from her Cazenovia, NY, farm, 52-year-old Madden is looking to take home her third Gold Medal at this year’s Games. Winning Team Gold at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games, Madden also went to the 2012 Games in London, where the US ended up 4th Madden also won medals at the World Equestrian Games, most recently in 2014 in Normandy, FRA, where she scored bronze in both Team and Individual. Recently, she has been travelling throughout Europe, collecting wins at Rotterdam, NED; Knokke, BEL; and Aachen, GER. This veteran with ice in her veins is guaranteed to bring home solid rounds for her team.
  • Lucy Davis: 23 year old California native Lucy Davis is the team’s youngest member, but that does not mean that she is the underdog. Davis has already jumped for Team USA on the 2014 World Equestrian Games team where they finished with the Bronze Medal. Davis has been based in Europe for the past six months, where she has been jumping at Knokke, BEL, and Aachen, GER, as well as jumping to multiple clear rounds in recent Nations Cups. Davis keeps a small, but consistent string of horses, and can always be seen with a smile on her face.
  • Laura Kraut: 50-year-old Kraut is our traveling reserve. With more than 20 years of wins at international competition, Kraut has been to two Games, in 2000 and 2008. In the 2008 Games, she won a Team Gold medal with her famous partner, Cedric. Recently, Kraut has been traveling with much of the team in Europe, winning at Rotterdam, NED, Cascais, POR, and Aachen, GER.

The Horses:

  • HH Azur: Although Mclain Ward had multiple mounts to pick from, HH Azur has been specifically pointed at the Olympics. Also known as Annie, this 9-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare is owned in partnership by Double H Farm and Francois Mathy. In her first year with Ward, the super mare won at the Hampton Classic, Spruce Meadows, and Old Salem Farm. Her incredible scope, style, and presence is magnificent, and will help the US Team’s quest for gold.
  • Voyeur: A longer time mount for Farrington, Voyeur is the best of an incredible string of horses in Farrington’s barn. The 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood Gelding has won the Rolex IRJC Top Ten Finals in 2015, as well as the World Cup Qualifier at the CP National Horse Show. He’s also won at Spruce Meadows, on the Global Champions Tour, and jumped to the Bronze Medal at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, FRA.
  • Cortes C: Ironically named Tiny, Cortes C is also a 14-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, and is owned by Abigail Wexner. Known for his iconic leg-crossed style over the jumps, Tiny has a wide fan base. He has been ridden by Madden for the past 5 years and is a consistent winner. In 2014, Cortes C and Madden won the prestigious Longines King George V Cup at Spruce Meadows, making Madden the first woman ever to win the class. In addition, the duo jumped four clear rounds in the Final Four competition at the 2014 World Equestrian Games, winning the Bronze Medal and the Best Horse Award. In 2015, they remarkably repeated their victory in the Longines King George V Cup. In 2016, Tiny had a top ten finish in the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen, GER, as well as successful Nations Cup appearances.
  • Barron: Davis’ mount Barron is a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding who has plenty of awards to his name. The successful pair jumped at the World Equestrian Games in 2014, as well as World Cup Finals in 2014 and 2015. This gelding is a consistent contender over multi-round competitions. The duo is ranked as the 26th best Show Jumping team in the world.
  • Zeremonie: A horse that Laura Kraut has been training since it was 5, Zeremonie is an 8 year old Holsteiner mare. Although young, Zeremonie has already jumped to a podium finish in the Wellington Nations Cup. Zeremonie and Kraut are the traveling reserve horse and rider pair.