By US Equestrian Communications Department | Jul 3, 2021, 11:59 AM EST
Rotterdam, the Netherlands – The NetJets U.S. Jumping Team put in a solid effort this week at the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of the Netherlands, finishing in seventh place in their final Nations Cup competition before team selection for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Ten nations fielded teams for the Rotterdam leg of the FEI Jumping Nations Cup, which took place on the grounds of the Rotterdamsche Manège in the picturesque Kralingse Bos park.
In the first of two rounds, Adrienne Sternlicht (Greenwich, Conn.) and Starlight Farm LLC’s 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding Bennys Legacy were the trailblazers for the U.S. team and performed brilliantly, turning in a bold round to kick off the Americans’ efforts with a fault-free round comfortably within the 80-second time allowed. Lucy Deslauriers (New York, N.Y.) and her longtime partner, Lisa Deslaurier’s 16-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding Hester, followed with another clear round for the U.S. team, putting them in a tie for first place with the Dutch team after the second rotation of riders.
Beezie Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and Abigail Wexner’s 10-year-old KWPN gelding, Garant, left the jumps up, but put a hind foot in the water, adding four jumping penalties and a time fault to the team scores. McLain Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) completed the team’s efforts with a speedy and fault-free round riding Contagious, Beechwood Stables LLC’s 12-year-old Deutches Sportpferd gelding, giving the team a third clear and to head into round two with zero penalties on the board.
Round two proved to be influential, getting underway as the evening light cast long shadows across the course. Bennys Legacy barely dropped a foot in the water and added a rail down at the end of the triple combination, adding eight faults to Sternlicht’s score. Deslauriers entered the ring for her second round confidently, riding strategically to turn in a second clear round for the team with Hester.
Madden opted to withdraw Garant, and released a statement following the conclusion of the class explaining the team’s decision to forgo the second round. The anchor combination of Ward and Contagious, added eight faults to their first-round score of zero, with the team finishing in seventh place on a final two-round total of 16 faults.
The home team finished atop the podium, as the Netherlands finished on a final score of seven, ahead of Sweden who concluded the competition with a team total of nine. France rounded out the top three placings, finishing on a score of 12.