Wellington, FL - Saturday afternoon and evening at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival will showcase show jumping's youth in the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center's International Arena as Young Riders, Juniors, and Child Riders contest FEI Nations Cups presented by Hollow Creek Farm. The U.S. heads into competition, which is in its second year, with three strong teams looking to stand atop the podium in each Nations Cup competition.
Di Ann Langer will serve as Chef d'Equipe for all three U.S. teams. "I'm very excited," said Langer. "Our Young Rider team is outstanding and they have each won championships before; I think they will be golden. Our juniors are a little younger but seasoned as well; I expect them to do well also. I'm very positive about our children being competitive. Many of them are just starting out at the 1.20m and 1.25m level but I think they are very ready to do well."
The U.S. will also be represented by individual combinations in the first round of the three Nations Cups looking to secure points for the leading rider status.
FEI Young Riders Nation Cup presented by Hollow Creek Farm
Four of the most successful U.S. Young Riders in recent history are set to line up and repeat last year's victory in the FEI Young Riders Nation Cup presented by Hollow Creek Farm. Michael Hughes, Lillie Keenan, Frances Land, and Wilton Porter have drawn first in the order of the seven nations and will look to showcase the experience gained jumping at the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North (NAJYRC).
Competition gets underway with round one at 1:00pm ET, with the second and final round beginning at 9:00pm ET.
Michael Hughes (Allendale, NJ) will ride Christina Fried's Luxina. Luxina is a 2004 Dutch Warmblood mare. Hughes and Luxina will look to showcase the form that helped them to earn Team Gold at the 2013 NAJYRC and Team Silver and Individual Bronze at the 2013 Randolph College/USEF National Junior Jumper Championship. Additionally, Hughes closed out his 2013 campaign claiming the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals-East title and Reserve Champion honors at the Pessoa/US Hunter Seat Medal Finals presented by Randolph College.
Lillie Keenan (New York, NY) will ride Chansonette Farm, LLC's Londinium. Londinium is a 2002 Oldenburg gelding. Keenan comes off an incredible 2013 campaign that saw her named the USEF Junior Equestrian of the Year as well as earning championship titles in the Pessoa/US Hunter Seat Medal Finals presented by Randolph College and the ASPCA Alfred B. Maclay National Finals. Alongside Hughes, she earned NAJYRC Team Gold and Junior Jumper Team Silver with Zone 2, in addition to claiming Individual Gold at both Championships.
Frances Land (Alpharetta, GA) will ride her own Vieanne. Vieanne is a 2002 Dutch Warmblood mare. Land and Vieanne head into the FEI Young Riders Nation Cup presented by Hollow Creek Farm on strong form, having won the EMO Grand Prix at Gulf Coast in February, as well as winning the Spy Coast Farm 1.45 Classic during Week Three of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival. Land is no stranger to podium finishes, having been a member of the Gold medal-winning Zone 4 team at the 2011 NAJYRC.
Wilton Porter (Bartonville, TX) will ride Sleepy P Ranch LLC's Radio City. Radio City is a 2001 Holsteiner mare. Porter has gotten his 2014 campaign off to a strong start jumping at FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, earning top placings in Ruby Et Violette WEF Challenge Cup and Artisan Farms Under 25 Young Rider Grand Prix classes. The Vanderbilt University freshman has three Grand Prix victories to his name and looks to add to his resume with a top team finish this weekend in Wellington.
FEI Junior Riders Nations Cup presented by Hollow Creek Farm
The U.S. has fielded another strong team to contest the $2,500 FEI Junior Riders Nations Cup presented by Hollow Creek Farm. The United States will be represented by Lucas Porter, Chloe Reid, Sophie Simpson, and Hayley Waters. In Junior competition, the U.S. has drawn fifth of the seven teams.
Round one begins at the 2:15pm and round two is scheduled to being at 7:30pm.
Lucas Porter (Bartonville, TX) will ride Sleepy Ranch LLC's Phineas. Phineas is a 2002 Oldenburg gelding. At the 2013 FEI Junior Riders Nations Cup presented by Hollow Creek Farm, Porter and Phineas looked on track to jump a double clear but a rail late in the course dashed those chances. The pair will look for redemption in 2014. They have prepared for their return to CSIO Wellington competition by contesting Junior Jumper and Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix classes.
Chloe Reid (Washington, DC) will ride Chloe D Reid LLC's Athena. Athena is a 2005 Dutch Warmblood mare. Reid is also making her second appearance in the Junior Nations Cup at CSIO Wellington having helped the U.S. to a fourth-place finish in 2013. With Athena, Reid was a member of the second-placed team in the Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Team Event presented by The Dutta Corp., in association with Guido Klatte.
Sophie Simpson (Royal Palm Beach, FL) will ride Simpson Show Jumping's Why Not. Why Not is a 2003 Dutch Warmblood mare. Simpson replaces Victoria Colvin on the U.S. Junior Team and will look to display the accurate jumping she demonstrated at the 2013 NAJYRC to help Zone 4 earn Team Bronze. In addition to competing at the NAJYRC with Why Not, Simpson and the mare are also among the combinations that have prepared for Nations Cup competition by contesting the Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prixes.
Hayley Waters (Sparr, FL) will ride Chuck and Dana Waters' Qurint. Qurint is a 2003 Swedish Warmblood mare. Waters and Qurint head into Saturday's Nations Cup on a second-place finish in 1.40m Junior/Amateur-Owner competition at the Ocala Winter Classic in February. Additionally, Waters brings team experience to the Junior squad this weekend having stood alongside Simpson on the Bronze medal podium at the 2013 NAJYRC.
FEI Children's Nations Cup presented by Hollow Creek Farm
In the FEI Children's Nations Cup presented by Hollow Creek Farm, seven teams will go head-to-head. The U.S. enters competition in an enviable position having drawn seventh. Just as with the Young Riders and Juniors, the Children's Nations Cup will jump their first round Saturday afternoon and return to the International Arena for a second round under the lights. Round one begins at 4:30pm ET with round two at 6:00pm ET.
The U.S. will be represented by Madison Goetzmann, Sophie Howell, McKayla Langmeier, and Addison Piper.
Madison Goetzmann (Skaneateles, NY) will ride her own Wendalineke. Wendalineke is a 2003 Dutch Warmblood mare. Goetzmann enters Saturday's Nations Cup competition having been extremely successful in the pony hunter ranks. In 2011, she capped off an extremely successful week at the USEF Pony Finals by earning the Equisport Insurance/USEF Pony Medal Final title.
Sophie Howell (Wellington, FL) will ride Stadium Sport Horses, LLC's Cardine. Cardine is a 2006 Swedish Warmblood mare. Howell is among a strong group of the United States' elite youth riders looking to rise up the jumping ranks. She and Cardine have been preparing to make their Nations Cup debut by gaining experience jumping at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival.
McKayla Langmeier (East Granby, CT) will ride Missy Clark's Looping Star. Looping Star is a 1997 Hanoverian gelding. Langmeier and Looping Star make their second appearance in the FEI Children's Nations Cup presented by Hollow Creek Farm. Langmeier looks to help the U.S. improve on its fourth-place finish from 2013, by showcasing the skills that helped her ride in many of last year's most prestigious equitation finals.
Addison Piper (Wellington, FL) will ride Louise W. Otten and No Trump Farm, LLC's Halbi D' Ariane. Halbi D'Ariane is a 1995 Selle Francais gelding. Piper enters this weekend's competition at CSIO Wellington with a wealth of big class experience after competing on the indoor circuit in the fall of 2013. She and Halbi D'Ariane will showcase the experience gained jumping throughout the winter at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival.
All competitors representing the U.S. in FEI Nations Cup presented by Hollow Creek Farm will jump in Toklat Originals' saddlepads, the official saddlepad of the USEF.
For more information about CSIO Wellington visit: http://www.equestriansport.com/.