Lexington, KY - The U.S. Jumping riders have a big task before them in tomorrow's FEI Nations Cup at CSIO5* Rotterdam. They take to the final leg of the 2011 FEI Nations Cup Series in the Netherlands and jump to maintain their position in the Series for 2012.
Currently ranked seventh out of the eight teams in the Series, the U.S. needs finish at least three places ahead of Belgium tomorrow in the Nations Cup to earn a spot to return in 2012. Belgium is currently two points ahead of the United States. The two lowest-placed teams will be relegated after Rotterdam, and Denmark is already out of consideration.
The four riders set to represent the U.S. are up for the challenge for Chef d'Equipe George Morris:
- Lauren Hough and Quick Study just won the Longines Grand Prix at CSIO5* Dublin in an epic victory over a top-flight field. She will lead off the U.S. effort.
- Christine McCrea and the ultra-consistent Romantovich Take One will follow Hough into the ring, they have been quietly racking up solid results all summer. They jumped two clear rounds in the Nations Cup at CSIO5* St. Gallen and went on to finish third in the Longines Grand Prix of Switzerland two days later.
- 2008 Olympic Gold medalists Laura Kraut and Cedric have returned to form after an inconsistent summer - they are at their best when the stakes are high. Recently they were fourth in Chantilly on the Global Champions Tour.
- Two-time Olympic Gold medalist Beezie Madden will anchor the squad on Coral Reef Via Volo. There is no better clutch rider than Madden, and Coral Reef Via Volo is coming into her own at the right time. Madden is hot off a win with Cortes 'C' on the Global Champions Tour in Valkenswaard.
Hough and Kraut were part of an all-female team that stormed to Nations Cup victory in Rotterdam in 2010 with a score of zero faults. They have drawn the fifth position in the starting order.
Show your support for the U.S. Jumping Team by watching them LIVE tomorrow at 1.10 EST on FEITV
Full results are available here: http://www.chio.nl and full coverage of the U.S. effort is available on the USEF Network: http://www.usefnetwork.com/featured/2011FEINationsCup/
Photos: Lauren Hough and Quick Study and Laura Kraut and Cedric taken earlier this year.