Caen, France - The Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team heads into this week's World Championships at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian looking to secure Team and Individual honors. The Americans have enjoyed an extremely successful latter half of the summer jumping in Europe, producing Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup victories at CSIO5*s Hickstead, Gijon, and Dublin, as well earning a second-place finish in the Mercedes-Benz FEI Nations Cup at CSIO5* Aachen. Lucy Davis, Kent Farrington, Beezie Madden, and McLain Ward compose the U.S effort led by Chef d'Equipe Robert Ridland, that has drawn 32nd in the order of 33 teams.
"We had a very positive summer, there is no question about that. It is a new day here. That doesn't help you in the scores. We are all starting out on the starting blocks at the same time. From a confidence point of view, we have had a great summer," said Ridland, who is looking forward to getting competition underway. "You always feel nervous before it starts, I have to tell you. All the pieces seem to be in place, we are pretty confident. I have to say that the last few days we have been ready to get started. Let's go; the pieces are in place."
Davis (Los Angeles, Calif.) will ride Old Oak Farm's Barron in her World Championship debut this week in France. The pair has been capturing attention both stateside and abroad over the last two years, jumping clear rounds throughout the world. In 2013, the pair made its FEI World Cup Final debut, in addition to winning the Grand Prix of the Lausanne on the Longines Global Champions Tour. Their success has continued in 2014, when in April they earned a 17th -place finish at the Longines FEI World Cup Final before representing the U.S. in Nations Cup competition at CSIO5* Rotterdam, as well as producing a double clear effort in Aachen.
Farrington (Wellington, Fla.), a Team Gold medalist from the 2011 Pan American Games, also makes his first World Games appearance in France with Amalaya Investments' Voyeur. The combination heads into this week's competition on incredible form. In April, the pair was the winner of the second leg of the Longines FEI World Cup Final after besting a 21-horse jump-off field. In July, they won the ATCO Power Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Spruce Meadows. They then traveled to CSIO5* Aachen, where they began the week with a win in the Prize of Europe, and then cruised to a second-place finish in the prestigious Grand Prix of Aachen.
Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) makes her second FEI World Equestrian Games appearance this week and looks to expand on her World Championship legacy after winning Team and Individual Silver in 2006. The double Olympic Gold medalist and 2013 Rolex/FEI World Cup champion is set to ride Abigail Wexner's Cortes 'C' in Normandy. After sitting out the beginning of the summer season with a broken collarbone, Madden was back in full force in August, jumping a double-clear round on Cortes 'C' in Hickstead to secure victory for the United States. The pair then made history as the winners of Hickstead's Longines King George V Gold Cup, making Madden the first women ever to win the class.
Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) was Madden's teammate in the U.S. medal-winning efforts at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games, as well as at the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany. This week he will ride Sagamore Farm's Rothchild. In 2013, the pair helped the U.S. to a win the Consolation Round of the 2013 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Final. They come to the World Championships on strong form after winning the Longines Global Champions Tour of Antwerp and the CP Grand Prix at CSIO5* Spruce Meadows 'Continental' Tournament. Additionally, they jumped in the lead-off position for the winning U.S. effort in Hickstead.
Competition gets underway in the d'Ornano Stadium at 9:10am with the Speed Leg.
To learn more about the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games visit; http://www.normandy2014.com/2014-games/the-disciplines/1/jumping