U.S. wins first outdoor Samsung nations cup qualifier

The United States show jumping squad of Margie Engle of Wellington, FL, Lauren Hough of Ocala, FL, Laura Kraut of Oconomowoc, WI and McLain Ward of Brewster, NY won the $50,000 Samsung Nations' Cup, presented by...The United States show jumping squad of Margie Engle of Wellington, FL, Lauren Hough of Ocala, FL, Laura Kraut of Oconomowoc, WI and McLain Ward of Brewster, NY won the $50,000 Samsung Nations' Cup, presented by...

Story originally posted by: HorseCity.com Contributor

The United States show jumping squad of Margie Engle of Wellington, FL, Lauren Hough of Ocala, FL, Laura Kraut of Oconomowoc, WI and McLain Ward of Brewster, NY won the $50,000 Samsung Nations’ Cup, presented by Canadian National, the first outdoor Nations’ Cup ever held in the U.S. The USET finished the two-round competition with 16 faults to top Canada’s score of 29. Ireland was third with 32 faults and Argentina was fourth with 33.

The USET win at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club during the Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival, moved the U.S. into a tie for fourth place in Samsung Nations Cup Series standings after 8 of 20 events determining which eight countries qualify to compete in the FEI’s 2002 Samsung Nations’ Cup World Final in Donaueschingen, Germany in August. The top six countries in the standings receive automatic invitations. Belgium currently leads with 20 points, followed by Germany with 18, Ireland with 12 and the U.S. and Switzerland with 11.

Hough, riding Clasiko, owned by the Clasiko Group, scored four faults in the first round and then rode clean in the second. Kraut scored eight in each round on Anthem, owned by the Summit Syndicate. Ward rode Viktor, owned by Full Cry Farm, to a clean first round and then scored four faults in the second round. Engle, riding Hidden Creek’s Perin, owned by Hidden Creek Farm, rode a clean first round and then sat out the second round as the U.S. win was already secured.

"This was an important win for us," said USET Chef d’Equipe Frank Chapot, the six-time Olympic rider who rode on an FEI record 46 winning Nations’ Cup teams. "Anytime you represent your country you feel pressure to win, but we really wanted this one since it was the first time it’s been held."

Riding for Argentina were Martin Mallo, Guillermo Obligado, Ramiro Quintana and Federico Sztyrle. Three-time U.S. Olympic medalist Joe Fargis of Southampton, NY was Chef d’Equipe. Canada was represented by Eric Lamaze, Karen Cudmore, Lauren Hayes and Mark Samuel. Pierre Jolicoeur was Chef d’Equipe. Riding for Ireland was Kevin Babington, Damian Gardner, Darragh Kearins and Cian O’Connor. John Leadingham was Chef d’Equipe.

Wellington is only the fifth U.S. location for a Nations’ Cup since the first Nations’ Cup was held in London, England in 1909. The first Nations’ Cup in the U.S. was at the National Horse Show in New York in 1911. The National Horse Show continued to host Nations’ Cups through 1998, missing only the years 1914-1924 and 1942-1945. Other U.S. cities to host Nations’ Cups are Boston (1929-1932), Harrisburg (1948-1963, 1965-1966, 1969-1972) and Washington D.C. (1973-present).