With McLain Ward, Beezie Madden, and Laura Kraut opting out of this year’s Longines World Cup Final, the door has opened for some lesser-known, though no doubt formidable names.
Jack Hardin Towell – Lucifer V & New York
Son of renowned hunter trainer, Jack Towell, Jack Hardin Towell has made a major splash in the Grand Prix ring the last few years. In 2014, Towell and Lucifer V (Lord Pezi – Grandina, Grandeur), now a 10 year-old gelding, made their presence known by winning the Amalaya Investments Trophy CSI2* and the Barons de Rothschild Trophy CSI2* at the Los Angeles Masters.
In 2015 Towell scored a 5* Grand Prix win at the Miami leg of the Longines Global Champions tour, as well as competed with Lucifer V in their first World Cup Final.
New York, (Verdi – Windspiel, Watzmann) a 10 year-old gelding, will also be joining Towell on the flight to Gothenburg.
Quentin Judge – HH Copin van de Broy
Judge, a Chicago native now based at Double H Farm with McLain Ward, worked under some top names in Show Jumping including Margie Engle and Jan Tops. In 2012, judge was part of the winning Nations Cup showjumping team in Buenos Aires and has been on an additional two winning teams since.
Since getting the ride on HH Copin van de Broy (Darco – Queen, Brown Boy), the pair has had numerous successes including a third place finish in the$210,000 ATCO Power Queen Elizabeth II Cup and fourth in the Rolex-sponsored $400,000 Pan American Cup. In Europe, the pair had a win in an individual class in Gijon, Spain.
Callan Solem – VDL Wizard
Solem has represented the United States in multiple Nations Cup competitions and has a number of Grand Prix wins under her belt. VDL Wizard (Gentleman – Pretty, Ahorn), her Selle Francais gelding, has been with Solem since he was 7 years old.
2015 was a big year for Solem and Wizard. The won the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix at the Ocala Premiere and took third in the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix. The pair then helped the U.S. team secure a win at Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup at CSIO4* Coapexpan.
Katie Dinan & Nougat du Vallet
At just 22 years-old Katie Dinan has already racked up some big wins both in the U.S. and abroad.
Dinan and Nougat du Vallet – AKA Nugget – a 15 year-old Selle Francais gelding (Scherif D’Elle—Camee Du Vallet, Saphir D’Elle), won their first $50,000 Grand Prix together in 2012 and have never looked back. The pair was part of the United States team when they won the Consolation Final at the inaugural Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Final in Barcelona in 2013.
Dinan and Nugget placed 14th in the 2014 World Cup Final and will no doubt give them a run for their money in Gothenburg.
Charlie Jacobs – Cassinja S & Flaming Star
Charlie Jacobs manages to balance his role as CEO of Delaware North (including the Boston Bruins) with a busy horse show schedule. No stranger to the international scene, Jacobs has competed in the 2014 World Cup Final with Flaming Star (Fairman—Lucina GZ, Lombard) – known in the barn as Trapper. The pair finished in 20th place.
Cassinja S (Carinjo HDC – Cassina, Cassini I) will also be on the flight to Sweden. Jacobs and the 10 year-old mare have had many past successes together, including a win in the Modified Grand Prix at Bromont last August.
Peter Lutz – Robin du Ponthual
Lutz has spent recent years developing young horses and training students like Audrey Coulter who will also be competing in Gothenburg. Those tasks meant taking time away from the international scene. But when Robin de Ponthual (Elf D’Or – Io de la Grange, Calypso D’Herbiers) came along, Lutz was back on the scene.
Lutz and Robin de Ponthual have been together for a little over a year and won the World Cup Qualifier in Las Vegas last November.
Richard Fellers & Flexible
With a resume a mile long in international competition, Richard Fellers is a contender anytime he enters the show ring. This year, he and the 20 year-old Irish Sport Horse Flexible (Cruising –Flex, Safari XX), who stands just 16 hands, will return to the World Cup Finals, a venue well-known to the pair who placed 2nd there in 2008 and won the Final in 2013.
Despite his age and stature, don’t count out the little horse that could and his longtime partner!
Audrey Coulter – Capital Colnardo, Domino, Alex
Coulter, a California native, has managed to balance equestrian life with degrees from Dartmouth College. Her career boasts many successes, including a team silver in the $150,000 FEI Nations Cup at CSIO4* Wellington with Capital Colnardo (Colman – Kosma Shiva I, Coronado), and a second-place finish in the $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup qualifier at CSI3* Las Vegas National with Domino (Thunder van de Zuuthoeve – Queen D’Azur Middelstede, Azur de Paulstra).
Coulter’s horse Alex (Arpeggio – Marilu, Mon Cheri), will also be taking a trip to Sweden.
Guenter Seidel – Zero Gravity
Guenter Seidel is a 3-time Olympic bronze medalist who needs no introduction. Known for his emphasis on the classic, systematic approach to riding and coaching, Guenter has been at the top of international competition for years. An injury to his Grand Prix horse Coral Reef Wylea in 2014 meant Seidel plans for international competition were temporarily sidelined.
But fate stepped when the owner of Zero Gravity (Royal Hit – Naica, Contango), also a student of Seidel’s, Erin Boaddaert, handed over the reins to Seidel when she became pregnant. The Dutch Warmblood gelding has stepped up to the Grand Prix and the rest is history. Just days ago Seidel and Zero Gravity won the Grand Prix Special on the final day of California Dreaming Productions’ Dressage Affaire CDI3*
Charlotte Jorst – Kastel’s Nintendo
Since selling her company, Skagen, to Fossil in 2012, Jorst has been fully committed to fulfilling her Olympic dream in Rio. The Danish-born rider trains with Guenter Seidel in San Diego and balances her time in the saddle with running her athletic wear company, Kastel Denmark.
Jorst and Kastel’s Nintendo (Negro – Rodieni R, Monaco) had shared many successes, including a Top 8 finish at the dressage Festival of Champions in 2015 and they topped the 2015 Adult Amateur Grand Prix standings. Gothenburg will prove one step closer to her Olympic dreams.
Article by Ashley Fairfield-Remeza