Welcome to the second day of competition at the FEI World Cup Jumping Final in Omaha, Nebraska!
Riders are going to be riding in reverse order, so prepare for a night of building tension and thrill, while the lower ranked riders fight for all they’re worth to find a spot in the money. Every story is important, and we’re going to be updating all night from last to first. Follow along for the ride!
Notes for following your first live updates thread:
Just keep refreshing this post every 30 seconds or so to see the next update on the thread, which will be posted in chronological order.
Links for Optimal Live Viewing:
FEI TV Goes live at 6:50 CST with rounds starting at 7:00 pm. If you intend to watch, don’t forget to check/pay your subscription ahead of time to catch all the action!
Riders were quick to praise Alan Wade for his brilliant design last night which rewarded steadiness as much as speed, and we’re excited to see how tonight plays out.
All new rules for night two: Jumps range from 1.50-1.60 meters and will involve a first round and jump-off.
7:03 pm – Tonight’s opening ceremonies are now underway, involving one heck of a soprano. In the meantime, get your America cap on if you’ve got one: Jenni McAllister will be first in the ring in just a few minutes.
7:08 pm – While we’re waiting, a good look at fence number three, which we imagine might get a good look from some of the horses, as well.
Course walk with Peter Leone and an interesting looking fence at #3 pic.twitter.com/n2ZxHJcWlT
— Jumper Nation (@gojumping) April 1, 2017
7:10 pm – If you’re looking for a few more fun details from last night, check out our Round 1 by the Numbers – where among other weird facts we determined that the top three ranked horses yesterday were three 11-year-old bay mares.
7:14 pm – We’ve got also got a triple bar across the diagonal, which has a distinctly old-school world cup feel to it. This course is going to be a thriller!
7:15 pm – Let’s go! Out comes Jenni McCallister and Legis, who had a tough time getting collected enough for the indoors yesterday, but they’re out for redemption!
7:17 pm – Takes Jenni a minute to help Legis find his rhythm, but the crowds are riding every step with her and they have an absolutely stunning, moving recovery to end their day on a good note. Truly inspiring.
7:19 pm – Martin Rodriguez Vanni and Liborius of Uruguay in now.
7:21 pm – Martin and Liborius try desperately to find their rhythm and plow into the last fence with a refusal, but he and Liborius make a final go and get it done today. They leave with 28 faults and will live to fight another day.
7:22 pm – The one and only Todd Minikus in now and looking for an all new day – the crowd is rallying for every stride with them!
7:24 pm – Babalou looks so much more like himself today, and Todd and Babalou finish with just one rail and one time fault. What a beautiful second day! It ain’t over til it’s over, folks.
7:25 pm – Jamie Barge and Luebbo out now, looking to improve on their first World Cup debut yesterday, and Jamie and Luebbo are the first victims of the spooky #3 wall as they refuse but recover well.
7:27 pm – Jamie would surely love another shot at this event, but they had some masterful moments like the triple combination, which they did masterfully. They head out with 23 to add.
7:28 pm – Texas-based Christian Heineking and Caruso coming back out today to see what they can do with this course – they have a rough start, but Christian and Caruso gained confidence as they went. They will add 21 faults to their score, but leave better horse and horseman than when they started.
7:30 pm – (Note here that optimum time was switched from 71 to 73 seconds, so adjust upper scores in your mind accordingly)
7:31 pm – Rein Pill of Estonia out now, and he and A Brok have a rail in the double down the long side and the last two fences down to leave with 12, but there were some nice moments in this test for them. Rein’s confidence and veteran experience really showed tonight, more than the score belies.
7:36 pm – Eric Navet too shows his decades of experience and applies it forward to add just a single rail to his score today!
7:37 pm – Keean White coaches Freedom through EVERY SINGLE FENCE and it pays off! They add only a single time fault to their score – what a masterful new day for this Canadian pair!
7:39 pm – Dawid Kubiak and Bagazza M came in with a lot of heat which worked to their advantage until the very last double combination, and they pull three rails near the end. Lots of promise there, though!
7:41 pm – One of our favorite young foreign pairs in now, Lorenzo de Luca of Italy and Ensor de Litrange. They’re having more the round that we know him for today, and they have a lovely second day! Like Keean, they add just one time penalty to an otherwise flawless round. Bittersweet!
7:44 pm – One of our rookie pairs Christopher Surbey of Canada in now, and they have an early rail, but an otherwise really sweet round together – could have been a hunter round, really! They’re now ranked fourth in the early go of it.
7:47 pm – The legendary, one and only Ludger Beerbaum in his 21st World Cup appearance now in the ring with Chiara. This scrappy little mare is fighting for all she’s worth to get it done, but ultimately takes a few poles with her on day 2.
7:49 pm – Denis Lynch and All Star 5 in now: And they too put in such a beautiful round with no jumping faults but behind the time. Denis shakes his head in disappointment at the end of such a nice round, what a pity that this time is proving so hard for so many pairs.
7:51 pm – West Coast based Nayel Nassar and Lordan in for just a flash – Lordan takes a few rough fences and Nayel opts to save his beloved stallion for another day. Absolutely gutting, but also the pinnacle of horsemanship.
7:53 pm – Markus Brinkmann of Germany in now, and this is a pair I guarantee are going to go for it today.
7:55 pm – They gunned for the time and made it, but paid for it with a few flat fences, leaving with 12 faults.
7:56 pm – Gabor Szabo and his very anxious supporters looking to capitalize on a decent first day – he clips an early fence and the vertical in the far corner as well as the final liverpool to add 12 faults to his day as well.
We head to our first drag break now with no double clears. It’s going to be an epic second half!
Here’s our current leaders:
8:16 – And we’re back! Maikel van der Vleuten and VDL Groep Verdi in now, huge favorite in Europe.
8:18 – Another clear and another painfully excruciating time fault! I don’t know how anyone can go much faster than that. But perhaps the next rider will know…
8:20 – Marcus Ehning and Pret a Tout in now!
8:21 – Marcus has a way of carrying his weight that makes him just disappear on his horse’s back, and Pret a Tout FLIES to the flags with a clear round and no time faults! That’s how, everyone. That’s how.
Marcus Ehning and Pret A Tout bring in the first clear round! pic.twitter.com/fh8tQypqEA
— Jumper Nation (@gojumping) April 1, 2017
8:22 – Now you know how this man has won three before. Looking forward to seeing what he can do Sunday night!
8:22 – The extraordinary Laura Kraut in now – she has a heavy rub early on but it stays in the cups… will she do it??
8:23 – Zara jumped her little guts out and had the very last liverpool – the second to last fence down on an otherwise flawless course! Laura gives major pats to Zara all the same.
8:25 – Charlie Jacobs for Team USA has the Sovaro oxer down in the corner as well as the bogey corner vertical, and they finish the day under the time but with eight faults.
8:26 – Sheikh Ali Al Thani in now for Qatar on the lovely Carolina now.
8:28 – They lose some momentum early on in the corner to bring down a rail, and the second to last fence – the damn liverpool – to end with eight faults. So much talent there, they just have to sort through a couple jigs and they’re the real deal. Love that pair!
8:30 – Kevin Staut and Reveur de Hurtebise have the middle down in the triple as well as the last part of the golden double down the long side, and he’ll be disappointed to end on eight faults today with his veteran partner.
8:31 – Nicola Philippaerts in now with his lovely gray H&M Harley de Bisschoff – he immediately kicks out a back bar in the early diagonal and the last bar of the triple. They recover nicely, then take down the bogey liverpool for a total of 12. Say it ain’t so, Joe.
8:32 – We’re into the top ten now! Simon Delestre and Chadino have a bummer of an early fence at #2, and then the first rail of the golden double. I always mourn a jump-off that doesn’t include Chadino.
8:33 – Here comes 21 year old Guido Klatte! As we mentioned, the youngest rider here, but acting like it’s all old hat in his first world cup.
8:34 – They have a very crazy looking triple combination, but leave it up! THEY DO IT!! 31 YEARS BETWEEN THEM AND THEY’RE IN THE JUMP-OFF!
8:35 – I’m sorry for yelling.
8: 36 – I take it all back. I’m not sorry for yelling.
8:38 – Sergio Alvarez Moya and Arrayan for Spain, the lone contingent from the Iberian Peninsula, and they are clean through first half.
8:39 – Heartbreaker! That bogey liverpool takes out our Fighting Spaniard, but what an otherwise beautiful, memorable round.
8:40 – Martin Fuchs and my boyfriend Clooney 51 out now, the first of three Swiss riders in the top 10.
8:41 – My boyfriend and his rider Martin are in the jump-off with a marvelous clear round, just under the time at 70.30! That makes three in Jump-off, and they’re all European at this point. Will it be just a battle of the Alps?
Clear round #3! Martin Fuchs and Clooney pic.twitter.com/wO86jYJ1Oa
— Jumper Nation (@gojumping) April 1, 2017
8:43 – Romain Duguet and Twentytwo des Biches in now, the lovely young chestnut mare she is. Clear through the triple.
8:44 – Another Swiss adds himself to the Jump-off, keeping the battle of the Alps alive!
8:45 – Dutchman Leopold van Asten in now on Zidane, first of the top 5.
8:46 – Leopold brings an early one down leading up to the triple, what a gutter. They also suffer the liverpool to end the day on eight faults. Better luck next time to a truly great pair.
8:47 – Gregory Wathelet and Forlap reunited after the Ukranian scandal – was it to fulfill their destiny at the World Cup?
8:49 – Greg and Forlap keep the fairytale ending alive to make themselves #5 in the jump-off! What a rookie tour of the FEI World Cup Jumping Final!
8: 51 – The defending champion Steve Guerdat and Bianca are here to do some damage. Let’s see it.
8:52 – Bianca was a marvelous athlete tonight, but she plows through the blue plank in the corner and just hangs her right hoof – just enough to dislodge it and possibly their shot at repeat glory. They will not be in our jump-off.
8:54 – Henrik von Eckermann and Mary Lou had a wonky moment after the triple bar and the superb Mary Lou loses just a fraction of confidence – such brilliance amidst the disappointment. Just the one rail down, but out of the jump-off.
8:56 – McLain and Annie.
8:57 – Heavy rub on the last of the triple and another couple heart-stopping moments, but HE’S IN THE JUMP-OFF! The last of six!
8:58 – Robert Ridland and McLain Ward share a solid fist bump to mark the moment. I heart this fist bump.
9:00 – Here is your six in the jump-off, where virtually anything could happen:
9:11 – Here we go, y’all. Marcus Ehning is going to get us going in the jump-off – let’s see what he does as the first out.
9:12 – Clips a tall early vertical after a long run and then brings the penultimate down to bring down to have 2 and 39.56 seconds.
9:13 – Guido in now!!! Get it Guido.
9:14 – Oh dear! They get a bad angle early on and add a stop, as well as a rail to end on 8. We’ll see those two again!
9:15 – Martin Fuchs and my boyfriend Clooney in now.
9:17 – Martin and Clooney rattle the second to last and ride a tad slower, but it pays off! They end clear and a 44.01 on the day!
9:18 – Romain Duguet and his red hackamore-wearing mare in now, they have to beat 44.01 and go clear here.
9:19 – Romain and 22 stop that clock at 40.46 seconds to put the pressure on those to come, what a ride!
9:21 – The only rookies in the jump-off, Gregory Wathelet and Forlap take an epic angle to the last line and he goes into the lead on a 39.39! Splendor.
9:22 – In comes the biggest of them all. McLain and Annie get going.
9:23 – He and She took every risk, they tackled every angle, they galloped every line, and McLain Ward and HH Azur win the night on 36.87 in absolutely flawless, breakneck, epic form.
Here’s your points after two nights:
That does it for the live thread! Stay tuned for a full report, exclusive interviews and more in the next 24 hours! Go Jumping.