Our reporter on the ground Emily Daignault-Salvaggio was able to chat with some of the stars of our sport and check in on their week, hear their stories and get their thoughts on the world cup experience. Read the best of them here!
Mclain on leading at the halfway point:
The mare is performing great, it’s nice to have a little bit of a lead and we’re going to stay focused for Sunday. You’re always excited, but you know, you try to suppress that just a little bit not to get ahead of yourself and focus on trying to do the job you have to do.
Todd Minikus on Babalou’s lovely second trip Friday night:
“I was very confident coming here that Babalou was going to jump well, she’s had a fantastic season so far and never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that last night would have gone like that. I expected it to go like tonight, and she’s a good horse and I’m lucky to have her. She showed tonight that she’s a true professional, and she came back with some good grit.”
Sheikh Ali al Thani on Carolina’s Impressive Sub-in This Week:
“My horse, I’m very happy with how she jumped – she has no experience at this level – it’s the first time she’s jumped in a championship – she’s jumped a few 1.60s and it wasn’t the plan to bring her here until two months ago. So it all had to come along quick – for a big championship like this, you’ve got to get the horse really ready and fit. I think right now she’s at around 70% fit. In four months, I think she will be really in top shape. But tonight she really jumped with heart and she really fight for it.”
Laura Kraut on her first two rounds:
“I was really disappointed last night, I think that was a really unlucky fence. I thought she jumped really well and my time was sort of a competitive time that I was wanting it to be, and then just to have a light rub and have that fence down was disappointing.
“Today’s course was very difficult, the time allowed is really tight and I have to say the fence I had down was at the end of the course and I think I was maybe just a little too quick to it thinking about the time but I think she jumped incredible and I’m very pleased with her.”
Laura on the indoor/outdoor disadvantage for Americans in the World Cup:
“This has been a problem ever since the inception of the World Cup, although back in the day, we used to jump indoors in Tampa, and the horse shows tried to help us prepare by letting us jump indoors. I can only speak for the east coast, but unfortunately Wellington doesn’t really offer us that opportunity and we don’t have a good prep.
“This is my horse’s third time ever in an indoor, so I mean, these horses from Europe jump indoors three times in a month. I’m not making excuses, but it is for sure something that we could improve – be it we go to Europe for a month before the world cup and jump there, or maybe we can figure out a way we can get some indoor ring experience over here.”
Keep in locked on JN for more from Omaha!