The all-women team of the United States performed triumphantly despite a roller coaster of drama in the ring to bring home the third place slot in a tie with Sweden at the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup at the Dublin Horse Show. Italy took home the Aga Khan Cup, and Ireland would settle for second after a heartbreaking runout in the jump-off.
The Americans were absolutely spectacular in the first round, laying down a gauntlet of clean rounds. The only bobble came from Jessica Springsteen and Cynar, who encountered repeated troubles at the massive open water. Cynar ran out at the first attempt, and stopped on the second attempt, making it clear he had no interest in getting any further involved with the water jump.
Jessica chose to retire him, and also opted not to return for the second round. It is not clear if they considered the problem one that couldn’t be addressed in time for a satisfactory second round, or if there was something amiss with Cynar. If we get any further details, we’ll provide an update.
That put the pressure on remaining women to perform flawlessly in round 2, with no drop score at their disposal. Lauren Hough and Ohlala had a disappointing 8 faults to start out, but kept it together to finish strong. Georgina Bloomberg and Lilli had a strong round marred only by a huge oxer which was raised between rounds and got out several people in the second round. That put America on a score of 12 faults and fourth place as we awaited our final pair.
Laura Kraut and Cavalia strode into the ring and delivered an absolutely dominant performance, going clean and inside the time to keep Team USA’s hopes alive.
Sweden’s last rider, Douglas Lindelow and Zacramento brought down a single rail, which left the teams with a final standing of tied for third place.
So it came down to Team Italy and Team Ireland for the win after both managed to drop a score and enter the jump-off nil and nil. It was a sudden death jump-off between team captains Piergiorgio Bucci for Italy and Denis Lynch for Ireland, and everything looked to be going Irelands way until All Star 5 came to end and a tight turn left him too askew to get to the fence, causing a runout.
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Altogether they came home with 6 faults, meaning that Poggi and Casollo Z only had to get through with a rail or less to win for Italy, and that they did. It was a magnificent win for the underdogs, but utterly gutting for Irish fans hoping to see a repeat claim on the Aga Khan Trophy.
Altogether, a brilliant day at Dublin, and we’ll be sure to bring you more live footage as it rolls in!