US Equestrian has been very generous with giving fringe veterans and up-and-coming riders and combinations the opportunity to dip their toe into the Nations Cup sphere this season, but when it comes to Aachen, Robert Ridland is not messing around.
The following riders have been named for the team, with horses to be named at a later date:
Kent Farrington (Wellington, Fla.)
Lauren Hough (Wellington, Fla.)
Laura Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.)
Beezie Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.)
McLain Ward (Brewster, N.Y.)
Each of these fine show jumping studmuffins has an Olympic appearance (or five) under their belt, and a strong history at Aachen.
Laura Kraut & Miss Independent, McLain Ward & Sapphire, and Beezie Madden & Authentic were all part of the 2005 team which won the Aachen Nations Cup – the last time that Team USA took top honors the prestigious event. (The fourth team member was Jeffery Wells aboard Armani, and George Morris was Chef d’Equipe.)
Team USA also won in 1987, 1985, 1971, and 1962.
We’ll keep you updated as soon as we know which horses each rider has opted to take to the World Equestrian Festival, which runs July 14-23. Jumping runs from the 18-23, with the Nations Cup happening on Thursday July 20 at 7:30 pm Aachen time and the Rolex Grand Prix happening on the final day of the show, July 23 at 1:15 pm.