The NetJets U.S. Jumping Team earned the top podium position after a brilliant display of talent and poise under the lights in the iconic main stadium at the World Equestrian Festival Aachen CHIO. The team of Lucy Deslauriers, Laura Kraut, Brian Moggre, and Jessica Springsteen produced two solid rounds a piece to finish on a team total of four faults, besting Sweden who finished in second place with a total of eight faults. France rounded out the top three podium positions with twelve faults in total. This is the first time the NetJets U.S. Jumping Team has topped the Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup CSIO5* since 2005.
“Winning in Aachen is the pinnacle. It’s as simple as that,” said Ridland, after the team’s historic performance. “These were four of our final six riders for Tokyo, so this was pretty simple, we just went straight down the list. We had our Olympic quarantine here, so it gave a good idea as to what to expect a few weeks later.”
Springsteen (Colts Neck, N.J.) and Don Juan van de Donkhoeve, a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood Stallion owned by Stone Hill Farm, led the team off as the first combination to contest the 1.60m track set by Frank Rothenberger (GER) in the impressive stadium. Springsteen guided Don Juan van de Donkhoeve to a strong first round effort, initially finishing with a time fault that was removed when the time allowed was officially adjusted by the ground jury.
The team’s second clear-round effort was secured by Lucy Deslauriers (New York, N.Y.) and her longtime partner, Hester, a 16-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding owned by Lisa Delsauriers, who rode a fast and tidy round to add the team’s second clear round to their team tally. Moggre (Flower Mound, Texas) and Balou du Reventon, a 16-year-old stallion owned by Ann Thompson, wowed the crowd, with the stallion showing off his carefulness and athleticism with Moggre expertly piloting the duo to the team’s third consecutive clear-round effort in the first round.
Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) and Baloutinue, an 11-year-old Hanoverian owned by St. Bride’s Farm, anchored the team in the first round and finished with a total of four faults, which served as the drop score for the team, moving them onto the second round with a score of zero.
Springsteen and Don Juan van de Donkhoeve finished their second round with eight faults, followed by Deslauriers and Hester who dropped just a single rail during their second trip around the track, rolling the top rail on the middle oxer of the triple combination.
Moggre’s ride aboard Balou du Reventon in the second round pushed the team closer to the top of the podium, marking the first clear double round effort of the four team combinations, and they executed their second tour of the track in precise fashion. The weight of the ultimate podium finish fell to the anchor combination of Kraut and Baloutinue, who needed to cross through the timers fault-free to ensure the team took the win over Sweden. Using her wealth of experience navigating difficult tracks at Aachen over the years, and with Baloutinue still feeling fresh after the first round, Kraut guided the impressive gelding to a fault-free effort, leading the team to victory.
“Aachen is something I have dreamed of since I was a little kid, so to be here with a great horse and great teammates could just not be any better,” said Moggre. “I never have had a horse before that has gone and jumped great things. I only had young horses and my junior jumpers moving up, so it was a lot of pressure to put on myself to step up to the plate, but he’s so reliable and so kind, I couldn’t ask for anything more. I just love him so much.”
Let’s relive the night with some social media chatter from Germany!