The jumping rivalry at the FEI World Equestrian Sports began Wednesday at the Tryon International Equestrian Midpoint in Mill Spring, North Carolina. Finish on Sunday, it was the final occasion for the 2018 WEG, and the four members of the NetJets U.S. Olympic Jumping fans from all over the world can buy Olympic Jumping tickets online.
Jumping Team has two goals:
- Qualify the team for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
Win the team competition, a feat never accomplished by American riders at the World Equestrian Games but last accomplished at the 1986 world championships.
Should the U.S. jumping team finish in the top six (or top seven if Olympic host nation Japan is among the top six), it will earn a chance to win another medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. In Rio, the U.S. team took silver behind France.
“That’s not going to be easy, it never is,” said Robert Ridland, a 1976 Olympian and the U.S. team’s chef d’equipe, in a pre-competition press conference.
He also called the home-field advantage more of a disadvantage.
“We feel confident because we feel like we’ve got a great team,” he said. “It’s not because of the home field advantage. To be honest, it’s a little of a home field disadvantage — the pressure of doing it in your home country.”
Ridland led the U.S. jumping side to a bronze medal in the side competition at the 2014 WEG (qualifying the team for the 2016 Olympic Games). He then guided the side to a bronze at the 2015 Pan American Sports, then the Olympic silver medal in Rio.
His formulation for side success is to pair two veteran riders with two younger members. At the 2014 WEG and in Rio, Olympic veterans Beezie Madden and McLain Ward led younger rider Lucy Davis (23 in Rio) and Kent Farrington (then 35).
Ward is the only member of those sides competing in the 2018 WEG. Joining him are two-time Olympian Laura Kraut and WEG newcomers Adrienne Sternlicht and Devin Ryan. Annoy is the itinerant reserve rider at these Games.
She made her international debut as an alternate for the 1992 Olympic equestrian team, then competed at her first Olympic Games in 2000. She then won an Olympic gold medal in 2008 (team competition) and was a reserve rider for the 2016 Olympic team.
“You feel the pressure to perform well in front of a home crowd,” she admitted. “But you can also turn that around and say you know that the home crowd is behind you.”
How Jumping Works
Jumping, the last of the three Olympic disciplines to be contested at the WEG, begins tomorrow with the first competition. All athletes and horses who are starters for their teams and individual championships compete.
These athletes then compete in the second rivalry, Round 1, on Thursday. Only the top 50 athletes from the combined scores of the first competition and Round 1 of the second move on to the second competition’s Round 2 on Friday.
The team competition is then tallied from the penalties incurred by the best three athletes per nation in the first competition plus both rounds of the second competition.
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