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Saturday, June 15, 2024

U.S. jumping team dropped to sixth in La Baule Nations Cup after leading following the first round

LA BAULE, France--The U.S. Jumping Team started off spectacularly, placing first after the first round, but numerous rails in the second round dropped them down to finish sixth from the starting line-up of nine teams.

Lillie Keenan on Argan deBeliard Morgan FremontLillie Keenan on Argan deBeliard (Photo by Morgan Fremont)The U.S. team of Karl Cook on Caracole de la Roque, Kent Farrington on Landon, Lillie Keenan on Argan de Beliard and Aaron Vale on Carissimo 97 led after the first round with four faults but added 20 faults in the second round to finish on 24, part of which was caused by the elimination of Farrington in the first round, leaving the team with no drop score.

Germany won with four faults, while the home nation of France placed second on five faults, with Belgium third on 12 total faults.

"Our number one task is using these Nations Cup and Grand Prix classes as selection trials, so that everyone has an opportunity to compete," said Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland. "Our focus is on the long term goal of choosing the best team for the Olympics. Obviously we always like to be on the podium, and this was disappointing to be sure after the good beginning. These classes are good indicators for our number one task."


“IT'S IMPORTANT to remember why we’re here, which is for observation and selection, and to see everyone and different groups, which is a part of our overall strategy and the long game here,” said Ridland, “It was obviously not the result we wanted as the outcome, but we were in the lead after the first round, and we know all of our combinations are capable of jumping clear rounds. We’re only half-way through the show and the Grand Prix is still just as important for us, so everyone is ready to look ahead to Sunday.”

The team started strong, with a clear round from Cook over the course designed by Grégory Bodo, on the beautiful grass field at La Baule.

Cook had the first clear round of the day, as the U.S. team went an early third in the order of nine participating teams.

Farrington had two stops at the fence after the water to be eliminated, putting pressure on Keenan and Vale, with both of their scores counting toward the team’s first round total.

Keenan had a super clean round,  and Vale had four faults with a rail down at the last fence, giving the team just four faults

Germany also had four faults but a slower aggregate time,, and France had five faults.

Farrington elected to withdraw Landon from the second round of competition, resulting in the three scores counting towards the final team total in the second round.

Cook knocked out a block of the wall at fence two to finish with four faults.

Keenan had the front rail of the wide and airy oxer at fence four down and then the B element down at the one-stride combination of two verticals at 9AB, for eight faults, with the team now sitting on 16 faults.

As the final score for the team, Vale had down the A element of the triple combination at 5A and the front rail of the oxer at seven before the open water for a total of eight faults, with the team total moving to 24 faults over two rounds.

The Rolex Grand Prix Ville de La Baule CSIO5* will conclude competition on Sunday, June 9, with the class beginning at 8 a.m Eastern.

The team then goes to the League of Nations Rotterdam CSIO5* as part of CHIO Rotterdam as their next European stop, which will take place from June 20-23, followed by Aachen, July 3-7.

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