WELLINGTON, FL - March 8, 2002 - The United States show jumping squad of Margie Engle of Wellington, FL, Lauren Hough of Ocala, FL, Laura Kraut of Oconomowoc, WI and McLain Ward of Brewster, NY rode to victory in the $50,000 Samsung Nations' Cup, presented by Canadian National.
The U.S. victory came over teams from Ireland, Canada and Argentina in the first outdoor Nations' Cup (team show jumping competition) ever held in the U.S. The Nations' Cup, held at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club as part of the Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival, is sanctioned by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) and helps determine which countries qualify to compete in the 2002 Samsung Nations' Cup World Final in Donaueschingen, Germany in August.
The U.S. finished the two-round competition with 16 faults to top Canada's score of 29. Ireland was third with 32 faults and Argentina was fourth with 33.
Hough, riding Clasiko, owned by the Clasiko Group, scored four faults in the first round and then rode clean in the second. Kraut scored eight in each round on Anthem, owned by the Summit Syndicate. Ward rode Viktor, owned by Full Cry Farm, to a clean first round and then scored four faults in the second round. Engle, riding Hidden Creek's Perin, owned by Hidden Creek Farm, rode a clean first round and then set out the second round as the U.S. win was already secured.
"This was an important win for us," said U.S. Equestrian Team (USET) Chef d'Equipe (coach) Frank Chapot, the six-time Olympic rider who rode on an FEI record 46 winning Nations' Cup teams. Anytime you represent your country you feel pressure to win, but we really wanted this one since it was the first time it's been held."
Riding for Argentina were Martin Mallo, Guillermo Obligado, Ramiro Quintana and Federico Sztyrle. Three-time U.S. Olympic medalist Joe Fargis of Southampton, NY was Chef d'Equipe.Canada was represented by Eric Lamaze, Karen Cudmore, Lauren Hayes and Mark Samuel. Pierre Jolicoeur was Chef d'Equipe.
Riding for Ireland was Kevin Babington, Damian Gardner, Darragh Kearins and Cian O'Connor. John Leadingham was Chef d'Equipe. Wellington is only the fifth U.S. location for a Nations' Cup since the first Nations' Cup was held in London, England in 1909. The first Nations' Cup in the U.S. was at the National Horse Show in New York in 1911. The National Horse Show continued to host Nations' Cups through 1998, missing only the years 1914-1924 and 1942-1945. Other U.S. cities to host Nations' Cups are Boston (1929-1932), Harrisburg (1948-1963, 1965-1966, 1969-1972) and Washington D.C. (1973-present).
Generally, there is only one Nations' Cup per country in a given year, although there are exceptions to this. Since 1911, 37 countries have hosted more than 1100 Nations' Cup competitions.
The 2002 Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival offers $3 million in total prizes during an eleven-week series, which runs in Wellington, FL (January 23-March 10) and Tampa, FL (March 13-March 31). The series then returns to Wellington for the culminating event-the American Grandprix Association
Place Team First Round Second Round Total
1. United States 4