March 21, 2018
FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2017 – Division 1 Team USA Sweeps to Victory in Dublin
FEI Nations Cup Dublin Horse Show Winning team USA: Laura Kraut, Lillie Keenan, Lauren Hough, and Elizabeth Madden (Photo FEI/Christophe Tanière)
FEI Nations Cup Dublin Horse Show Laura Kraut USA gives “Confu” a big pat (Photo Christophe Tanière)
Team USA secured a definitive victory in the last leg of the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2017 Europe Division 1 League in Dublin (IRL) on August 11, 2017 when producing the only zero score in a hard-fought competition. On level pegging with the Irish at the halfway stage, they stood firm while their hosts dropped to fifth behind Spain.
In the closing stages the Netherlands and France threw down a challenge, and American anchor Laura Kraut (51) was under pressure when last to go with Confu. But the double-Olympian didn’t crumble, posting the second US double-clear round of the competition to seal it ahead of the runners-up from France, while the Dutch slotted into third place.
This was the first all-female team triumph in the 91-year history of Nations Cup Jumping for the world-famous Aga Khan Cup in Dublin!
The time allowed of 80 seconds proved difficult for many over Irish course-builder Tom Holden’s track, and a speedy turn to the final oxer was often costly. Beezie Madden’s (53) mistake here with her new ride Darry Lou was the American drop score in round one, but the pair got it absolutely right in round two after pathfinders Lauren Hough (40) and the brilliant mare Ohlala produced their second clear of the day, and rising talent Lillie Keenan (20) made her only mistake at the first element of the penultimate double with Super Sox.
Kraut clinched it with a crisp, clear run to leave a five-fault margin between the winning US side and the French in second, while the points earned by the third-placed Dutch, whose final tally was just seven faults, saw them overtake Italy at the top of the Europe Division 1 leaderboard at the end of the eight-leg series.
1. USA – 0 faults
2. France – 5 faults
3. Netherlands – 7 faults
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