U.S. team third in this country's first 5* Nations Cup
- By SARA CAVANAGH
OCALA, Fla. –-The U.S. team of Lauren Hough, Laura Kraut, Beezie Madden and McLain Ward came from behind in this country's first 5* Nations Cup on Feb. 18 at HITS Ocala to just barely make it the podium, tied for third place with 24 faults, in what was a hard fought battle to the end, with Canada winning with eight faults and Brazil placing second with 16 faults.
“We always set the bar high, that’s the standard that we always expect,” said chef d'equipe Robert Ridland. “We felt that we were really prepared to win gold, but that’s the nature of 5* events. It’s the first time that we have had a 5* Nations Cup in the United States, and that was a 5* course, no question about it. The good news is, we had a podium finish, which is obviously what we always aim for. And we finished second in our league for today.”
As the first 5* in this country, course designer Marina Azevedo of Brazil had set a very difficult track for the $450,000 Nations Cup.
Hough, riding Ohlala, had the only clean round for the team, which she posted in the second round after finishing on eight faults in the first.
Kraut on Confu and Madden on Darry Lou both had four faults in each round, while Ward had a very uncharacteristic 12 faults in each round on HH Callas.