Perhaps the weak performance at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky was a prelude as to how the US show jumping team would fare in the 2011 FEI Nations Cup Top League, a series of 8 nations cup competitions throughout Europe. Click here to read more about how the series works: http://www.fei.org/events/series-and-finals/fei-nations-cup%25E2%2584%25A2-series/introduction-and-rules. The final round held in Rotterdam on August 26th sealed our fate as the US finished in 6th place which was not enough to keep our nation in the series for another year.  Now we will have to compete in the FEI Promotional League and hope we win it which will allow us to once again join the Top League. The US had been a part of the prestigious CSIO5* competitions where 8 countries, all having to have good enough scores to earn and stay in this series, compete against each other from May - August.  During my employment with the USEF in Gladstone NJ, I had worked closely with Sally Ike, Manager of the show jumping department, on the administrative end, to ensure our country's place in the what was then called the Super League.

My former boss, Jim Wolf, Managing Director of USEF Sports Program, pointed out in an article in the Star Ledger written by Nancy Jaffer,  that although it was a huge disappointment for our nations show jumping discipline, there is a silver lining to the situation.  We will not be obligated to compete at every competition in the Promotional League which may save some of our horses from the vigorous competition schedule and wear and tear the Top League demands which could increase our chance for a good performance at the London Olympic Games in 2012.  However we do have to qualify for the Olympic Games at the Pan Am Games being held this fall since we were unable to do so at the World Equestrian Games in 2010.  We should be able to pull this off without much of a problem especially since our biggest rivals (Canada and Brazil) are already qualified.http://www.nj.com/sports/njsports/index.ssf/2011/08/post_37.html

For more information on the final round click here:

http://www.horsesport.org/disciplines/jumping/press-releases/fei-nations-cup%E2%84%A2-2011-round-8-rotterdam-ned