The 2020 edition of the Longines Nations Cup circuit is back on track. After a break of several months, the first CSIO of the year will take place this weekend in Wellington, Florida. This will be an opportunity for riders to compete in teams, just a few weeks before the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Eleven stages will make up this year’s FEI circuit of the Longines Nations Cups. In Europe, division 1 will rely on its usual competitions: La Baule in May, followed by Saint Gall, Sopot, Rotterdam, Falsterbo, Dublin, and finally Hickstead. The grand final will be held once again in Spain, at the Real Polo Club in Barcelona, from the first to the fourth of November.
But before then, the North, Central American and Caribbean league will set the tone. This weekend, the 5* CSIO at Deeridge Farm in Wellington, Florida, will support the first team event of the season on Sunday, February 16. There, the world’s best will have the opportunity to compete against each other on the vast, grassy U.S. competition track.
Among the big names in show jumping will be local riders McLain Ward, Beezie Madden, Laura Kraut, Jessica Springsteen, who has been in great shape since last summer when she won her first Longines Global Champions Tour in Saint Tropez, and Adrienne Sternlicht, whose best mare, Cristalline, will also be making her comeback in international competition.
Ireland and its new team leader, Michael Blake, will be serious contenders for victory. Darragh Kenny, who distinguished himself in the World Cup leg of the same competition two weeks ago, will saddle Romeo 88 for Sunday’s Nations Cup. He will be accompanied by Brian Cournane, Cian O’Connor, who has an impressive horse line-up, and will present for the first time in such a competition Lazzaro Delle Schiave, recently acquired. Finally, Billy Twomey and Paul O’Shea will complete the Irish quintet.
Mexico and Israel, respectively first and second at this Nations Cup last year, will undoubtedly be keen to repeat the same performance. Carlos Hank Guerreiro, Eduardo Pereira de Menezes, Daniel Bluman and Ashley Bond will not be allowed to make mistakes. Still for Israel, the Tricolor fans will be able to see at work Teddy Vlock and Volnay du Boisdeville, the incredible son of Winningmood who was brought to light by Alexandra Francart before being sold in January 2019.