November 2017 - World Cup Wonders

Barge, Porter, McAllister & Spooner lead the West League World Cup charge.

The reliably exciting Longines FEI World Cup Jumping League is in full swing and sweeping full houses of happy fans along with it. The last West league leg of the year, Nov. 18 at the Las Vegas National Horse Show, is sure to be a showdown between our many locals on a hot streak and contenders visiting from other leagues in the hunt for points toward a Finals in Paris next spring.

Jamie Barge & Luebbo were clear in Sacramento until the very last fence. Their 7th place finish there, and in Del Mar, contributed to a 35 point total to lead the West league after Del Mar. Photo: Kim F. Miller

Andrew Kocher & Navalo de Poheton won the Del Mar International class to vault themselves into the top spot in the East League. They’ll be back for Vegas! Photo: FEI/Nick Souza

Mandy Porter led a team of California stars in winning the Sacramento International class on Oct. 7 aboard her HITS Million winning partner, Abby Archer’s Milano. Mandy spent much of her youth in Northern California, so it was an especially emotional night after two beautiful, clear rounds. Right behind Mandy were Jenni McAllister on Legis Touch The Sun, and Richard Spooner on a new and impressive mount, Chatinus.

All three continued onto the next leg, at the Del Mar International Oct. 21. This time it was the outdoor grass field at the Horsepark, ringed with a packed house of spectators. All three finished in the top 12 to earn both prize money and more points toward their West league standings.

At presstime, Jamie Barge and Luebbo’s 35 points put them atop the West league standings thanks to consistently great rounds in the first three legs: third in Langley, British Columbia; and seventh in both Sacramento and Del Mar.  The next qualifier was set for the Royal West Horse show in Calgary, Oct. 28, so these standings will have changed before Las Vegas. Wherever things stand at that point, there’s no doubt about terrific competition for that Saturday night class between our home-based heroes and those coming in from other leagues to earn points in their own. That’s the case for winner Del Mar winner, Andrew Kocher, an East League rider who has no qualms about criss-crossing the country to be a major contender. His Del Mar win aboard Navalo De Poheton vaulted him to the top of the East rankings, where he’s followed by Alison Robitaille (formerly Firestone). She’s another East Coaster who’s been fun to watch compete out West this season. Alison was fourth in Del Mar, aboard Serise Du Bidou.

Eric Navet and Catypso were second in Del Mar, adding the California-based Frenchman to the list of locals with solid World Cup points at the nearly mid-point of the seven-class league. See you in Vegas!

Jenni McAllister & Legis Touch The Sun en route to a runner-up finish in Sacramento. Photo: Kim F. Miller

Richard Spooner and his new horse, Chatinus, on their way to third at the Murieta Equestrian Center near Sacramento. Photo: Kim F. Miller

Mandy Porter & Milano went first in the Sacramento jump-off and could not be beat. Photo: Kim F. Miller