‘It’s crunch time’

Our favorite hunter-jumper pundit, Miss Carley Sparks, has spoken. She breaks down the Olympic showjumping team selection process and gives George some advice on which horse/rider combos deserve plane tickets.

Carley’s picks for Team USA, via

Baring a catastrophe—like an Adequan shortage or pile up on Marquis of Lorne Trail—and with only part of decision-making data in, I think we can say with no small degree of uncertainty that at least 50% of Team USA should be:

  • Beezie Madden and Simon. (Simon was 1st and 3rd in the Kentucky. And 6th in Devon.) Or Coral Reef Via Volo. (Coral Reef missed the selection trials due to a skin infection, but jumped clean in both Kentucky classes). Or Cortes C. (They didn’t win. I got tired of looking it up.) Or a stick horse. (Two previous Olympic gold medals earn you that kind of leniency.)
  • McLain Ward and Antares F. (After a four-month hiatus for broken leg parts, he won the $100,000 Grand Prix at Devon and was second in the $50,000 class. Also, see: two Olympic Gold medals rule.)
  • Rich Fellers and Flexible (Seventh on the Long List, they’re the reigning World Cup Champions and won BOTH observation events at Del Mar. Fellers, he’s on fire!)
  • And, Mario Deslauriers and Urico (They were sixth on the Long List, won in Kentucky and jumped clean in the other Observation class.)
Rich Fellers claims the World Cup!

Morris might also consider:

  • Current national co-Champions Margie Engle and Indigo. (They were 2nd in the Selection Trials, Kentucky and Devon.)
  • Or fellow National co-Champion 17-year-old Reed Kessler and Mikka. (She DECIMATED the Trials and was 5th and 2nd in Kentucky.)
  • Or, perhaps, Kent Farrington and Uceko. (No top 5 placings in Kentucky, but they won yesterday at Spruce Meadows.)
  • Charlie Jayne is also on a good run. (3rd in Kentucky. And 1st and 3rd in Devon.)
  • And, there is always Christine McCrea, Laura Kraut (4th in Kentucky and Devon) and Lauren Hough.

Read more, including Carley’s picks for Team Canada and her keep-it-simple-stupid explanation of the selection trials and process, visit

Go Carley.

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