Valiant efforts in the last two Super League events have buoyed the U.S. show jumpers’ hopes.
Things were looking grim, indeed.
After the first five events of the Samsung Super League, the U.S. team sat at the bottom of the standings, after having a dismal season. The results were a shock after the United States had topped the world and won the 2005 Super League series, and then finished second to Germany last year.
They say that it’s in times of trouble that people’s true colors shine through. Three of the eventing community’s most beloved members—Debbie Atkinson, Kim Meier and Ralph Hill—suffered life-changing injuries in the past year, and eventers from throughout the country and beyond rallied around their comrades. From formal fund-raising dinners and silent auctions, to online bulletin board auctions, to benefit clinics, trail rides and horse trials, the eventing community pitched in to lend a hand (p. 30).
Three years ago, Brad Wolf decided to fill a void in his life. A heart surgeon with a thriving practice in Memphis, Tenn., he felt like something was missing.
“I had no hobby at all, and I’d been in practice for 10 years, just working myself to the bone and not doing anything else,” Wolf said. He’d ridden and shown as a junior but had taken a 20-year break from horses to attend medical school and establish his practice.
Brad Wolf had never been to the Devon Horse Show before this year. But he made his first visit count in spades, as he rode his Rio Renoir to the grand amateur-owner and amateur-owner, 36 & over hunter tricolors, as well as the leading amateur rider title in the last two days of the horse show, June 1-2.
“I’m just really excited,” said Wolf in an understatement. “One of my main goals this year was just to qualify for Devon. I was just excited to be here!”
As McLain Ward walked into the ring at Devon for the jump-off of the $75,000 Budweiser Grand Prix of Devon, he was taken a bit aback. Course designer Olaf Petersen had opted to not remove a combination that wasn’t on the short course. It was a decision that made an inside turn between the first two fences of the jump-off incredibly hard.