A Tale of Two Washingtons
Tiffany Foster and Figor win the 2021 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington at WIHS in Tryon, NC. Photo by FEI/Andrea Evans
In 2021, Tiffany Foster (CAN) topped the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington (USA)—but the pair was actually quite far from Washington, D.C. Due to the global pandemic, WIHS was held at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Tryon, NC in both 2020 and 2021.
But this year, WIHS has returned to the D.C. area—in a new location at the Prince George Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD. The only similarity between WIHS 2021 and 2022 will be the stadium seating and the course designer: Bernardo Costa Cabral returns to WIHS this year.
The outdoor arena at Tryon is measured at 77 x 94 meters. Indoors, the arena in Upper Marlboro is just 73.15 x 36.5 meters. Even more uniquely, this arena is constructed in an oval shape. There are no corners, meaning the jumps will come up even more quickly.
Ahead of the first truly indoor World Cup of the 2022-2023 season, Prixview is breaking down the numbers among some of the top ranked riders at the event to predict who might be best suited for success in this environment:
We must start with the obvious: There are limited opportunities to jump indoors in the United States. Jos Verlooy (BEL) gives us a nice comparison. Verlooy is traveling to the U.S. to jump at WIHS (He has done so in previous years). He has made 20 starts indoors since 2021—more than Kent Farrington (USA) and McLain Ward (USA) combined.
But World No. 5 Conor Swail (IRL), despite being based in the U.S., actually has more starts indoors, having made the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League a priority last season. He ultimately finished seventh at World Cup Finals in Leipzig (GER) and has his sights set on returning to the Finals—set for Omaha, NE—in 2022. While his faults average is actually the highest of this group, this is to be expected due to his sheer number of starts, which came at Sacramento, CA; Fort Worth, TX; Las Vegas, NV; and Leipzig. What's remarkable is that he's still managed an average placing in the top 10. That includes three World Cup wins during the 2021-2022 season and another to kick off this season in Sacramento.
Still, Farrington has an impressive prowess indoors. Look at that faults average! Last year, he won the World Cup qualifier in Lexington before finishing fifth in the Rolex Grand Prix at Geneva. That's what I would call, low quantity but high quality. This year, however will offer a test of sorts, as this will be the very talented Landon's first FEI competition indoors with Farrington.
Ward has won the feature Grand Prix at WIHS for the President's Cup on four occasions, most recently with HH Carlos Z in 2014. He means business this year, bringing forward top speed mount Catoki and his Olympic mount, Contagious in addition to Lezaro, who is coming off a win indoors at the national level in Harrisburg, PA. Contagious was in contention until the final round at Leipzig.
Who are you selecting in your Prixview fantasy match-ups at WIHS this week? Chances are, one of these riders will be in the mix at Prixview.com/fantasy.