Meet the 2022 NetJets U.S. Jumping World Championship Team
At long last: The results are in, and the U.S. team for the 2022 FEI Jumping World Championships was named over the weekend.
There’s no doubting this fact: This is the youngest championships team the U.S. has fielded in more than a decade. While Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland has made a habit of incorporating one up-and-coming athlete onto championship teams when possible (With the new Olympic format allowing for just three competing athletes, this formula has required adjustment), three of the four competing riders on this squad are under the age of 30 (Reserve rider Jessica Springsteen is 30).
· Lillie Keenan (age 25) & Argan de Beliard
· Brian Moggre (age 20) & Balou du Reventon
· Adrienne Sternlicht (age 29) & Cristalline
· McLain Ward (age 46) & Contagious
The average age of this team is 30 years old. Let’s compare that to the other Championship teams for the U.S. in the last 10 years:
Tokyo Olympic Games - 2021
· Laura Kraut (age 56)
· Jessica Springsteen (age 29)
· McLain Ward (age 45)
· Average age: 43
Tryon World Equestrian Games - 2018
· Laura Kraut (age 53)
· Devin Ryan (age 36)
· Adrienne Sternlicht (age 25)
· McLain Ward (age 42)
· Average age: 39
Rio Olympic Games – 2016
· Lucy Davis (age 23)
· Kent Farrington (age 35)
· Beezie Madden (age 52)
· McLain Ward (age 40)
· Average age: 37.5
Normandy World Equestrian Games (2014) — Average age: 35.5
London Olympic Games (2012) — Average age: 38.5
So, what can we expect from this group? It’s worth noting that despite her age, Sternlicht has already competed at the championship level—and delivered, contributing to a team gold medal at the 2018 WEG in Tryon. She will bring forward her mount from those Games, the now 14-year-old mare Cristalline. In 2018, Sternlicht and Cristalline averaged just two faults and a top 10 finish at 1.60m. This year, the numbers aren’t too far off from those averages, albeit with 1/3 of the starts. They are averaging 3 faults and a finish position within the top 6 at 1.60m this year.
Keenan and Moggre will each be making their respective championship debuts. In our most recent installment of Short List Stats, we broke down Moggre’s numbers, and they back up the notion that he’s ready for this assignment; in Nations Cups where Moggre is on the squad, Team USA has won three times and averaged a finish position of 3.67.
Keenan has truly been a winner from the start of her career. As a child rider, she rode to seven Championship titles at USEF Pony Finals before topping the WIHS Equitation Championship at just 13 years old. She’d add a long list of additional equitation finals to her resume, among them the USEF Medal Final and ASPCA Maclay National Championship, before turning her focus to the jumper ring, in which she was the individual young rider gold medalist at the 2013 North American Youth Championships.
Keenan added the 12-year-old Selle Francais stallion Argan de Beliard to her string just this year, and the two connected quickly. They are averaging just 3 faults in 20 international starts as a partnership. In each of their three Nations Cup appearances, they produced at least one clear round, including a double-clear effort at CSIO4* Wellington.
The only pair on this squad with better numbers? Keenan’s coach and sure-to-be anchor rider Ward. He and Contagious have been nearly unstoppable since helping the U.S. rally for silver last summer in Tokyo. This duo is averaging just 2 faults at 1.60m this year. It’s worth mentioning they are on a three-class winning streak and have won six of their last 13 starts. That’s a 46% win rate—not a clear round rate or rate of a podium placing. It’s absolutely mind-bending.
Follow Team USA and make your predictions known throughout the World Championships in Hernig at Prixview.com/fantasy.