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  • Writer's pictureCatie Staszak

Who’ve You Got? Expert Selections for the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final

The final round of the 2022 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Finals gets underway Sunday in Leipzig (GER), with McLain Ward leading the way and seeking his second title in the prestigious event aboard his Tokyo Olympic mount, Contagious.

Ahead of the two-round final phase of competition, we asked a few experts who they think has the best chance to take it all…

Laura Kraut (USA)

Olympic Gold Medalist

World Equestrian Games Gold Medalist

9x World Cup Finalist

1. McLain Ward (USA)

2. Harrie Smolders (NED)

3. Conor Swail (IRL)

McLain’s horse has been jumping really well, and he knows how to win a World Cup Finals. I have to go with my best teammate!

Harrie has been second before, and he is one of the most consistent, brilliant riders there is. He’s on a very good, consistent horse.

Conor Swail is also a brilliant rider, and his horse is really careful. He hasn’t won at a Championship like this, but he wins enough that I think it’s his turn.

I’m leaving Harry Charles out, but I and think Harry also stands a really good chance. His horse is fresh, and he’s riding brilliantly. That’s my fourth pick!

Darragh Kenny (IRL)

Nations Cup Finals Gold Medalist

Olympic and WEG veteran

2010 World Cup Finalist

1. Harrie Smolders (NED)

2. McLain Ward (USA)

3. Conor Swail (IRL)

I think Harrie's in a very good position. His horse has been jumping unbelievably in every Grand Prix. I think he has the best chance of jumping a double clear round, which I think will end up causing him to win.

I think McLain is obviously also in a very strong position, so I think he should be in the top three. And then I think Conor Swail's horse has been jumping amazing. He had an unlucky fault [in the second round] but has been jumping well in general and should be set up well for Sunday (and he’s Irish). So that's going to be my top three, but I also think Jack Whittaker has an outside chance, and I’d love to see him finish in the top three, as he’s ridden amazingly so far.

Dani G. Waldman (ISR)

2x World Equestrian Games veteran

4x European Championships veteran

1. Harrie Smolders (NED)

2. McLain Ward (USA)

3. Martin Fuchs (SUI)

Personally, I’d like to see Harrie take it all. He’s had an amazing year, and he’s been second in a number of huge classes, so I think he’s hungry for it and his horse has been in top form, especially indoors this season. But I think McLain is not going to give up his pole position easily, so it will definitely be a battle to the end.

"Martin is switching back to Chaplin, who is super careful and always gives it his all, so you can never count him out! Never forget though that the final day of any Championship can see some big upsets and a ton of movement in the order. Horses are tired, pressure is high, and anything can happen. We could all be surprised in the end!

Make your fantasy selections at


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