Omaha, Nebraska, Jan 23, 2018: The Omaha Equestrian Foundation (OEF) has announced the riders who have qualified for the $100,000 Championship of the inaugural InIt2WinIt Speed Jumping Series. The series featured four 1.40-meter speed jumping events sanctioned by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and culminates in the $100,000 Championship at 1.45 meters at the International Omaha on April 13, 2018.
The InIt2WinIt Speed Jumping Series held qualifying events from September 2017 through January 2018. HITS Balmoral in Chicago and the American Royal in Kansas City each hosted a $25,000 Open Speed Class qualifier followed by a $20,000 qualifier at the Lake St Louis Hunter/Jumper Show and a $10,000 qualifier at the National Western Stock Show in Denver.
The following riders have qualified for the InIt2WinIt $100,000 Championship at the International Omaha in April.
• Lisa Goldman and Centurion B, Balavan and Hindsight
• Brooke Cudmore and Cassin
• Christian Heineking and Leonie
• Steve Schaefer and Caribe
• Christian Heineking and NKH Selena
• Brandie Holloway and Lucky Strike
• Michael Burnett and Iron
• Sam Pegg and Shaia De Macheko
• Dan Bedoya and Abracadabra WKT
Lake St. Louis:
• Shannon Hicks and Ypslon
• Dannee Risler Urban and VDL Byacinthe
• Holly Shepherd and Sky High
• Charlie Carrel and Utopik
National Western Stock Show:
• Kristin Hardin and Bert
• Charlie Carrel and Cassanova
• Matt Cyphert and Carat V
• Karen Cudmore and Ceonto.
Riders were able to qualify at any of the qualifying events, and did not have to compete in all four to be eligible for the Championship. Those finishing in the top four at any of the qualifying events earned the right to compete in Omaha. If the top four were already qualified, then the next riders in order earned the right to compete in the Championship.
To reward consistency of performance, additional riders/horses had the opportunity to qualify based on cumulative points won at the qualifying events. Those who qualified this way include:
• Brooke Cudmore’s Igor
• Shannon Hicks’s Al Pachino
• Karen Cudmore’s Southern Pride
• Michael Burnett’s C-Max
• Sidney Luzicka’s Willow Catkin
In addition, each qualifying event organizer was able to invite one Wild Card rider and OEF will be issuing up to five Wild Card invitations to enter the Championship to riders who compete at 1.40 meters. To fill any remaining spots in the 35-horse field, a lottery will be held, allowing riders who were not able to ride at any of the qualifiers a chance to be part of this exciting new championship on the Midwest’s show jumping calendar.
Wild Card riders who have been invited to compete include:
• Doug Boyd (HITS Balmoral)
• Trapp O’Neal (The American Royal)
• Frankie Owens (Lake St Louis Hunter/Jumper Show)
• Phillip Flynn (National Western Stock Show)
The Omaha Equestrian Foundation (OEF) has named two Wild Card riders and may name additional selections at a later date. Those whom OEF has invited are:
• Kelly Buringa
• Hunter Holloway
“This series was designed to give riders from the Midwest more opportunities to compete at a higher level while staying in the region,” said Lisa Roskens, OEF founder and chairman. “I am really excited about the riders who have qualified for the Finals. It is a great and fast group that will provide exciting sport and competition!”
The International Omaha on April 12-15, 2018 will be held at the site of the highly successful 2017 FEI World Cup Finals, the CenturyLink Center on Omaha’s downtown riverfront. Besides the InIt2WinIt Championship, it will feature a $130,000 International Grand Prix in jumping and a Dressage Team Challenge featuring Grand Prix, Freestyle, Youth, Amateur and Para Equestrian riders. Spectators also enjoy outstanding shopping, demonstrations, educational exhibits, entertainment and dining, all under one roof.
International Omaha will also present an opportunity to watch legendary rider, trainer, and clinician, George Morris, give a modified clinic as part of the Jumping Showcase in the main arena, instructing some of the Midwest’s best young equitation riders. In addition to the ticketed Jumping Showcase, Morris will also conduct demonstrations in the Demonstration Arena that will be free to the public.
Olympic dressage team Gold Medalist Hubertus Schmidt of Germany will also conduct a clinic in the main arena. The highly acclaimed rider, trainer and coach has been described as one of the most prolific trainers in the world, training dozens of horses to Grand Prix level.
The four-day event will provide expanded educational opportunities for emerging athletes and young people as well as family fun for all ages. There will be exhibits and demonstrations, along with shopping at over 120 vendors, a range of dining choices, and live entertainment featuring some of Omaha’s finest. —- Omaha Equestrian Foundation