evin Ryan & Eddie Blue Ph. ©Thomas Reiner
A Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final debut with the youngest horse in the competition, and yet third to tour-de-force veterans Beezie Madden and Daniel Deusser. If there’s anything that Devin Ryan and Eddie Blue’s impressive performance in Thursday’s opening round at #Paris2018 has taught us, it’s that you should never count out the first-timers.
Although securing several notable placings over the past two seasons, the 36-year-old from New Jersey and the 9-year-old KWPN gelding have been relatively unknown on the international circuit. But after the events of the opening speed class, these two are no longer flying under the radar.
There were a few factors working against Ryan and Eddie Blue coming into the 2018 World Cup Final. To begin with, Eddie has significantly less experience at the 1.60m level compared to the other horses as well as limited appearances indoors. His larger jump and additional hang-time in the air have been a cause for concern in previous jump-offs; however, speed was no problem Thursday as Ryan piloted Eddie to a beautiful clear in a time of 62.82 seconds.
Now with 35 points, just three points off Beezie Madden’s 38 point lead, Ryan and Eddie Blue head into Friday’s Table A with momentum.
Developing Eddie Blue since he was a 5-year-old to the prime position he finds himself in this weekend in Paris, Ryan couldn’t be more thrilled with how his gelding has matured – not just through their four-year partnership, but especially over the last 12 months. “It’s always great to bring a horse up from such a young level,” Ryan shared after placing second in the Ocala CSIO5* $265,000 Longines Grand Prix in February of this year. “I knew he was a special horse—he’s a freak of nature!”
Ryan has made it clear that he’ll be making the most of his first World Cup experience.
Friday’s Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final II startlist, here.
Don’t miss the live-stream! FEI TV has you covered at this link.
Questions on points, penalties, or class format as you watch this weekend’s events? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with The World Cup Watcher’s Go-To Guide!