he United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has updated the entry for the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team for the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup presented by Edge Brewing Barcelona at CSIO4* Ocala, in Ocala, Fla., February 11-15, 2015. The team has announced a single rider change, Todd Minikus will be attending the Furusiyya Nations Cup event instead of Kent Farrington. Therefore, the team for the Furusiyya Nations Cup event in Ocala, next week is as follows;
- Georgina Bloomberg
- Lauren Hough
- Laura Kraut
- Beezie Madden
- Todd Minikus
The following riders will represent the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team at CSIO4* Ocala (in alphabetical order):
Georgina Bloomberg (New York, N.Y.)
For Georgina Bloomberg, the daughter of former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, a love of horses has always run in her blood. After an extremely successful junior and young rider career, Bloomberg has continued to find success at the highest level of the sport of jumping. In 2014, her competition highlights included helping the United States to a Nations Cup win at the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup in Gijon, Spain, and a win in the Central Park Grand Prix, presented by Rolex with the superstar mare, Juvina. In addition to competing, Bloomberg is also actively involved in philanthropic efforts, including founding The Rider’s Closet, serving on the Board of the Equestrian Aid Foundation, and as a committee member of Friends of Finn. She is a proud mother of one-year-old son, Jasper Michael Brown Bloomberg.
Lauren Hough (Wellington, Fla.)
The daughter of Olympic Bronze medalist, Champ, and acclaimed hunter/ and jumper trainer, Linda, Lauren Hough began riding before she could walk. Beginning her career competing in Northern California in the pony ring, the jumps did not stay small for long as she rose up the hunter and equitation ranks, ultimately winning the USEF Show Jumping Talent Search in 1994. In 2000, at the age of 23, Hough reached the pinnacle of the sport of jumping, making her Olympic debut in Sydney. Since that time she has continually represented the U.S. in championships, including the 2010 World Championships, and helped the U.S. to Pan American Games Gold in 2003 and Bronze in 2007, and annually in Nations Cup competition throughout the world. Hough’s strong string of horses is led by Ohlala, Quick Study, and Reconnaissance. During her downtime, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, and entertaining, in addition to reading and working out at the gym.
Laura Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.)
For almost two decades Laura Kraut has represented the U.S. at Olympic Games, World Championships, and in numerous Nations Cup competitions. Kraut’s first big break came in 1992, when she was named as an alternate to the U.S. team for Barcelona after excelling in the Selection Trials and kick -offed to her Olympic career. Eight years later she made her Olympic debut in Sydney, and in 2008 Kraut’s Olympic dreams came true as she and her young rising star, Cedric, played a pivotal role in America claiming Team Gold. In 2003, Kraut was recognized for her positive outlook and sportsmanship when she was awarded the United States Olympic Committee’s Jack Kelly Fair Play Award. She and her partner, British Olympic Gold medalist Nick Skelton, split their time between Florida and England, traveling to compete in the most prestigious shows throughout the world. A passion for horses and equestrian sport runs in the family for Kraut, as her 15-year-old son, Bobby, is an avid competitor in the jumper ranks and her sister, Mary Elizabeth, helps to manage the business and schedules.
Beezie Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.)
Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Beezie Madden has been riding since the age of three and made her debut at Grand Prix, jumping’s highest level, in 1985 at 22. For nearly three decades, Madden has represented the United States in the world’s most prestigious competitions, including winning three medals at the Olympic Games: Team Gold in 2004 and 2008, as well as Individual Bronze in 2008. She also added Team and Individual Silver at the 2006 World Championships and Team and Individual Bronze at the 2014 World Championships, in addition to becoming the Rolex/FEI World Cup Champion in 2013. Madden brings a talented string of horses into the 2015 season led by Abigail Wexner’s Cortes ‘C’, Madden’s 2014 World Championship partner, Simon, the 2013 World Cup Finals champion, rising star Vanilla, as well as Coral Reef Ranch’s London Olympic veteran, Coral Reef Via Volo. In addition to competing, Madden also runs a successful training and sales business with her husband, John, out of their Cazenovia, New York, and Wellington, Florida, bases.
Todd Minikus (Loxahatchee, Fla.)
After turning professional in 1980, Todd Minikus competed in his first grand prix in 1985 and across the last two-plus decades, he has forged an impressive career highlighted by more than 75 grand prix wins, five FEI World Cup Final appearances, and multiple Nations Cup teams. In 2001, he was selected by the American Horse Show Association (now USEF) as the recipient of the Horseman of the Year Award, and two years later was a member of the American Bronze medal- winning team at the 2007 Pan American Games with Pavarotti. In 2015, Minikus will look for further strong performances from his $1 Million Grand Prix at HITS-on-the-Hudson winner Quality Girl. The father of two, son Colt and daughter Langley, enjoys playing with his children, golfing, and fishing when he is not riding and competing.