ve Jobs put on the coveted pinque coat and represented the United States of America for the first time at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Gothenburg, Sweden, earlier this month. Aboard the the 14-year-old Venue d’Fees Des Hazalles, the pair finished 15th following three rounds of top level competition.
When I sat down with all my coaches and trainers early in the season last summer, we talked about our goals through the fall and what shows we wanted to aim towards. Because I’m a student at Stanford University, we decided it would be really awesome to stay on the West Coast and aim for the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final since there are tons of qualifiers out in California. It worked out really well because then I was able to stay in school, be close to the horses and home in California while also aiming for this big goal of qualifying for the finals.
It ended up going really well and I qualified on Venue d’Fees Des Hazalles and Limbridge, who we call “Larry” at home. The horses were jumping great and I felt really confident with both. At the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Florida, we decided to only jump four weeks there, and if I made it to the finals, I’d head out a few weeks early so I could jump indoors, which is what we ended up doing. Once I made the cut for the finals, we sent the horses out to Europe and showed at the CSI3* in Braunschweig, Germany. It was really good preparation. Then I took a week off and stayed with Stal van Asten near Eindhoven which was really nice. I was lucky to get out there early and practice indoors a bit since we’re mostly outdoors in California.
The Road to Gothenburg
When we got to Gothenburg, I honestly was a little nervous and overwhelmed. The first day of just being there, I didn’t even ride. I was so anxious for it to start that I didn’t really sleep that much and I was a little on edge. But then every day as the show went on, I got more and more settled in being there and felt comfortable and calm.
It was my first time putting on the red coat and representing the U.S. — it felt pretty damn good. Even though it was an individual championship, you’re representing your country. The U.S. contingent bonded a lot and we developed a strong team spirit. Everyone cheered on everyone else and we were so happy for each other. It felt like I was part of something which was super cool for me.
I got to know Kelli Cruciotti a lot better — she’s just the most lovely person. She works so hard, rides phenomenally, and was just awesome. I met Devin Ryan and got to spend a lot of time with him — he’s fabulous and so calm. I really enjoyed getting to know him better. And Georgina Bloomberg, she obviously is amazing and gave me a lot of good advice, and I was able to pick her brain throughout the week. My teammates really helped me settle into things and understand how a championship format works.
Picking the Horse
We always thought Venue was going to do the final because Larry’s a lot less experienced. I hadn’t actually jumped him in a grand prix until the CSI2* at WEF. Then we put him in the World Cup Qualifier at CSI4* Palm Beach Masters at Deeridge Farms and he jumped great. I was feeling really good with him, so we were thinking maybe he’d be ready to go for the finals. As the finals got closer, we decided to make the decision after the CSI3* in Braunschweig. They both jumped well there, but we thought it wouldn’t be fair to throw Larry into a big championship with such little experience, especially with me having such little experience indoors. For him to never have seen anything like that, and me not ever being in that situation either, it wouldn’t be a good thing to do. We ended up going with Venue, which was totally the right call, and I’m happy I got to jump that on her. I was lucky to bring Larry and jump him in the other classes at the finals and he got a ton of experience.
Staying Focused in the Finals
I was surprised I wasn’t more distracted with the atmosphere and everything. But to be honest, I really didn’t notice the crowd when I walked in the ring. I was focused on the task at hand and the job I had to do, which was the course. For two out of the three days, I went pretty early in the draw and actually went first in the last round. I didn’t have a lot of time to sit there and think too much which was good for me — it was course walk, get on, and go. I didn’t really notice the atmosphere until I got off the horse and went up to the stands to watch. Then it was overwhelming. I was like ‘Oh wow, there’s a ton of people here, look at this crowd!’ It was insane. But while I was riding, I was pretty focused on executing the track.
I’ve never been to a show like the Gothenburg Horse Show. First of all, the crowd was massive but they were so educated. While the riders were going around, especially hometown favorites, Peder Fredricson and Henrik von Eckermann, it was completely silent. You could hear a pin drop. When they’d go clear, the crowd would just erupt — it was insane with all the clapping.
A Strong Support System
My trainer Eddie Macken was there — he was super supportive and helpful. My mom and cousin came to watch and it was really nice to have them there. My mom was completely blown away; she’s never seen a horse show like Gothenburg. She’s never really been to a competition where one, the atmosphere is anywhere near close to that, and two, the level of jumping is anywhere close to that, so she was just shocked. I was so happy she was there and able to watch me. The whole week was so special and I really hope to go back.
Eve’s Essentials for Gothenburg:
- Jackets: “I packed a lot of jackets — I get quite cold. I’m from California, so I was not used to that.”
- Sticky spray: “I put it on my boots and I put it on my gloves. The gloves are key. I always used to lose my reins or they’d get too long, and one day I was like I wonder if this will work, and it did! I truly go through a can a week.”
- “Game of Thrones”: “I actually started ‘Game of Thrones’ the week before so I’m addicted to watching that.”
- School work: “The week I was there was actually the first week of the quarter so I had a bit of work to do as well.”
All photos by Shannon Brinkman for NoelleFloyd.com.