Even if your goal is the short, short list, being on the short(ish) list is infinitely better than being on the long list. Especially if your heart is set on riding for the U.S. Olympic Show Jumping team in Rio.

Today, USEF released the names of 10 athletes and horses who will compete in designated spring CSIO/CSI observation events running May 12th through June 26th in the hope of clinching one of four team berths and one alternate position. (Are you imagining that horrible, sinking feeling you got as teams were being picked for gym class volleyball? Yeah, we are too.) 

Among the short list nominees there are a few, non-surprises. The World’s #5 and #6 ranked riders, Mclain Ward and Kent Farrington (respectively), made the list with two horses a pop: Mclain with Mexican jumping bean-turned-Grand Prix-prodigy HH Azur and cranky-resting-face Rothchild, and Kent’s 5* dream team Gazelle and Voyeur. Golden girl Reed Kessler is up for contention again with her bestie, Cylana, while the Beyonce of the equestrian Twitterverse, Beezie Madden, qualified with four mounts: Breitling LS, Cortes ‘C’,  Quister, and Simon. Additionally, seven-time Nation’s Cup veteran Callan Solem will vie for a spot on VDL Wizard, as will the 23-year-old newbie, Lucy Davis, on Barron.


Reed Kessler and Cylana.

Here’s the full (alphabetized) rundown:

  1. Lucy Davis (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Old Oak Farm’s Barron, a 2004 Belgian Warmblood gelding
  2. Margie Engle (Wellington, Fla.) and Elm Rock Partners, LLC’s Royce, a 2004 Oldenburg stallion
  3. Kent Farrington (Wellington, Fla.) with Robin Parsky and his own Gazelle, a 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare, and Amalaya Investments’ Voyeur, a 2002 KWPN gelding
  4. Lauren Hough (Wellington, Fla.) and The Ohlala Group’s Ohlala, a 2004 Swedish Warmblood mare
  5. Reed Kessler (Lexington, Ky.) and Kessler Show Stable’s Cylana, a 2002 Belgian Warmblood mare
  6. Laura Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) with Old Willow Farms, LLC’s Deauville S, a 2006 Holsteiner gelding, and Zeremonie, a 2007 Holsteiner mare
  7. Beezie Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) with Abigail Wexner’s Breitling LS, a 2006 Dutch Warmblood stallion, Cortes ‘C’, a 2002 Belgian Warmblood gelding, Quister, a 2004 Selle Francais gelding, and Simon, a 1999 KWPN gelding
  8. Todd Minikus (Loxahatchee, Fla.) and Jack Snyder’s Babalou 41, a 2005 Oldenburg mare
  9. Callan Solem (Glennmore, Pa.) and Horseshoe Trail Farm, LLC’s VDL Wizard, a 2003 KWPN gelding
  10. McLain Ward (Brewester, N.Y.) with Double H Farm & Francois Mathy’s HH Azur, a 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare, and Sagamore Farm’s Rothchild, a 2001 Warmblood gelding

May the odds be ever in your favor, and let the games begin!