One of only two 19 years on the start list, USA’s Skylar Wireman was among the youngest riders to qualify for the 2024 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final in Riyadh.

She was also on one of the youngest horses in 10-year-old Tornado.

Partnered for less than a year, the young American made her championship debut for Team USA last week. And they didn’t disappoint.

In Wednesday’s opening speed round, Wireman and the Swedish Warmblood gelding finished 10th against world-class talent. But by Thursday’s jump off class, their greenness showed in an uncharacteristic 16 faults. At 1.60m, the pair averages 4.8 faults (Jumpr).

Related: The Making of Skylar Wireman

Their combined two-round results put them just inside the top 20, ahead of proven championship contenders Martin Fuchs, Devin Ryan and Kevin Staut, earning them a spot in the Final on Saturday.

But Wireman rewrote the script. Instead of taking to the warm up ring for Saturday’s Final, she took to social media to share her reasoning for opting out of the final round of her first World Cup Final.

“I have made the very difficult decision to withdraw from the final round of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Finals. Tornado, my horse, is 100% well, sound and fit and I would like to explain why I have withdrawn,” wrote the young American on Instagram.

“I came here knowing this would be an incredible learning experience and hoped to be competitive. I am at the start of what I want to be a long and successful career as a jumping athlete and to compete against the very best in the world has been an honor, and I have learned so much. I hope I have proven that I deserved to be here and that I will give my all to jumping clear rounds and being a winner. 

“While I want to ride every round and grow my experience level, I care deeply about my horses. I love Tornado more than anything. I came here with a horse that is 10 and is very much still learning and his welfare will always be at the very heart of every decision I make. Without our horse we are nothing, and they put their complete trust in us.

“Tornado was a rock star in the 1st Round of the World Cup Finals finishing 10th amongst the legends of our sport. He jumped his heart out in the 2nd Round on Thursday. 

“Tornado is inexperienced at this level and having studied our round on Thursday and talked extensively to my coach and many others whose opinions and experience I have high regard for, I will not risk his welfare or his future in the sport by asking Tornado to jump a course he might not be quite ready for.

“The course today will be big and technical but fair for this level of competition: I knew it would be but I knew Tornado and I had the potential to jump it; that potential is still there but we need just a little more experience to realize it.”

Wireman concluded her post expressing her gratitude for her horse, mom, groom, coach and USEF.

“I look forward to representing the team in the future!”

Suffice it to say, she’s already doing the team proud.