Show Jumping Powerhouses of Rolex

It ain’t over ’til it’s over, but as much of this weekend has felt like there’s almost a foregone conclusion to be had. We’re in familiar territory, as Michael Jung heads the leaderboard going into the final phase for the third year in a row. fischerRocana FST has a rail in hand, and she may need it today, as several stronger show jumpers stalk her in the placings.

The riders listed below are the best show jumpers currently inside the top twenty, ordered by reverse placing which is the order in which they will jump. All of these horses average half a rail or less, meaning they trend towards jumping clear.

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Lillian Heard and Share Option. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Lillian Heard (USA) and Share Option: Lillian Heard and Share Option will be show jumping at their fourth consecutive Rolex today, and they’ve jumped clear each time except for their debut in 2014, where they had one rail. This pair is a very strong bet for a clear round and could easily move up inside the top twenty.

Current Place: 20th

Current Score: 76.0

Madeline Backus and P.S. Arianna. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Madeline Backus (USA) and P.S. Arianna: This young pair are confirmed one or none jumpers. They’ve had clear rounds in three of their six 3* starts and only one rail in the other three. P.S. Arianna and Madeline are as likely to go clear as not, but will add at most one rail to their score.

Current Place: 19th

Current Score: 75.5

Kurt Martin and Delux Z. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Kurt Martin (USA) and DeLux Z: Kurt and his ride DeLux Z are some of the best show jumpers around, with 10 of 13 three- and four-star rounds jumped clear with only one rail in the remaining three. They put in one of only four double clear stadium rounds here last year and haven’t had a rail since. Finally, these two have yet to have a rail at a CCI3/4* in the four they’ve completed.

Current Place: 15th

Current Score: 68.3

Phillip Dutton and I’m Sew Ready. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Phillip Dutton (USA) and I’m Sew Ready: I’m Sew Ready is another one-or-none horse with Phillip in the irons. In the seven 3* starts they have together, they’ve had a rail in only three of them, with the other four clear. In their only CCI start, they jumped double clear at Fair Hill CCI3* last fall.

Current Place: 10th

Current Score: 60.1


Hannah Sue Burnett and Under Suspection. Photo by Sofie Van Olmen.

Hannah Sue Burnett (USA) and Under Suspection: As many of the others listed here, Under Suspection is also a one-or-none ride, with three clear rounds of five three-stars with Hannah Sue in the irons. Although they had a rail at their first CCI3* together at Rebecca Farm, they followed up with a clear round at Fair Hill last fall.

Current Place: 5th

Current Score: 50.8

Maxime Livio in the Luhmuhlen CCI4*. Photo by Libby Law Photography.

Maxime Livio (FRA) and Qalao des Mers: Maxime used Qalao’s show jumping prowess last fall to catch Rocana and win his first CCI4* title at Pau last fall. He’ll need it again as one of only two riders within shouting distance of the great Michael Jung. He’ll need Rocana to give him some help with more that one rail, which is unlikely but still possible from her.

Qalao des Mers is almost always a none horse. He has only two flaws in seven starts (four of which are CCI3/4*), one of which was two rails in his very first CIC3* at Blenheim, and the other a single rail at Aachen CICO3* in 2014. At the CCI level, he is flawless.

Current Place: 2nd

Current Score: 44.6