Israel is to make its debut in showjumping’s Nations Cup series today, and New Zealand will also field a team in the North American league qualifier at Wellington, Florida.
Danielle Goldstein, Elad Yaniv, and Joshua Tabor make up the Israeli team that will compete in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup for the first time, competing for $75,000. The event marks a milestone for Israel, as it is the very first Nations Cup in any discipline that the country has taken part in. “We are incredibly proud and honored to be the first to raise the flag,” said Kate Levy, chef d’equipe for the Israeli Equestrian Team.
New Zealand riders Grant Wilson (Watch Me), Kirk Webby (Que De Pasa II) and Sharn Wordley (Derly Chin De Muze) will also make their debut in the new Furusiyya sponsored series.
The Kiwis have drawn first of the 12 teams in the competition, with three teams – Canada, Mexico, and the host nation USA – eligible for Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping points in the North America, Central America and Caribbean League.
For Israel, today’s start is a step along the way to the team’s goal of competing in the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. It is helped by T.E.A.M. Israel – The Equine Athletics Mission Israel – a nonprofit organization that works to cultivate the equestrian community in Israel. This includes training young riders, building equine facilities, educating the public, and developing an international riding team.
In Wellington, the team is at somewhat of a disadvantage. Two of the team members, Elad Yaniv, and Joshua Tabor will be riding their horses for the first time, and so will not have the long-term knowledge of their mounts that competing teams may have, but as seasoned successful show jumpers they are up for the challenge. But team anchor Danielle Goldstein and her mount Carisma have been competing in Wellington all season, winning the $10,000 Open Stake Grand Prix and placing fifth in last weekend’s $280,000 Adequan Grand Prix CSI 4*.
Danielle Goldstein has worked hard for this breakthrough for Israel’s equestrian community. She has dual citizenship in the United States and Israel, which she says she obtained largely to help Israel gain a greater presence in international sports. Goldstein also served as chef d’equipe for the Israeli Jumping Team in the Maccabiah Games in 2013, where the team earned gold medals.
The team has had the support of Nelson Pessoa, Uri Mansur, Ivan Rakowsky, Javier Berganza, and Katie and Henri Prudent.
The team’s debut at the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup will put Israel on the map of the equestrian world. “Competing as a team at this level is no longer just a dream,” explains Levy, “We hope to inspire more Israeli riders to join us in creating depth in our equestrian sports for generations to come.”
1. New Zealand
2. Great Britain