By Gary R. Blockus | Sept. 30, 2017, 8:15 p.m. (ET)
McLain Ward rides his horse HH Azur to a second-place finish during the Spruce Meadows CP International Grand Prix on Sept. 11, 2016 in Calgary, Alberta.

 

The Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team of Lauren Hough, Laura Kraut, Beezie Madden and McLain Ward claimed the silver medal at the FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final on Saturday in Barcelona, Spain.

Led by Chef d'Equipe Robert Ridland, the U.S. team finished on four faults and earned 237.00 points to finish second behind the team from the Netherlands, which accumulated 240.31 points. Belgium took the bronze medal.

The Nations Cup is one of the sport’s oldest and most prestigious team events.

“We’ve made it a huge priority this year,” Madden said before warm-ups on Wednesday.

All four of the U.S. riders are Olympians.

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Madden is a four-time Olympic medalist and two-time Olympic gold medalist, while Ward is a three-time medalist and two-time Olympic gold medalist. Kraut won an Olympic gold medal in 2008, and Hough rode for Team USA in the 2000 Games.

Madden rode on Darry Lou, Abigail Wexner’s 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion. Ward rode HH Azur, Double H Farm and Francois Mathy’s 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare. Kraut rode Confu, St. Bride’s Farm’s 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding. And Hough rode Ohlala, the Ohlala Group’s 13-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare.

Ward and Hough rode clear rounds to lead Team USA, with Madden adding to the team points.

The team qualified for Saturday’s eight-team finals during a qualifying round on Thursday. Canada went into the finals as the top qualifier, with the U.S. tied with the Netherlands, France and defending champion Germany for second place.

Gary R. Blockus is a journalist from Allentown, Pennsylvania who has covered multiple Olympic Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.