Phillip Steiner has ridden the round of his life this afternoon steering Cassina Dior to 32nd place in the opening round of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final in Omaha, Nebraska.

The Kiwi combo – the first to represent New Zealand at the prestigious final since 2015 – footed it with the best, with just a single rail down in the double to finish on 72.04 seconds in the 40-strong field.

He was absolutely rapt with the mare. “She was unbelievable. We haven’t been in that sort of environment before so I really proud of her. I had a gut feeling she would go well but warming up I just told myself to ride the ride and believe in her and it might happen . . . and it did.”

He felt the rail at the first of the second double was his own fault and he was full of admiration for Cassina Dior who had jumped out of the combination without taking the second fence. “I should have ridden that better. It was pretty amazing for her to jump out of that without knocking it (the second obstacle) down.”

All his preparation in talking to the likes of (Australian Olympian) Chris Chugg and others had certainly paid dividends. Phillip hoped his efforts would pave the way for other Kiwis keen to represent New Zealand on the world stage.

The course called for tight turns and brave lines from those wishing to finish at the top of the pack. It has created a pressure cooker environment for tomorrow’s round where combinations will carry through ranking points from today’s speed round where each rail down added three seconds to times.

World no.1 Henrik von Eckermann (SWE) and King Edward saved the best for last. He rode the most brilliant of rounds to take the lead on 59.09 seconds. “It was a good start,” said Henrik. “I have the best position and that is what I like because I don’t have to hunt anyone.”

Scott Brash (GBR) and Hello Jefferson are in second on 59.23, with Daniel Deusser (GER) on Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z in third on 59.45.


Below is the timetable for the competitions this week, live streaming available via FEI.TV


Omaha Time

NZ Time


Jumping Final 2

Thursday 7.15pm

Friday 12.15pm

All start except those retired or eliminated in round 1

Jumping Final 3

Saturday 6.15pm

Sunday 11.15am

Top 30 in first round of final, top 20 in second round

By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos by Christine Cornege Photography