Springsteen, US team qualify for equestrian jumping final

Aug 6, 2021, 7:15 AM | Updated: 10:10 pm
United States' Jessica Springsteen, riding Don Juan van de Donkhoeve, competes during the equestria...

United States' Jessica Springsteen, riding Don Juan van de Donkhoeve, competes during the equestrian jumping team qualifying at Equestrian Park in Tokyo at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, Aug. 6, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

TOKYO (AP) — Jessica Springsteen and the U.S. equestrian jumping team earned an encore performance in qualifying Friday night.

Springsteen and gold medal-winning teammates Laura Kraut and McClain Ward secured a spot in Saturday night’s team jumping final with a trio of nearly perfect trips around the Equestrian Park course. Their combined 13 penalty points ranked fifth of 19 entrants — the top 10 advanced to the medal round.

Springsteen is the daughter of famed rocker Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band wife, Patti Scialfa. The 29-year-old — ranked 14th in the world — failed to make the individual jumping finals in her Olympic debut this week but came back with a strong ride Friday. Her horse, Don Juan van de Donkhoeve, clipped a rail on the 13th of 14 obstacles, the only flaw on an otherwise impressive jaunt.

“Jessie’s brilliant,” said Ward, a gold medalist in 2008 along with Kraut. “The horse is brilliant. She’s had actually a little bit of bad luck. Her horse jumps phenomenal, and I think will deliver a clear tomorrow.”

Springsteen is hardly the first rider with a famous parent to break through in the notoriously costly sport — most notably, Princess Anne represented Britain in the eventing competition at the 1976 Montreal Games.

But the spotlight has been bright on Springsteen this week, even though she’s making just her first championship appearance in a field full of decorated riders.

About a half dozen members of the Bruce Springsteen Japan Facebook group gathered outside the locked equestrian stadium last week to offer support. Back home, nearly all the mainstreem coverage for equestrian has focused on her, and she’s drawn by far the most attention from reporters in interview areas this week.

Springsteen said it’s been easy to tune out the interest once her and Don are saddled up.

“For me, one thing about riding I’ve always loved, well first my love for the horse, but when I’m in the ring and the bell goes off, I’m completely, 100% focused on that,” she said. “So any outside pressures or anything else going on really kind of just fades away and I’m really in that moment.”

Springsteen learned to ride on a family farm in Colts Neck, New Jersey, first showing an interest when her mother started taking lessons.

“She was like my first riding idol,” Springsteen said. “I used to watch her jump being like, ‘Oh my God, she’s jumping so big. I’m never going to be able to do that.'”

The farm also has Western horses, and trail rides through the woods are a regular hobby for the whole family. The group was barred from traveling to Japan to watch Jessica Springsteen in person due to the coronavirus, but the U.S. rider said they’ve been watching from New Jersey and sending photos of themselves in Team USA gear.

“I’ve been so grateful that my parents have supported me throughout my career,” she said. “They’ve been on this journey for me. It’s been like a huge dream for them as well, so I’m just really happy that I can make them proud.”

Sweden was the only country to complete qualifying without any penalties and will try Saturday for its first medal in the event since a silver in 2004. The defending champion French also qualified, as did traditional jumping standouts Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Britain.

___

Follow Jake Seiner: https://twitter.com/Jake_Seiner

___

More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Yacht owned by sanctioned Russian tycoon docks in Hong Kong

HONG KONG (AP) — A superyacht connected to Russian tycoon Alexey Mordashov has anchored in Hong Kong this week amid moves by Western governments to seize yachts connected to sanctioned Russian businessmen. The megayacht Nord, worth over $500 million, arrived in Hong Kong on Wednesday afternoon after traveling for over a week from Vladivostok, Russia, […]
23 hours ago
Associated Press

NC Senate candidates to meet in likely only televised debate

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The two major-party candidates seeking to succeed retiring North Carolina Republican Sen. Richard Burr are meeting for what is likely their only televised debate. Democrat Cheri Beasley and Republican Ted Budd agreed to a one-hour debate being held Friday night at a cable television studio in Raleigh. Budd is a three-term […]
23 hours ago
Jordan Cromer cleans water-logged items at his home, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in North Port, Fla. Res...
Associated Press

Hurricane Ian floods leave mess, insurance questions behind

NORTH PORT, Fla. (AP) — Christine Barrett was inside her family’s North Port home during Hurricane Ian when one of her children started yelling that water was coming up from the shower. Then it started coming in from outside the house. Eventually the family was forced to climb on top of their kitchen cabinets — […]
23 hours ago
Attorney Chris Mattei displays a video during his closing statements in the Alex Jones Sandy Hook d...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: Jurors weigh cost of Alex Jones’ Sandy Hook lies

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) — For a decade, the parents and siblings of people killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting have been tormented and harassed by people who believe the mass shooting was a hoax. How do you put a price tag on their suffering? That’s part of the task faced by a Connecticut […]
23 hours ago
FILE - Suffolk County Congressman Lee Zeldin listens as he prepares to participate in New York's Re...
Associated Press

GOP steps up crime message in midterm’s final stretch

NEW YORK (AP) — The graphic surveillance video shows a man on a sidewalk suddenly punching someone in the head, knocking them to the ground. With muted screams and gunshots in the background, the video stitches together other surveillance clips of shootings and punching on streets and subway trains as a voiceover says, “You’re looking […]
23 hours ago
Javier Diaz poses for a photo next to his home that was destroyed by Hurricane Ian in La Coloma, in...
Associated Press

10 days later, Cubans still recovering from Hurricane Ian

LA COLOMA, Cuba (AP) — Soldiers fix roofs and raise power poles under a blazing sun, while teachers salvage wet school books and residents cook over wood fires in La Coloma, a fishing and industrial town on Cuba’s coast that took the brunt of Hurricane Ian. Ten days after the storm left still unquantified devastation […]
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Springsteen, US team qualify for equestrian jumping final