WELLINGTON, Fa. — Four friends from New York teamed up to win the gold medal for the United States on Feb. 16 in international team competitions at the CSIO5* Longines FEI Nations Cup of the United States of America at the Palm Beach Masters Series®.

The U.S.’s winning CSIO Young Rider Nations Cup team consisted of Samantha Cohen, of New York City; Madison Goetzmann, of Skaneateles, N.Y.; Lauren Fischer, of Bedford Hills, N.Y. and Katherine Strauss of New York City. All four riders truly valued the opportunity that they were given at Deeridge Farms.

“We all know each other pretty well. Coming into this week, I think we had confidence not only in ourselves, but in each other,” said Goetzmann. “We’ve all had experience on a team, and each year we just gain more and more experience. I have to thank the Jacobs family for allowing us to come here and giving the younger kids a shot at the Nations Cup format.”

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 “This was such a fun event, [and] I am so thankful to the Jacobs Family for putting it on,” added Strauss. “We are all friends, and we have all competed on teams before, so it’s even more exciting to have this moment and this win with your friends. I think we all aspire to compete on the Senior team one day, so to have this experience is unparalleled.”

Fischer agreed. “I think it’s really amazing to be on a team with such great riders and have such a great coach to show us the ropes. I think one day in the future, the four of us will be sitting in the same situation, but on a senior team,” said Fischer. “I’m calling it now!”

 “I am so thankful to represent the U.S. alongside my three amazing teammates,” said Cohen. “I am so thankful to the Jacobs family for putting on this amazing event. For us to be able to compete alongside the Senior team and the Children’s and Junior teams is an unforgettable experience for me.”

Teams from the United States won all three divisions — Young Riders, Juniors and Children’s — but U.S. Young Rider Chef d’Equipe Anne Kursinski believed the format proved invaluable for all the riders.

“The best thing about this event is that these riders, from all the nations competing today, are the future of our sport,” said Kursinski. “In Europe, there are Nations Cup competitions for Children, Juniors and Young Riders, but we don’t get that in this country. So, for these kids to have an event like this to ride for their country and really feel it, there’s just nothing like it. It’s an amazing experience, and I am so thankful that the Jacobs family put in on here.”

Further information on the Palm Beach Masters Series is available www.palmbeachmasters.com.

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