Zazou Hoffman earns electrifying first World Cup win in Del Mar

When Zazou Hoffman (USA) was asked whether the Longines watch that sat before her was her first, her initial response was a dead giveaway: “I get to keep the watch?”

Hoffman, 26, topped the $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Del Mar with Samson II, besting a compact yet furiously competitive jump-off field of four. Jumping cleanly over Marina Azevdeo’s (BRA) jump-off track, the duo crossed the timers in 41.68 seconds. Olympians Eduardo Menezes (BRA) and Quintol finished second as the leadoff pair (42.64), while Georgina Bloomberg (USA) and Chameur (44.73) were third. Last to go, Nicole Shahinian-Simpson (USA) and Akuna Mattata posted the winning time (41.15) but fell to fourth after they pulled the rail at the final fence.

"Tonight was super exciting for me. I have a lot of amazing things to say about my horse and how lucky I am to have him. In the jump-off, he was incredible! Everything came up kind of just by moving forward"

Zazou Hoffman (USA)

Clear rounds were hard to come by in the first round. In fact, the first faultless performance did not come until Menezes and Quintol jumped at 22nd in the order. The pair, veterans of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games  used their experience to their advantage and put the pressure on when first to go in the jump-off, and Hoffman formulated her plan based off their smooth execution. She followed up Menezes’ round with a confident, flowing ride of her own, which was highlighted by a tidy turn back to the jump-off’s third fence and a bold, time-shaving angle to the wall that came two fences later.  

“I think I based my plan off of watching Eduardo,” she said. “I hadn’t really considered how fast or not I was going to go. After watching him, I realized I was going to have to be quite quick. I’ve ridden a lot of jump-offs this year on Samson with 4 faults, and I know that I can trust him and go fast, but it’s just that fine line of risking too much. I did one extra stride than Eduardo to first line, and then my turn backs were quite tight. I took a little bit of a risk to the wall, and that’s where I think I saved a little bit of time.”

Commuting Coasts

After earning 12 points in Vancouver, Hoffman skyrocketed to the top of the west coast sub league standings of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League with her win under the lights in Del Mar; she has 32 points through three legs. Eve Jobs (USA) sits second with 31 points, and Uma O’Neill (USA), winner of Vancouver’s qualifier, is third with 24 points.

Bloomberg, meanwhile, moved into second in the east coast sub league standings. She has 28 points, one behind leader Molly Ashe Cawley (USA), who won New York’s qualifier. Bloomberg is six points ahead of Mattias Tromp (USA), who sits in third with 22 points.

Bloomberg, a New York native, migrated west specifically for the World Cup competition. 

“I had shown out here a couple years ago, and I’ve loved being out here,” she said. “It’s fun to be in a different environment with different people and a great crowd. We always jump at the opportunity to come out here and show, but part of it is also that my goal is really to qualify for World Cup Finals now that I have the right horse.”

The North American League continues in Washington, D.C. (USA), on 27 October 2018.



1. Samson II, Zazou Hoffman (USA) 0/0 41.68

2. Quintol, Eduardo Menezes (BRA) 0/0 42.64

3. Chameur, Georgina Bloomberg (USA) 0/0 44.73

4. Akuna Mattata, Nicole Shahinian-Simpson (USA) 0/0 41.15

5. Clarinius, Francie Nilforushan (USA) 1 79.60

6. Quirado RC, Richard Spooner (USA) 4 72.77

7. Hooverphinc Odeveld, Lane Clarke (AU) 4 73.62

8. Luebbo, Jamie Barge (USA) 4 73.99

9. Pumped Up Kicks, Jennifer Gates (USA) 4 74.16

10. Venue d’Fees des Hazalles, Eve Jobs (USA) 4 74.37

Zazou Hoffman (USA) – 1st

“I’ve been riding Samson for two years now. We bought him maybe 3.5 years ago from Ilan Ferder for a client to be a Young Rider horse. The client ended up not riding so much, so I started riding him and bringing him back together. When things were looking good, Saree Kayne [of Woodacres Stables] stepped up and bought him for me to keep, which was really amazing. There was a little bit of a transition period just getting him back up to the level he was before, but he’s definitely a seasoned horse. I’m lucky to have a horse with that experience.”

Eduardo Menezes (BRA) — 2nd

“I thought the class was perfect. It’s really important that we realize that this is a World Cup qualifier, and we have to qualify the right horse and rider combinations to [the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final]. I thought the course was fair for the level that it should be. They were great courses. I love this show. There’s always so much ambiance, and for me, it’s a home show. I’m from Brazil, but I’ve lived here [in San Diego] for a while.”

“I could stay the whole night here talking about my horse. I’m really happy that he’s back in top shape. He’s a super horse, and I’m lucky to ride him.”

Georgina Bloomberg (USA) — 3rd

“[Chameur] is a relatively new horse for me. This is actually my fourth show with him and our second time jumping off. We’re just getting to know each other. I’ve been really pleased with him and how far he’s come. It was a really nice surprise for him to go double-clear again.”

Standings: Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League — West Coast

1. Zazou Hoffman (USA) 32

2. Eve Jobs (USA) 31

3. Uma O’Neill (USA) 24

4. Richard Spooner (USA) 23

5. Eduardo Menezes (BRA) 21

5. Karrie Rufer (USA) 21

7. Eugenio Garza Perez (MEX) 20

8. Jamie Barge (USA) 20

9. Nicole Shahinian-Simpson (USA) 18

10. Carlos Hank Guerreiro (MEX) 17


Standings: Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League — East Coast

1. Molly Ashe Cawley (USA) 29

2. Georgina Bloomberg (USA) 28

3. Mattias Tromp (USA) 22

4. Wilhelm Genn (GER) 20

5. Margie Goldstein-Engle (USA) 20

6. Conor Swail (IRL) 17

6. Peter Lutz (USA) 17

8. Andrew Welles (USA) 15

9. Jennifer Gates (USA) 14

10. Lucy Davis (USA) 13

image: Zazou Hoffmann (USA) with Samson II conquer the Longines FEI Jumping World™ Cup Del Mar on Saturday 20 October 2018. (FEI/ Lindsey Long)