The flying Dutchmen dominate FEI Nations Cup Jumping
FEI Nations Cup Jumping by Louise Parkes
The World and European champions from The Netherlands threw down a stunning performance to win the fifth leg of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Europe Division 1 League in Rotterdam (NED). And it was a particularly satisfying result, because it was the first time since 2003 that they have reigned supreme on home ground. “It was thrilling!” said team-member Willem Greve after a double-clear performance with Carambole NOP that has confirmed them in the frontline for selection for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Only a few short weeks away now, the Olympics are on everyone’s minds, and there was plenty of tension in the air during the first half of the competition. But the home runners kept their cool to go out in front on a zero score and they never looked back. “We were firm and focused” said Greve afterwards, and that was exactly how it seemed as they had the luxury of watching the Swiss overcome the Germans in the battle for runner-up spot.
Brilliant rides from Malin Baryard-Johnsson and Peder Fredricson helped secure fourth spot for Sweden, while USA, Belgium, France and Great Britain filled the remaining places.
FEI Nations Cup Jumping: Clever test
Dutch course designer, Louis Konickx, presented a clever test in the oddly-shaped Rotterdam ring which is much wider at one end. “It was more tricky than we thought when we walked it, not the biggest course we ever jumped but there were some technical lines. After the triple combination there was a long line to the difficult oxer with water under it, and the spread was wide there – it wasn’t that easy to go clear”, explained Dutch anchorman Maikel van der Vleuten.
However three of the four Dutch team-members returned fault-free at their first attempt, while pathfinders Harrie Smolders and the chestnut stallion Emerald NOP picked up only a single time fault when exceeding the 79 seconds time-allowed. In all there were 10 clears in the first round, and with just four faults apiece the Swiss and German sides were on level pegging at the halfway stage, with the Swedes next in line with nine faults on the board.
The British came to Rotterdam on a high after their victory in Rome (ITA) four weeks ago but were already out of touch when sharing a 12-fault tally with the French at the halfway point. Things deteriorated even further in the second round for both sides who plummeted down the leaderboard with big scores to add. The Americans and Belgians on the other hand dramatically improved when posting zero second-round scores, but it was too late to affect the final result.
Results for FEI Nations Cup Jumping:
1. Netherlands 0 faults: Emerald NOP (Harrie Smolders) 1/0, VDL Sirocco Blue NOP (Jur Vrieling) 0/0, Garambole NOP (Willem Greve) 0/0, VDL Groep Verdi TN NOP (Maikel van der Vleuten) 0/DNS
2. Switzerland 4 faults: Bonne Chance CW (Janika Springer) 4/0, Clooney (Martin Fuchs) 0/0, Castlefield Eclipse (Paul Estermann) 19/4, Nino des Buissonnets (Steve Guerdat) 0/0.
3. Germany 8 faults: Balermo (Marco Kutcher) 4/12, Equita van T Zorgvlist (Daniel Deusser) 9/0, Funky Fred (Marcus Ehning) 0/0, Casello (Ludger Beerbaum) 0/4.
4. Sweden 13 faults: Yajamila (Henrik Von Eckermann) 8/4, H&M Cue Channa 42 (Malin Baryard-Johnsson) 1/0, Romane du Theil (Charlotte Mordasini) 8/4, H&M All In (Peder Fredricson) 0/0.
5. USA 16 faults: Voyeur (Kent Farrington) 4/0, VDL Wizard (Callan Solem) 9/8, Zeremonie (Laura Kraut) 4/0, Cortes C (Beezie Madden) 8/0.
6. Belgium 21 faults: H&M Legend of Love (Olivier Philippaerts) 9/0, Gautcho da Quinta (Catherine Van Roosbroeck) 4/0, As Cold as Ice Z (Judy-Ann elchior) 8/0, Algorhythem (Gregory Wathelet) 13/DNS.
7. France 28 faults: Qlassic Bois Margot (Simon Delestre) 8/12, Reveur de Hurtebise HDC (Kevin Staut) 4/4, Orient Express HDC (Patrice Delaveau) 8/16, Flora de Mariposa (Penelope Leprevost) 0/0.
8. Great Britain 32 faults: Tic Tac (Ben Maher) 0/4, Spirit T (Jessica Mendoza) 4/9, Catwalk IV (Robert Whitaker) 8/8, Utamaro D’Ecaussines (Joe Clee) 16/17.
Full result here