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Dutch win in FEI Nations Cup in Falsterbo after thrilling three-team jump-off

Friday, 14 July 2017
CSIO5* Falsterbo Horse Show 2017

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
The winning team! Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

After a very exciting FEI Nations Cup in Falsterbo, it was the Dutch team that could climb to the top of the podium in the 6th leg of Europe Division 1. The class turned out to be as good as it can get, with three teams heading into the jump-off and thrills and spills to the very last rider in the ring. 

“It always gives a special feeling here in Falsterbo and we really like it here – the riders always like to come here,” said Dutch Chef d’Equipe Rob Ehrens after the victory was secured. “And it is a really good feeling to win; we needed the points as the pressure is high. I had three very young riders on the team this time, and this gives me a great feeling looking into the future.”

The course – build by Frank Rothenberger (GER) and Christian Wiegand (GER) – consisted of twelve fences with a triple combination at 8, open water at 10 and a combination at 11. In the first round it was the combination on a bend line after the open water that caused most problems, but still as many as 14 jumped clear rounds.

With Ireland having their first three riders clear – Shane Sweetnam with Chaqui Z (Chacco-Blue x Quinar Z), Cian O’Connor with Callisto (Quasimodo Z x Jokinal de Bornival) and Mark McAuley with Miebello (Flyinge Quite Easy 958 x Cardento 933) – anchor rider Denis Lynch with All Star 5 (Argentinus x Alme) did not even have to enter the ring in round one.

After the first round, Ireland and Netherlands – with a team consisting of Ruben Romp with Audi’s Teavanta II C Z (Treasure x Ahorn), Aniek Poels with Athene (Berlin x Numero Uno), Michel Hendrix with Baileys (Indoctro x Come On) and Jur Vrieling with Vdl Glasgow v Merelsnest (Nabab de Reve x Darco) – were on a clean sheet, while Germany, Sweden and USA were sitting on four faults, Italy on five faults, Switzerland on 12 faults and Norway on 16 faults. 

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Jur Vrieling is on fire in Falsterbo and secured the win for the Dutch team.

For the second round four fences were made a bit higher and among them the last one, that caused quite some faults. For the rest the mistakes were spread out more in the second round than in the first. 

Norway had to add another 14 faults in the second round ending last, while Switzerland added eight faults to settle for 7th place. Sweden and USA couldn’t quite keep it up, and both team added eight faults in the second round to share the 5th place. Italy did a great job in the second round with two riders being clear – Luca Marziani and Emilio Bicocchi – ending the second round with four faults taking the 4th place. 

It was all down to the anchor riders on the three last teams. When Janne-Friederike Meyer-Zimmermann entered the big grass ring in Falsterbo for Germany with Goja 27 (Wandor van de Mispelaere x Palestro vd Begijnakker) her teammates Andre Thieme with Conthendrix (Contendro x Cor de la Bryer) had four faults, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum with Daisy (Excenel V x Timeless) was clear for the second time around as was her husband Markus Beerbaum with Comanche 28 (Coupe de Coeur 2 x Baloubet du Rouet). So it was all up to Meyer-Zimmermann, and when she stood up to the pressure and delivered a clear round it was up to Ireland and Netherlands to produce clears to secure a jump-off. 

Both Denis Lynch with All Star 5 and Jur Vrieling with Vdl Glasgow v. Merlsnest did just that and gave the audience an extra treat with a three-team jump-off. 

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Markus Beerbaum with Comanche.

One rider from the three teams prepared for the jump-off and when Markus Beerbaum, who was first out in the jump-off for Germany, did a fast clear in 47.80 seconds he put a lot of pressure on the two to come. Next out was Denis Lynch, who did a very short turn to the combination – the previous triple combination at no. eight – and had to see the a-element fall to the ground. 

Last out was Jur Vrieling for the Netherlands, who has been on fantastic form so far in Falsterbo. Vrieling opted for the same short turn to the combination as Lynch, but left all poles up – crossing the finish line in 46.35 seconds, securing the win for the Dutch team. 

“This was very exciting and it was very close,” said Rob Ehrens after the jump-off. “With three countries for the jump-off, I chose Jur because he is the most experienced rider and the horse just got out of the ring so he was nice and warm and he just had to make one jump before the jump-off. Jur is a quick rider; this we already saw the last days. He already had two victories here and it worked out well now as well!”

Ehrens got the question if any of the riders on the team in Falsterbo can be seen at the Europeans later this summer, and replied laughing: “For the moment it is only one person that is sure, that is if he doesn’t die, and that is me. For the rest we have to see!”

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Denis Lynch did the jump-off for Ireland.


Text and photos (c) World of Showjumping.

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