With double clear rounds from the three first riders on the Dutch team - Harrie Smolders with Emerald (Diamant de Semilly x Carthago), Maikel van der Vleuten with VDL Groep Verdi TN N.O.P. (Quidam de Revel x Landgraf) and Leopold van Asten with VDL Groep Zidane (Heartbreaker x Calando I) - their fourth rider Gerco Schröder didn't even have to enter the ring in Falsterbo for the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup this afternoon.
It turned out to be a very exciting Nations Cup with the Netherlands and Germany being on top with a clean sheet after the first round, with Sweden and Switzerland tied in third with four penalties. Spain had five penalties, United States nine, Great Britain 16 and Poland 25 going in to the second round.
The excitement started straight away in the second round with Switzerland's Romain Duguet on Quorida de Treho (Kannan x Tolbiac Des Forets) and Peder Fredricson with H&M All In being clear while Germany's first rider Marcus Ehning and Comme Il Faut 5 (Cornet Obolensky x Ramiro) got a fault on the a-element on the triple combination while Netherland's Harrie Smolders with Emerald delivered another clear round. Spain, United States, Great Britain and Poland couldn't do much to reach the podium so it was all about Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland.
The second rider for Switzerland - Pius Schwizer with Giovanni van Het Scheefkasteel (Darco x Perhaps van het Molenvondel) - got four faults, and Douglas Lindelöw on Casello (Casall x Carolus I) got five while Germany's Janne Friederike Meyer with Goja 27 (Wandor van de Mispelaere x Palestro vd Begijnakker) and Netherland's Maikel van der Vleuten produced clear rounds. It would totally be up to the two last rider of these teams to battle it down.
Sweden's Helena Persson and Bonzai H (Baloubet du Rouet x Caletto II) produced a clear while Switzerland's Janika Sprunger had to settle for four faults riding Bonne Chance Cw (Baloubet du Rouet x Cambridge). Germany's Mario Stevens with Brooklyn 17 (Baloub du Rouet x Arpeggio) put up the pressure with a beautiful clear as did Leopold van Asten for the Netherlands.
This meant that it was all up to Germany's last rider - Patrick Stühlmeyer with Lacan 2 (Lando x Contender). If he would be clear Germany would go into a jump-off against the Netherlands, and if he would have faults the Netherlands would win and Germany would be second.
The last rider for Switzerland - Martin Fuchs with Clooney 51 (Cornet Obolensky x Ferragamo) decided not to jump as he couldn't change the result of his team. Then it was time for Sweden's Henrik von Eckermann with Cantinero (Cento x Cash) - a clear round would lead to a second place and with faults Sweden and Switzerland would share the third place. Henrik kept his cool, doing a great clear for the home crowds to explode and then all eyes were on Patrick Stühlmeyer. When Patrick and Lacan 2 got a fault in the middle of the triple combination the Dutch guys could celebrate a fantastic win, while Germany had to share the second place with Sweden.
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