The Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup in Falsterbo was a team competition full of clear rounds. The Swiss team emerged as winners after ending on a zero penalty score after three double clears delivered by Janika Sprunger with Bonne Chance CW (Baloubet du Rouet x Cambridge), Werner Muff with Pollendr (Polytraum x Corrado) and Paul Estermann with Castlefield Eclipse (Obos Quality x Furisto). Their anchor rider Romain Duguet with Quorida de Treho (Kannan x Tolbiac des Forets) had an easy day at work as he did not have to jump the first round, and just did a few jumps in the second round before he retired.
It was a happy team at the press conference after the class. Janika Sprunger, who was first to go for the Swiss team commented: "Of course we were hoping to win, but you can never expect it. It was very strong teams today, but in the end our horses jumped great and we had a good team spirit. We knew we had a really good fourth rider - even though he didn't have to do that much today. He just went in for the second round to make a few jumps to be ready in case of a jump-off. This was actually my first NationsCcup victory and to make it here in Falsterbo was even better, since this show is special to me."
Romain Duguet had an easy day at work: "I'm really happy - so tired after my hard work today," he said laughing.
The home team Sweden delivered four clear rounds in the first part of the competition, but after ending the round two with four faults they had to settle for the runner-up position today. With Malin Baryard-Johnsson and H&M Cue Channa 42 (Cardento x Robin Z) almost falling between fence 10 and 11 they miraculously cleared fence 11, but on the last fence the pole fell instead. Henrik von Eckermann with Yajamila (Lux Z x Daimler) finished with four faults, and left the pressure on Rolf-Göran Bengtsson with Unita Ask (Corrado I x Caretino) and Peder Fredricson with H&M All In (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Andiamo Z). Both riders stepped up to the challenge though, and secured the second place for Sweden.
Three teams finished tied for third after ending both rounds on eight faults: Great Britain, Brazil and Netherlands. Ireland and Germany ended on 13 faults each and Czech Republic ended on 30 faults.
With seventeen clears in the first round and eighteen in the second, there was not too much tension in the competition. Eleven riders produced double clears: Tim Wilks with Quelbora Merze (Tarzan de Beaulieu x If de Merze) for Great Britain, Gerco Schröder with Glock's London N.O.P. (Nabab de Reve x Chin Chin) for Netherlands, Stephan de Freitas Barcha with Landpeter Do Feroleto (Landritter x Wangmix) and Doda de Miranda with AD Cornetto K (Cornet Obolensky x ) for Brazil, Anthony Condon with Aristio (Arko III x ) for Ireland and Andre Thieme with Conthendrix (Contendro I x Calido) for Germany. Janne Friederike Meyer with Goja 27 (Wandor van de Mispelaere x Palestro vd Begijnakker) almost jumped a double clear too, but a time fault in the second round stood in their way.
Switzerland are now looking forward to the Olympics in Rio and a happy Chef d'Equipe Andy Kistler said this after the victory: "I'm also very happy and proud of the team, also with the parts of the team that are not sitting here. We all are looking forward to Rio and this was a good show on our way. We will have a meeting on Monday, but we will technically decide after Aachen. It is five riders going and we gave these five riders trust early in the season. They knew that if nothing special happens they will go to Rio. I think it is important to know quite early."
It was many clear rounds today and the course designer Guilherme Jorge explained it like this: "I'm very happy that the horses jumped as well as they did today. That says a lot about the condition of the facilities and the showground here. It surprised not only me that we had so many clear rounds in both rounds. Fortunately in the Nations Cup we can make some adjustments to the second round so I went wider and went up. I wish I had started there since the horses really showed their strength today. But I also had in mind that everybody here are prospects for the Olympics and it was my goal to help getting the horses ready for Rio. I think it was fantastic jumping."
Text and picture © World of Showjumping / Jenny Abrahamsson
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