A week ago Team Ukraine had to settle for runner-up spot at the opening leg of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Europe Division 2 in Linz where Poland came out on top. On Friday however the tables were turned with victory at the new venue in Celje where they pinned Spain into second while Austria finished third.
The 2016 Europe Division 2 series is revealing some exciting new talent, and Luxembourg’s Christian Weier and the stallion Global were amongst the five impressive horse-and-rider partnerships to produce a double-clear performance to help his team slot into fourth place. Maria Madenova did likewise as Russia clinched joint-fifth along with Hungary, while Omer Karaevli’s double clear played a key role in the seventh-place share for the three-member Turkish side who finished on the same score as Portugal.
With 12 nations in action it was Croatia, Lithuania and the host nation that joined Team Poland on the sidelines when only the top eight countries progressed into the second round. Ludiczak Krzysztof was the only remaining member of last week’s winning Polish side, and this time around his country’s first-round scoreline of 21 faults was never going to make the cut.
Russia, Hungary and Luxembourg were all sharing fifth place on 12 faults as round two began with Turkey already trailing with 16 on the board. But the real battle would be played out between the three leading nations.
The third-placed Spanish looked vulnerable when both Manuel Fernandez Saro on Coreall and Pilar Cordon on Goriana van Klapscheut double-faulted. But Gerardo Menendez and Cassino DC were double-clear while Eduardo Alvarez Aznar and Chatman added nothing to their first-round total of one time fault, so just one of the eight-fault results had to be counted to leave them on a final tally of nine.
Austria’s Gerfried Puck made a mistake first time out, so although he returned an eight-fault score with Bionda at his second attempt his team still looked strong when Christian Rhomberg and Saphyr des Lacs produced a double-clear. But two mistakes from third-line rider Roland Englbrecht and Mevisto’s Poorboy proved costly, because that meant that Max Kuhner’s single error with Cielito Lindo had to be taken into account for a final tally of 12 faults which dropped them below the Spanish.
There were few mistakes from the Ukrainian side however, team owner Oleksndr Onyshchenko producing the only blot on their first-round copybook with a single time fault in round one with Calcourt Falklund which provided their discount score. And when pathfinder Rene Tebbel on Cooper and third-line rider Ferenc Szentirmai on Chadino both remained fault-free second time out, then their tally of five faults could not be bettered. It was a convincing victory as anchorman, Ulrich Kirchhoff, didn’t have to return to the ring with Gabbiano.
Chef d’Equipe, Najib Chami, was delighted. “I’m really happy for the result, you can’t get better than first place!” he said. “Our preparation is primarily towards the Olympic Games, and working step-by-step towards qualifying for the Nations Cup Final in Barcelona. We are going to Odense next week and we will see how it goes.” he explained.
Oleksandr Onyshchenko, described himself as “only an amateur rider in this professional team! I’m very happy with the result today. With the riders we have in the team, there is a lot of success to be had.....and the secret to success is not only keeping the horses happy, but the riders as well!” he pointed out.
Source: Press release from FEI written by Louise Parkes // Picture © FEI/Sibil Slejko.
This photo has been added to your cart !Your shopping cart »