After two days of showjumping at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, the Netherlands have taken the lead in the team competition while Patrice Delaveau has climbed up to top the individual standings. It was a tough day of competition in Normandy, that saw the Dutch riders bring out their very best with three out of their four riders going clear – and Patrice Delaveau showing he has nerves made of steel as he produced another clear round aboard Orient Express HDC.
Today’s round was the first part of the team competition, but the teams all carried their faults from yesterday’s speed leg with them. The Dutch team opened the competition in fifth position on a penalty score of 4.83, and when they were done jumping nothing has changed about their score. This was not the case for their competitors though, who had to see the Netherlands climb upwards and pass them on the score board.
It started with Jeroen Dubbeldam doing his second clear of the week on Zenith SFN ( Rash R x Fuego du Prelet). The 10 year old gelding is relatively inexperienced at this level, and has never jumped an international championship before. Still, he made light work of the tricky thirteen fence track set today – much thanks to his skilful rider who has plenty of championship experience, including an Olympic gold medal, under his belt. The second clear was set by Maikel van der Vleuten and VDL Groep Verdi TN N.O.P. (Quidam de Revel x Landgraf I), by now almost to count as veterans on the Dutch team despite Maikel’s young age. And when Jur Vrieling and VDL Groep Bubalu (Baloubet du Rouet x Nimmerdor) did not have their best day to have two poles down, Gerco Schröder and Glock’s London N.O.P. (Nabab de Reve x Chin Chin) saved the day to ride their second clean round of the championship.
It looked like it would be Germany that would take the lead today though. However, Ludger Beerbaum and Chiara 222 (Contender x Coronado) surprisingly had the back pole on the Rolex oxer down which transformed their score to 8.82 rather than 4.82 as it would have been if Beerbaum had ridden a clear round. Both Marcus Ehning/Cornado NRW (Cornet Obolensky x Acobat) and Daniel Deusser/Cornet d’Amour (Cornet Obolensky x Daimiani) rode tremendous clear rounds though, following an opening four fault round from Christian Ahlmann on Codex One (Contendro I x Glueckspilz).
With their penalty score, Germany dropped down behind USA as well – who ranks as two going into tomorrow’s second and final team round. McLain Ward was pathfinder for the US team and rode a tremendous clear round on Rotchild (Artos x Elegent d’Elle). Then followed both Kent Farrington on Voyeur (Tolano van’t Riethof x Goodwill) and Lucy Davis on Barron (For Pleasure x Nabab de Reve) with four faults each, before their anchor woman Beezie Madden showed how to do it riding another fantastic clear on Cortes ‘C’ (Randel Z x Darco) – securing a final score of 8.72 penalties.
The French team has fallen down to rank four on a score of 10.08, while Brazil is rank five on a score of 12.95 penalties. These five teams were finally joined by Canada (14), Sweden (15.01), Ireland (18.51), Colombia (21.86) and Ukraine (22.98) to make the total number of nations ten in tomorrow’s team final.
Individually Patrice Delaveau defended the French colours in Normandy with another incredible performance. Seemingly undisturbed by the very loud French crowd – who lives with Patrice over his every jump – Patrice nailed another clear on the lovely Orient Express HDC. With his performance Patrice took over pole position from yesterday’s winner Bertram Allen who today had one fence down. Just 0.08 penalties behind Delaveau follows Madden, while Rolf-Göran Bengtsson has climbed up to third as the only Swedish rider with a clear round today aboard Casall Ask (Caretino x Lavall I). Bengtsson is another 0.18 penalties behind Madden. It is extremely tight on top with less than a fence separating the top ten riders.
It was plenty of twists and turns in today’s competition as well. Countries such as Great Britain – reigning Olympic and European Champions – misses out on tomorrow’s team final, as does Belgium – a team that has been very strong this season winning the Nations Cups in Rome and Aachen. The same goes for Switzerland.
Top five teams;
Netherlands – 4.83
USA – 8.72
Germany – 8.82
France – 10.08
Brazil – 12.95
Top five individuals;
Patrice Delaveau (FRA)/ Orient Express HDC – 0.08
Beezie Madden (USA)/ Cortes C – 0.16
Rolf-Goran Bengtsson (SWE)/ Casall Ask – 0.34
Daniel Deusser (GER)/ Cornet D’Amour – 0.70
Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED)/ Zenith SFN – 1.25
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