The second last leg of the 2011 Nations Cup was won by the British team after the second jump off this season. The riders were presented with an easier course than many of the others we've seen this year, but the poles still fell spread evenly around the grass in Dublin.
France had a great start with three clears and in the lead after the first round. The clears were produced by Penelope Leprevost/Mylord Carthago(Carthago x Jalisco B), Patrice Delaveau/Orient Express (Quick Star x Le Tot de Semilly and the veteran, Michel Robert aboard Kellemoi de Pepita Voltaire x Jalme des Mesnuls). Kevin Staut was supposed to be the last rider on the French team, but his horse got lame earlier in the day and he was replaced with Roger Yves Bost and Nippon d'Elle(Sherif d' Elle x Narcos II) who had one pole down.
Ireland had a total of four faults and were second after the first round. Both Shane Sweetnam and Billy Twomey were clear while Denis Lynch and Nicola Fitzgibbon had one down. Denis also had one time fault aboard All Inclusive NRW (Arpeggio x Phantom). Belgium and USA are fighting to avoid relegation. After the first round Belgium had a total of eight penalties on third place. USA were number six on twelve faults with Lauren Hough as the only clear rider as both Laura Kraut and Christine McCrea had two poles down and Beezie Madden had one.
Germany and Great Britain shared the third position with Belgium on eight faults, while Holland at seventh place had 17 faults and Denmark was once again last on 28.
Standings after the first round;
Great Britain 8
Half way through the second round Ireland had two clears from Shane Sweetnam and the young and talented Nicola Fitzgibbon. France had two riders on four faults and it looked like the fight for the victory would be a battle between the home team and a French team chasing their first victory this season.
USA came even closer to sealing their faith as being a part of the Promotional League next year as McCrea had four faults and Hough ended up with ten. Belgium on the other hand proved why they are already qualified for the Olympics as Philippe Le Jeune and Jos Lansink both had beautiful rounds on two of the best horses in the world - both by Nabab de Reve - Vigo d'Arsouilles and Cavalor Valentina van t Heike.
Great Britian chased France and Ireland with two clears, while the German team dropped a couple of places as Philipp Weishaupt had eight and Hans-Dieter Dreher twelve faults. Both Leon Thijssen and Piet Raijmakers Jr had four faults each for Holland, and Denmark had Christian Schou on four faults and Cecilie Tofte retired after her horse jumped through an oxer.
The last two Danish riders did a good job. Emilie Martinsen had eight faults and Camilla Enemark a clear round for Denmark with Regino (Animo x Rebel II Z). Despite the good riding the Danish team ended up as number eight. Holland ended up at seventh place at a total of 25 faults while Germany had 24 faults on sixth and USA secured the fifth place on 16 faults.
Great Britain kept up the chase and had three clears in the second round. When Denis Lynch had another pole down on All Inclusive, Billy Twomey could still secure the win for the home team, but then Tinka's Serenade dropped her legs in an oxer and the excitement was back on. Michel Robert could secure a place in the jump off for France, but also Robert had one pole down and sent France down to a third place on twelve faults together with Belgium.
Nick Skelton and Carlo (by Contender) were first to go in the jump off. With their third clear round of the day the pressure was on for Billy Twomey. Unfortunately for the home crowd Tinka's Serenade was not at her best today, and a pole fell which ment British victory and second place for Ireland.
Great Britain 8 (0)
Ireland 8 (4)
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