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After an exciting day in Madrid that brought plenty of challenges for the riders, championships specialists Carsten-Otto Nagel and Corradina took the lead individually – while Holland showed their best to take the stop spot ahead of tomorrow’s team final. The first half of the competition had few highlights and saw a lot of faults, and it was only one rider that delivered the goods; Norway’s Nina Braaten on Blue Loyd 12 (Landor S x Hadj A) rode a great and brave clear round and could lift her hands in the air in happiness when crossing the finish line. Luciana Diniz and Winningmood (Darco x Cassini) had the vertical at 12a down – a faith that they shared with plenty of the other riders.
The course proved challenging. Several riders faulted on the water that followed on a line from an oxer at fence eight, and the combination at 12a and b following on a line from a triple bar at fence eleven also caused difficulties. Marco Kutscher, Michel Robert, yesterday’s runner-up Beat Mändli, Denis Lynch, Kevin Staut and Ludger Beerbaum were all among the riders who had faults in of these two parts of the course.
Nick Skelton and his lovely grey Holsteiner gelding Carlo (Contender x Cascavelle) produced the first clear in the second part of the competition. Carlo jumped amazing, and the total score for the British pair is now 1.04 – which makes them third on the individual standing. Eric van der Vleuten and VDL Groep Utascha SFN (Lux Z x Indoctro) also posted a great clear – although the mare touched the triple bar, and now have a total score of 5.59 penalties.
Belgium’s Greogry Wathelet was the next to go clear on Copin van de Broy (Darco x Brownboy). With 1.53 as their overall score so far they are in fourth position. Maikel van der Vleuten was unlucky for Holland when VDL Groep Verdi had a foot in the water and then the last vertical down.
Corradina (Corrado I x Sandro) is a true championship horse, and today she shone with her brilliant rider Carsten-Otto Nagel. They made the course look like a walk in the park, never once losing their grip around the thirteen track fence. In the end the German pair took over the lead from yesterday’s leader Olivier Guillon who had a silly mistake on the wall to end up with four faults.
Eurocommerce New Orleans (Colbert x Carthago) continued jumping well, and Gerco Schröder brought the grey gelding into a lovely rhythm that was kept intact for the entire course to cross the finish line on a clean sheet. Gerco is now on 1.54 penalties overall, which brings him to fifth position. Janne-Friedrike Meyer’s Cellagon Lambrasco (Libero H x Coriolan) jumped like a clock and did not touch a fence, and they ended up on a zero score – which has brought them in to the eight position overall individually.
Billy Twomey made light work of the difficult line to the water, and on the not-so-easy chestnut mare Tinka’s Serenade (Tinka’s Boy x African Drum) he secured a clear round. Billy is now in runner-up position with a total of 0.95 penalties.
The last two of the total of nine clears came from Holland’s Jeroen Dubbeldam on BMC Van Grunsveen Simon (Mr. Blue x Polydox) and Rolf-Göran Bengtsson on Ninja La Silla (Guidam x Lys de Darmen). Both riders rode what must be considered the closest one can get to picture perfect rounds, with their horses jumping at their very best. Jeroen is now in seventh with 2.51 penalties over all, while Rolf is sixth with a total of 1.77.
Of the horses with fences down it should be mentioned that Cornet Obolensky, Gotha, Triple X, Vigo d’Arsouilles, Coupe de Coeur and Valentina van’t Heike jumped very well.
With a total of 7.42 penalties so far in the competition, Holland passed France and Germany on the score board. Germany is close behind on 10.41 though, it’s less than a fence down that separates the two teams. France was pushed down from the lead to third with a total score of 15.95, while Britain is fourth on 17.46 with Belgium and Sweden following on 17.78 and 18.74. The competition continues tomorrow with the team final, where the ten best teams will compete which also includes Ireland, Switzerland, Spain and Portugal.
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