The German team showed no mercy to their competitors in the Nations Cup in Falsterbo, and took home the win after displaying some amazing riding skills and serious horse power on Friday afternoon. With Marcus Ehning on Plot Blue (Mr. Blue x Pilot) and Carsten Otto Nagel on Corradina (Corrado I x Sandro) both going double clear, and Rolf Moormann having a clear and a four fault round on Acorte (Accorado x Argelith Stakkato) anchor rider Philipp Weishaupt did not even have to ride in order for the Germans to take the win. Although not earning any points in this leg of the series, the Germans made sure their competing teams did not get the top score in sunny Falsterbo today and maybe this tactic helped them a little closer to the final in Barcelona which still is far away after the team withdrew in St. Gallen.
The Germans were in the lead already after round one, after clear rounds from all the three first riders. All of them made Frank Rothenberger’s twelve fence track look like a walk in the park – although it was not for many of the rest of the riders. The course included a tricky triple combination at 5abc, and then a difficult line going from an oxer at 6 to an oxer at 7 and then five long or six short strides to a vertical at 8. A lot of the faults came in these parts of the course, as well as at the combination at 11 a and b.
Sweden, Italy and Ukraine followed close behind on four faults. For Sweden Jens Fredricsson on Lunatic (Landlord x Utrillo) was clear, as was home crowd favorite Rolf-Göran Bengtsson on Casall Ask(Caretino x Lavall I) – and as the Swedish riders started their rounds one could hear a pin drop, a contrast to the noise level as they finished their rounds – this is the fantastic audience in Falsterbo! Italy also saw their riders perform well in round one, with clears from Luca Maria Moneta on the somewhat special Neptune Brecort (Cumano x Kayack) – who the Italian rider has done a great job with – and from Piergiorio Bucci on the amazing nine year old Casallo Z (Casall x Carthago Z) – who shows great promise for the future. For Ukraine both Cassio Rivetti and Ulrich Kirchhoff rode clear rounds.
Germany did not give away anything in the second round, with Marcus and Carsten producing double clears – and the when Rolf Moormann had the last fence it didn’t even matter as the team was a winner already on a four penalty score. Although Germany did not make it very exciting when it came to the win, Italy, Sweden, Ukraine and Holland made sure to keep it exciting when it came to second and third.
Holland could have kept it on an eight fault score if last to go Jur Vrieling had ridden a clear round on VDL Bubalu (Baloubet du Rouet x Nimmerdor). That was not to be though, as he had two down and the Dutch score ended on a total of 16 penalties – thanks to Willem Greve who produced a double clear round on the wonderful stallion Carambole (Cassini I x Concerto II) and a second clear from Jeroen Dubbeldam. Italy’s Piergiorgio Bucci was next to go and with a clear round he could leave his team on a 12 penalty score and secure a top three result. And so he did; producing a double clear – one of the four of the day – on Casallo Z. Italy slotted into second after Bucci’s brilliant performance.
Sweden had the chance to do the same, but when Casall Ask hit the vertical at 8 – as so many others – the home team was left on a 16 penalty score together with Holland tying for third. For Ukraine that meant that if Katharina Offel rode a clear round they would end up together with Sweden, but unfortunately it was not their day today n the last round and they ended outside the top after notching up too many faults.
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