The German team took home the first leg of the FEI Nations Cup Promotional League in Linz today. Seventeen teams were lined up to compete for Nations Cup glory, but after one round only ten teams moved on to the second.
The teams rode a 1.60 meters high course of 12 fences, which featured a combination at 6a and b with a line to the water, a wall painted as the Austrian flag at fence 8 and at triple combination at 12a, b and c. The latter was undone by many, while the water put Norway’s Stein Endresen on Crelido (Calido x Raimondo) out of the competition – as did the wall for two of the riders from the Czech Republic. There were quite a lot of faults in the first round – that almost seemed like a marathon with so many riders on start. Out of the 68 riders, only 15 remained clear. Over the two rounds six riders produced double clears.
Ukraine and Belgium was in the lead on a zero score after the first round, followed by Brazil and Switzerland on four penalties. Germany, Italy and Spain all had eight penalties after the first round. Casio Rivetti on Verdi (Andiamo x Libero H), Björn Nagel on the impressive Nabab de Reve-son Va et Viensvan de Zelm and Katharina Offel on the 12 year old stallion Lord If de Chalusse (If de Merze x Fury de la Sence) all produced great clear rounds for their Ukrainian team and were able to take away Aleksander Onishchenko’s score. As did Koen Verecke on Allegro C van de Donkhoeve (Mr. Blue Robin II Z), Patrik Spits on Euphony Cadjanine Z (Canabis Z x Feinschnitt I Z) and Pieter Devos aboard Equipharma Utopia van de Donkh (Robin II Z x Chin Chin) for Belgium – Niels Bruynsels had a great round, but one down on his 10 year old gelding Carpalo (Contender x Cicero).
A lot changed during the second round. The Ukrainian riders were not able to hold on to their lead; and ended up with a total of 24 penalties after both Björn Nagel and Casio Rivetti had three fences down each. Katharina Offel did a great job though, and produced her second clear of the day – and Onishchenko also left the fences intact with Vivant. Belgium on the other hand did it a little better; Patrik Spits and Koen Verecke both rode clear rounds, while Devos and Bruynsels both had two down – leaving them at a total of 16 faults.
It was Germany who made the climb to the top though. Jörg Opperman rode his second clear of the day aboard Che Guevara 17 (Concept x Rebel Z)), Jan Sprehe followed with a single time fault on Paolini 2 (Poly Royal x Caletto), while David Will and Don Cesar (Drossan x Frühlingsball) had a fence down. Last to go for the German team Jürgen Kraus on Rahmannshof’s Bogeno (Baloubet du Rouet x Elanville) produced yet another clear, and the team was left with five penalties after round two – ending up with a total of 13 penalties after two rounds to take the win. Brazil saw last to go Carlos Motta Ribas and Ronaldo (Ahorn x Stuyvesant) produce a great clear round, but they had to add 16 faults to their score from round one when the rest of the team had fences down. Added to their score from the first round, the team ended up with a total of 20 penalties to slot into third position joined by Italy with the same total score.
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