Wednesday’s world championship team final was always going to be a thriller. After Tuesday’s round it was extremely close between the teams, and the door was open wide for anything to happen. But the winners came as no surprise.
The course was almost the same as on Tuesday, but the water was replaced with a tripple bar and the fences were higher. A big difference for the horses was the floodlight.
Germany was nr. one overnight, and made sure it stayed that way when Janne Friedrike Meyer and Cellagon Lambrasco, Carsten-Otto Nagel and Corradina and Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Checkmate all rose to the occasion and rode clear rounds. It didn’t matter when Plot Blue and Marcus Ehning lowered a rail; Germany was at a zero score allready. At one point there was a nerve wracking moment for the Germans though, when Meyer set off on four strides between the triple bar and the next vertical – a gasp went through the crowd.
This was Germany’s first world championship title since 1998. As Michaels-Beerbaum quickly pointed out the medal was also historic, Germany fielded two women on the gold-winning team.
Brazil was in second position after Tuesday’s second leg of the championship, but didn’t have what it took to stay there. Rodrigo Pessoa rode another beautiful round on the Tlaloc la Silla-stallion HH Rebozo. It looks like the two are so full of confidence and it’s hard to believe that they will not be seen in Saturday’s Top Four at this point. When Pedro Veniss and Alvaro Miranda had four faults, and Bernando Alves another five – Brazil was out of the medals.
France lived up to what was expected of them though, and rose from fifth to gain the silver medal. Like yesterday both Penelope Leprevost and the Carthago Z-stallion Mylord Carthago HN and Patrice Delaveau and Katchina Mail had four faults. Olivier Guillon pulled it together with a clear round on Lord de Theize though, and the anchor rider Kevin Staut on Silvana de Hus sealed it for France when he rode yet another beautiful clear round. “I was so frustrated with myself after my riding in Monday’s speed class, but was totally focused on fighting for the team. The first day of the championships was a catastrophe for me, and to succeed today feels fantastic”, was Kevin Staut’s comment after securing the silver for France.
USA on the other hand couldn’t match the hopes that were made for them, and dropped all the way from third to tenth position after too many faults from Lauren Hough, Mario Deslauriers and McLain Ward. Only Laura Kraut on the bouncy Cedric was clear, and it became too costly for the US when Hough’s score on twelve faults had to count for the team.
Belgium was maybe the team final’s biggest surprise. No one expected them to be in the medals really, but they climbed from being nr. eight overnight to claim the bronze medal. Two fantastic clear rounds from Jos Lansink and Phillippe Le Jeune on the two Nabab de Reve offspring’s Cavalor Valentina van’t Heike and Vigo d’Arsouilles (we love these horses!) contributed strongly towards the medal, and as Judy-Ann Melchior only had two time faults - Belgium was able to let Dirk Demeersmann’s results go and could celebrate the bronze. Of his clear round and coming into the main arena as the reigning world champion Jos Lansink said this; “I know my job and I opted for a clear round, which I succeeded with today”.
Canada had two excellent clear rounds from Eric Lamaze on Hickstead and John Pears and Chianto, but it didn’t get them any closer to the medals as both of the other team members produced to many faults. Sweden climbed form ninth to sixth, after yet another good round from Malin Baryard-Johnsson and H&M Actrice W and another pair that seems to be in dangerously good form; Rolf-Göran Bengtsson and the Guidam-son Ninja la Silla - who gave the crowd a master class on how to do it. Australia ended up as nr. 7, Saudi Arabia nr. 8 and Great Britain nr. 9.
After the win, Marcus Ehning said;”This has been an incredible year for me. I won the World Cup with two horses, the GCT with three horses and now I have been a part of winning the World Championship. Thanks to my team mates I was World Champion even before I rode into the main arena, which was an amazing feeling”.
“All the teams were so close, and it wasn’t even one fault that separated the teams at the top so it was a lot of pressure and excitement in the air today. We are so happy about the result”, said Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum. Carsten-Otto Nagel praised his horse when he said that Corradina had jumped really well, and helped him gain a clear round.
The results must be extremely satisfying for the medal-winning countries’ breeding as well; three of four horses at the German team belonged to German studbooks, while three of four horses on the French team are SF while Belgium’s team featured three BWP horses.
Results after the world championship team final:
1. Germany – 17.80 (Gold)
2. France – 24.32 (Silver)
3. Belgium – 24.70 (Bronze)
4. Brazil- 26.49
5. Canada – 27.93
6. Sweden – 32.18
7. Australia – 33.87
8. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – 35.48
9. Great Britain – 37.80
10. USA – 38.69
(The five highest ranked countries are qualified for the Olympics in 2012). Full team results can be found at http://www.alltechfeigames.com/ftp-pdf/JUM_RT_3.pdf
Top ten standing individually before Friday’s semi-final:
1. Rodrigo Pessoa - 2.80
2. Phillippe Le Jeune - 3.11
3. Carsten-Otto Nagel - 3.24
4. Eric Lamaze - 3.39
5. John Pearce - 3.70
6. Rolf-Göran Bengtsson – 5.37
7. Khaled Al Eid – 6.20
8. Billy Twomey – 6.54
9. Abdullah Al Sharbatly – 7.07
10. Kevin Staut – 7.81
Full individual standings after today are found at http://www.alltechfeigames.com/ftp-pdf/JUM_OI_3.pdf(The 30 highest ranked riders move on to Friday’s semi-final).
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