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Germany sealed their strong outdoor season with European team gold in Madrid today after a strong team performance from Marco Kutscher/Cornet Obolensky, Carsten-Otto Nagel/Corradina, Janne-Friedrike Meyer/Cellagon Lambrasco and Ludger Beerbaum/Gotha. Marco, Carsten-Otto and Ludger all had clear rounds, while Janne-Friedrike had one fence down – leaving them at a total score of 10.41.
The German riders cut of the rest off their competition already after their third rider, and left the rest of the teams to battle it out for silver and bronze. For a long time it looked like the Netherlands would take home one of the medals, but that would not happen as last to go Jeroen Dubbeldam on BMC Van Grunsven Simon had an uncharacteristic eight faults and could actually only do with one down to take the bronze or a clear to take the silver. The Dutch had to settle for fourth on a total of 23.42 penalties, but had still secured their important Olympic qualification for next year.
France rose to the occasion though, and after lying third yesterday they climbed back up to take the silver. The three first riders to go for the team – Michel Robert/Kellemoi de Pepita, Penelope Leprevost/Mylord Carthago *HN and Kevin Staut/Silvana de Hus were all clear, and when Wednesday’s winner Olivier Guillon only had one down they were left on a score of 15.95. With Holland last to go, the silver was decided when BMC Van Grunsven Simon had a foot in the water.
Britain looked set to end up fourth on 22.46 penalties, but with Holland not living up to the medal expectations the Brits could climb up to the podium to receive the bronze. Nick Skelton on Carlo rode a fantastic clear round, and the grey gelding jumped his heart out at the vertical following the water. Guy Williams on Titus bounced back from yesterday and had one single time fault after a lovely controlled round. Ben Maher had the oxer at five down with Tripple X and John Whitaker and Peppermill had two down.
The Netherlands had to settle for fourth after two down for Eric van der Vleuten/VDL Groep Utascha SFN, two down and a foot in the water for Maikel and VDL Groep Verdi and then Jeroen’s last to go performance on eight faults. A comfort was Gerco Schröder’s brilliant clear round on Eurocommerce New Orleans – of course in addition to their qualification for London.
Sweden also qualified for the Olympics 2012 after ending up fifth and Switzerland secured the last spot, leaving Ireland to stay at home next year – which must be very disappointing for their riders.
The course today was the same as yesterday, but the water jump had been altered so that there was a bigger contrast on the wall in front. Yesterday the wall at the water did not provide sufficient contrast with the all-weather sand footing, and was today replaced with a darker. The faults were a bit more spread out than yesterday, but most of the poles fell in the combination at 12a and b – just like in the first round yesterday. Over ten of the riders had faults here. A total of ten clears were produced; 2/3 came from Germany and France.
Individually Carsten-Otto Nagel is in the lead with championship expert Corradina. The pair produced a beautiful clear today – superlatives can’t explain how lovely it is to watch these two. Their score is a total of 0.69. Nick Skelton has climbed up to second with Carlo on a total score of 1.04, while Gerco is third on 1.54. Luciana Diniz is fourth on 4.98. After a fence down today Rolf-Göran Bengtsson and Ninja la Silla is fifth on 5.77, while Penelope Leprevost is placed sixth on 6.55 – it’s all extremely close! Billy Twomey who was in second yesterday fell far down on the standing today after having three down on Tinka’s Serenade.
Read our WoSJ Exclusive on Corradina here.
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