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Great Britain won the dramatic Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup in St. Gallen

Friday, 31 May 2013

The winning British team in St. Gallen. Photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.Great Britain won the dramatic Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup in St. Gallen on Friday. The British team consisted of Laura Renwich on Oz de Breve (Dollar du Murier x Grand Veneur), Scott Brash on Hello Whisky Mac IV (Emilion x Burggraf), Joe Clee on Utamaro D Ecaussines (Diamant de Semilly x Quidam de Revel) and Guy William on Titus II (Kanjer x Topas). Second place went to Switzerland and third place to Belgium. 

Unfortunately the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup in St. Gallen was not so much about the horses, riders or the nations - in stead it was all about the footing. Germany withdrew before the class started and the Netherlands, who was supposed to start with their entire Olympic team, changed horses and Leon Thijssen went in instead of Maikel van der Vleuten. Swiss rider Janika Sprunger and British rider Scott Brash changed their horses as well.

The course was build after the circumstances, and the open water as well as the triple combination were taken out - the fences were also lowered quite a bit. The course staff really did their best to keep the ground as good as possible, but all the teams - without exceptions - got poorer results in the second half of the first round than in the first half as the ground just got worse and worse. Nevertheless four teams ended on eight faults - Great Britain, Switzerland, Belgium and Ireland.

Laura Renwick and Oz de Breve jumped to victory for Great Britain. All the fences were moved and the course was ready for the second round, when the decision was made to cancel round two and instead make a jump-off between the four best teams from the first round. The decision was made together with the teams and due to the welfare and the safety of the horses. A jump-off with one rider per team was held instead.

Seven fences remained in the jump-off and among them one combination with a vertical and an oxer. Steve Guerdat was first to go with Nasa (Cumano x Prince d'Elle), and he did a safe clear round with a bit of speed but didn't take any risks.

Next out was Laura Renwich with Oz de Breve, and she had the middle pole down at the b-element of the combination. That lead to some confusion at first, but as it was the middle pole and not the top pole it meant a clear round also for Laura. Being slightly faster than Steve with her 43,38 second against his 43,94 seconds, she took Britain to the lead.

Gregory Wathelet with Desteny van het Dennehof (Andiamo x Burggraf) didn't have the same luck on the b-element and both the front and the back pole fell to the ground. He ended with four faults in a time of 43,70 seconds. Last to go was Shane Breen with Balloon (Balou de Rouet x Landcapitol) for Ireland. Shane got the a-element of the combination down and with his 43,72 second Ireland ended fourth. Out of the four countries in the jump-off, only Switzerland and Ireland were competing for points in this leg of the Nations Cup.

Click here to see all the results.

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