Switzerland is one step closer to make it back into the Top League after they won the Promotional League in Drammen, Norway, today. The team consisted of Claudia Gisler on Touchable, Niklaus Schurtenberger on Fifty Fifty, Christina Liebherr on L.B. Callas Sitte Z and Arthur Gustavo Da Silva aboard La Toya III – and the Swiss riders did a strong job to finish the two rounds on eight faults.
After the first round Norway and Turkey were in the lead with a zero score. Stein Endresen on the Heraldik-stallion Hoyo de Monterey, the young and talented Stine B. Løkken on the lovely Laroso 2 and Nicholai Lindbjerg on the big-jumping mare Coquette all jumped clear rounds – making it possible to erase Tony Andre Hansen’s eight faults. Turkey could also see three of their four riders go clear as all four riders kept the fences intact, and the team was left with only one time fault from Omer Karaevli.
Switzerland was just behind the two teams, as both Schurtenberger and Da Silva produced clear rounds. Christina Liebherr didn’t have the best round as she saw the triple bar at fence three fall to the ground, and as a consequence needed to pull up before the fourth fence – their result did not count as Claudia Gisler on Touchable had only one down. Denmark also did a great job, and was left with four penalties after the first round. Linnea Ericsson rode a stylish clear on the bouncy Quidam de Revel-mare Qruella M, as did Rikke Haastrup on Luganer. Although Thomas Sandgard had one down on the Arpeggio-stallion Amarone, the Danish rider has obviously profited on riding the Top League-shows – his round was fluent and lovely.
Poland was left with a minimal six penalties with only three riders on the team; Piotr Sawicki produced a nice round on the lovely Caretano-stallion Caballuz Z and was only left with one penalty for exceeding the time allowed – and Msciwoj Kiecon on Urbane produced a clear round. Sweden saw Peder Fredricson ride a great clear round on the Corrado-gelding H&M Arctic Aurora Borealis, but Malin Baryard-Johnsson, Helena Persson and Angelica Augustsson all had one unlucky fence down to leave the Swedish team with a total of eight faults after the first round.
Spain missed the second round by a fraction, and the Dutch riders also had to watch the second round from the sideline. Ireland, Great Britain, Japan and Belgium did not make it either – but it should be mentioned that Great Britain featured a team which included three young and talented riders on some very nice horses, in addition to the more experienced David McPherson on his stallion Leonitas who unfortunately didn’t have the best of days.
Norway unfortunately cracked under pressure in the second round; Stein Endresen had to see two poles fall to the ground and then Stine B. Løkken’s Laroso 2 refused twice at the water –causing elimination for the Norwegian team. Finland and Italy were left with a total of 46 and 41 penalties respectively.
Peder Fredricsson opened well for Sweden with another clear from the beautiful grey H&M Arctic Aurora Borealis – making him one of only three riders with double clears, but neither Helena Person on Bonzai H or Angelica Augustsson on Walter 61 could leave the fences intact. Sweden was left with a total of 28 penalties. Denmark suffered the same destiny as all three riders had fences down.
Poland on the other hand surprised. Although Piotr aboard Caballuz Z and Antoni Tomaszewski on Trojka both had two down, but the team managed to secure the third place after another clear round from Msciwoj Kiecon on the ten year old Landeur-mare Urbane. Quite an achievement with only three riders on the team.
Turkey also pulled it together to take second with a total of nine faults. Omer Karaevli on Dadjak Ter Puttenen had fence ten down and one timefault, and Burak Azak on S.I.E.C Castelo Branco was unlucky to see the last fence – a Kingsland-oxer – fall. Gerry Flynn aboard S.I.E.C Ledgepoint managed to stay clear as last rider to go, but had a lucky moment when the poles on the last oxer stayed in the cups.
Switzerland was simply in a league of their own; Claudia Gisler opened with a wonderful clear on Touchable, and Christina Liebherr copied her team-mate when she rode a beautiful clear on the Calvaro Z-mare L.B. Callas Sitte Z – who looked much better the second time around. Arthur Gustavo Da Silva saw the hot and bouncy La Toya III have a foot in the water – but it was of no matter as Switzerland was ahead the two other teams with a total of only eight penalties and a bit closer to getting back in to the Top League with new points added to their overall standing.
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