Ukraine went all the way to the top in a wet and cold Nations Cup in Drammen today. It was a deserved victory for the Ukrainian crew, who brought their top riders and horses to Norway this weekend. It was Cassio Rivetti on Temple Road (Antaeus x Graf Dagobert), Alexander Onischenko Comte d’Arsouilles (Quasimodo vd Molendreef x Apache d’Adriers), Björn Nagel on the amazing stallion Niack De L’Abbaye (Diamant de Semilly x Rocky du Carel) and the rock of the team Katharina Offel on the fantastic Vivant (Fuego de Prelet x Landino) that brought home the honors. The Netherlands and Spain shared the runner-up position.
The Nations Cup got off to a dramatic start. Sweden’s first rider Marcus Westergren’s ride Casa de la Marta Bay (Casa Grande x Zalmeco) lost the bridle after a stop, and although he tried Marcus could not get the bridle back on without help and was thus eliminated. Then it was Cassio Rivetti’s turn on Temple Road for Ukraine, and as he entered the course heaven opened up. How Rivetti managed to clear the course under such conditions can only be explained by his excellent riding skills! And as the weather worsened, a break was necessary with people and horses hiding under trees, umbrellas or anywhere else that could provide shelter from the terrible weather.
As the storm calmed, the class continued. After the first round it was the Netherlands that had taken the lead after four clear rounds from Joep Raijmakers on Van Schijndel’s Winston (by Cantos), Roelof Bril on the lovely Warwick (Numero Uno x Ulft), Suzanne Tepper on KM Wish (Lux x Indoctro) and Henk van de Pol and BMC Warrant (Numero Uno x Nimmerdor) together with Ukraine who were also on a zero score as Onischencko’s four faults could be discharged with clear rounds from the rest of the team.
The track of twelve fences was definitely not too difficult for the field of riders; nineteen clears out of forty riders was the status after round one. The course included a triple bar at 4a, b and c, water at fence eight and a combination at 11a and b before the final oxer – but faults spread evenly around. The trend of clears continued in round two as well, with eight clears.
The second round saw Ukraine hold on to their lead, and prove that they can be a real challenger when they meet up at the Olympics. Rivetti was clear again, as was Katharina Offel on the lovely Vivant that jumped fantastic today. Alexander Onischenko on Comte d’Arsouilles and Björn Nagel on Niack De L’Abbaye both had one down, and could discharge four faults to end up at a total score of four penalties.
The Netherlands fell down to number two though, after Joep Raijmakers was eliminated after stops at 4a and 11a and and Bril had a total of five penalties on Warwick. After two clears from Tepper and van de Pol, the Dutch team was left at five penalties overall. The runner-up spot was shared with Spain, who climbed during the second round. Both Pilar Cordon Muro on Nuage Bleu (by Fildor de Largival) and Paola Amilibia Puig on Prunella d’Ariel (by Diamant de Semilly) were double clear for the Spanish team, that also ended on a total of five penalties.
For those few people who had turned up to watch the home team, it must have been nice to see Stein Endresen produce two clear rounds on the super promising eight year old approved stallion Cabachon (Casall x Concerto II) for Norway – this is for sure a horse to watch out for in the future.
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