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Dream Nations Cup win for determined Danes in home leg in Uggerhalne

Sunday, 04 June 2017
CSIO3* Uggerhalne 2017

Photo (c) FEI/ Bisgaard. A happy home team celebrating victory in the fourth leg of the FEI Nations Cup Europe Division 2. Photo (c) FEI/ Bisgaard.

It was Danish delight in Uggerhalne (DEN) on Saturday evening when the host nation won the fourth leg of the FEI Nations Cup Europe Division 2 league with an impressive performance including a sensational double-clear from Søren Møller Rohde. There’s nothing quite like a victory on home ground, and this was the first for ten years so there were big celebrations when France and Sweden had to settle for joint runner-up spot ahead of Belgium in fourth place.

Success was sealed by second-round clears from Lars Bak Andersen riding Carrasco (Caretino x Capitol I), Søren Møller Rohde with Velerne ASK (Cosimo x Carpaccio) and Thomas Sandgaard partnering Amarone (Arpeggio x Potsdam). Anchor man Thomas Velin with Chopin van het Moleneind (Quick Star x Darco) didn’t need to go again as the result was already secured.

"We have often had a stupid pole and then you slip down the rankings. There have to be some clear rounds, and today we got them - it was amazing!" said Thomas Sandgaard.

The course designed by Bo Bak Andersen really tested the less experienced horses and riders in the closing stages as nerves began to fray. Denmark was equal-third with France and Belgium going into the second round with eight faults on the board, while Sweden and Great Britain shared the lead with just four each.

”All of the distances were a little long, but later on the course, suddenly it's getting short. It was really well designed. Bo always does that,” Sandgaard explained. However, there were some superb performances from up-and-coming stars throughout the competition, and the talented French added just four faults to finish on a total of 12.

Philippe Le Jeune fielded yet another exciting young Belgian side, but adding eight to their scoreline their challenge faded, while the Swedish effort faltered when they had to count two single errors despite a brilliant double-clear from Alexander Zetterman with Cordalis (Corrado I x Lansing).  

It seemed the British might just hold on for the win if Keith Shore with Mystic Hurricane (Tornado x Magic Motion) could stay clear and discard Louise Saywell’s second-round 12 faults. But a foot in the influential open water, a pole off the last element of the Longines triple combination and a mistake at the final fence put paid to that, Matthew Sampson’s single mistake with the fabulous stallion Jaguar vd Berghoeve (Emerald van't Ruytershof x Nabab de Reve) bringing their final tally to 20 despite the third double-clear of the day from William Funnell and Billy Buckingham (Billy Congo x Clover Hill).

"It was incredibly close after the first round, we had two teams with four penalties and three teams with eight. We were a little behind in scores, but it wasn’t impossible and then I finished with a clear round, and Søren Møller does a second clear round, and then it starts to feel a bit like we could have a top three position. And when Sandgaard makes the third clear round we are definitely in the top two, then you add the mistakes from other riders and we win!” said a thrilled Lars Bak Andersen about the Danish victory.

Source: Press release from the FEI / Picture ©  FEI/ Bisgaard

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