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Germany gets off to a good start at the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup Final in Barcelona

Saturday, 02 October 2021
CSIO5* Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final 2021

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Double clear for the German team: World no. one Daniel Deusser and Killer Queen VDM. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.


Text © World of Showjumping



The German team showed their strength in Friday night’s first competition of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup Final in Barcelona. Under the floodlights at the Real Club de Polo de Barcelona, Otto Becker’s men flexed their muscles ahead of Sunday’s final round – finishing on only two penalties, ahead of host nation Spain in second with three penalties and Netherlands in third with four penalties. 

“I am very happy with my team. The horses presented themselves very well and I hope we can keep up our performances on Sunday,” said German Chef d’Equipe Otto Becker after the first competition had finished. “We have a great course builder here in Santiago Varela who, as always, built a suitable track for this class.” 

“It’s a top event here in Barcelona, and we like to come here every year. The format is very exciting and fits very well for a Nations Cup Final,” Becker said. 

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ European Champions Andre Thieme and DSP Chakaria for the German team. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

Fifteen teams had lined up for tonight’s first competition of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup Final, where eight would earn qualification to Sunday’s deciding round. Santiago Varela (ESP) had built a thirteen-fence course for the occasion, which included several challenges for the horses and riders. The open water set as no. five caused plenty of faults, as did the white wall at fence no. seven and the triple combination at 9abc with an oxer-vertical-oxer. The back rail of the triple bar at no. 11 also fell multiple times, and the penultimate double of uprights claimed its victims too. On top, Varela had made sure that the time allowed played a part and this kept as many as ten riders away from a clear round. 

With some very strong horse-and-rider combinations opening the competition, there were five clear rounds among the first ten on the start list. The clears came from some of the very best partnership in the world; Nicola Philippaerts (BEL) on Katanga vh Dingeshof (Cardento x Tornedo FCS), Daniel Deusser (GER) on Killer Queen VDM (Eldorado vd Zeshoek x For Pleasure), Marlon Modolo Zanotelli (BRA) on Grand Slam VDL (Cardento x Heartbreaker) Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) on Beauville Z (Bustique x Jumpy des Fontaines) and Henrik von Eckermann (SWE) on King Edward (Edward 28 x Feo) all made the course look deceptively easy. This was far from the case though, and as the class evolved, the clears were few and came far apart. In the end, only eight of the 58 horse-and-rider combinations managed to answer all the questions asked – staying clear and inside the time allowed.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Christian Ahlmann and Clintrexo helped Germany get off to a good start in Barcelona. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

Best of all was the German team, who could discharge David Will’s score of eight faults after European Champions Andre Thieme and DSP Chakaria (Chap 47 x Askari 173) as well as Christian Ahlmann and Clintrexo (Clintissimo Z x Rex Z) only recorded a time penalty each – which together with Deusser’s clear put them on a total of two penalties. 

“First of all, I think the course designer did a very, very good job today,” Deusser commented. “Maybe after the first two riders – Nicola and me – it looked a little bit like it was an easy class; and I actually also though it would be, with quite a few clear rounds. Still the time was very short, so in the end we only had eight clears out of all the competitors, and I think that was a good number for a first competition like this.”

“I have to say Killer Queen did an unbelievable job today again, she made it look very easy – the way how she jumped in Aachen as well,” Deusser continued. “I am very proud of her performance.”

“We are very happy with how it went for the team,” Deusser said. “Overall, we had a very strong team performance and I hope we can repeat that one more time on Sunday.”

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Host nation Spain finished second, here Sergio Alvarez Moya and Alamo. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

The hosts had a good night too. If their anchor rider Sergio Alvarez Moya would jump a clear with Alamo (Ukato x Equador), they could like the Germans finish on a score of two penalties. Their three first horse-and-rider combinations had all impressed: Manuel Fernandez Saro’s Jarlin de Torres (Jarnac x Calvaro F.C.) had only had a foot in the water plus a time fault, while both Ismael Roque Garcia on La Costa (Gitano v. Berkenbroeck x Calvino Z) and Eduardo Alvarez Aznar on Legend (Ogano Sitte x Nabab de Reve) had finished on a time fault each. That would also be the result for Alvarez Moya, who delivered a fantastic performance – much to the delight of the Spanish supporters – but being just outside the time allowed, another penalty was added and the home team finished on a total score of three faults and in second place. 

“We are all very happy,” Alvarez Moya said after. “When I went in the ring, the job was actually already done. All my three colleagues did an amazing job; their horses jumped really good and they rode fantastic. The atmosphere on the team here is great, we are all very good friends! Half the job is now done, it’s the first time we have qualified for the final here. Now we hope to do good on Sunday and to be in the top three. The way the horses jumped today, we have a good chance, but we start from scratch on Sunday, so now we first have to enjoy what we achieved tonight.”

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Clear for the third placed Dutch team: Maikel van der Vleuten and Beauville Z. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

The Dutch team followed in third, finishing on a score of four faults after Olympic bronze medallists Maikel van der Vleuten and Beauville Z as well as Sanne Thijssen on Con Quidam RB (Quinar x Cardino) jumped clear rounds – making it possible to discharge Willem Greve’s one pole down and only count in Harrie Smolder’s fault on the upright at 12a into their total. 

Next to the top three, Brazil, Sweden, Ireland, United States and Belgium qualified for the final competition on Sunday where the 2021 champions will be crowned. Norway, Great Britain, Italy, Switzerland and France ended among the bottom seven teams tonight, along with Canada and Uzbekistan that finished as the two last nations after elimination. It will be the five lowest ranked Europe Division 1 teams that will have to battle it out in Saturday’s Challenge Cup, which also will decide the nation that will be relegated to the EEF series in 2022. 



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