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Highlights from the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Great Britain 2023

Tuesday, 01 August 2023
CSIO5* Longines Royal International Horse Show 2023

It was an emotional British team that took a home win in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup at Hickstead last Friday, for the first time since 2010. There were tears of happiness and big smiles all around after the Brits took a convincing victory after finishing on a total score of only four faults in a Nations Cup that saw a lot of mistakes – Ireland ended second with 12 faults, and France third on 16 faults. At the centre of it all was Britain’s living legend John Whitaker, who at the age of 67 (soon 68) did his 180th Nations Cup appearance for his country – and helped secure the win with a clear in the second round aboard Equine America Unick du Francport.

In this photo special, we look back at some of the action at Hickstead last Friday. 

Photos © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping, all rights reserved. If copyright violations occur, a penalty fee will apply. 

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. The winning team: Harry Charles, John Whitaker, Ben Maher and Tim Gredley with their Chef d'Equipe Di Lampard.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ John Whitaker entering the ring to do his 180th Nations Cup!

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Ben Maher and Exit Remo were first to go for Britain and gave the team a great start with a clear in the first round, and four faults the second time out.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Tim Gredley and Medoc de Toxandria were the second British pair out, and after four faults in round one they returned with a clear in round two.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ John Whitaker and Equine America Unick du Francport helped the Brits to the win with a clear in the second round as third to go for their team. “Today, after all these years competing, was probably the best day!” Whitaker said after.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Harry Charles was the anchor rider for the British team, but with the win already secured by his three team mates, he could have passed on jumping a second time. However, Harry still chose to jump and delivered the only double clear for the team aboard Casquo Blue.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Jack Ryan and BBS McGregor delivered a double clear for Ireland, that ended as runners-up.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Ireland's Daniel Coyle and Legacy leaving the arena after a clear in the second round.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ It looked like Mark McAuley and GRS Lady Amaro had produced a beautiful double clear for the Irish team, but the pair ended up getting eliminated from the second round due to a 'blood rule violation'. If their clear result in round two would have counted, Ireland would have been up for a jump-off against Great Britain.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Olivier Robert and Iglesias D.V. delivered one of only three double clears, to help France end third.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ It was CSIO5* Nations Cup-debutant Amanda Landeblad and For Killy that delivered the best results for Sweden with their score of 0-4 over the two rounds. Sweden ended 4th with a total of 24 faults.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ The American team had to settle for 5th with a total of 31 faults. Laura Kraut and Dorado 212 were the best on the team with a score of 4-4 in the two rounds.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Germany collected 36 faults over the two rounds and had to settle for 6th place. Richard Vogel and United Touch S were the best couple when they delivered a clear in the second round after recording eight faults in the first.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Fabio Leivas da Costa and Ilex recorded a score of 0-8 over the two rounds, and were the best horse-and-rider combination on the Brazilian team together with...

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ ... Francisco Jose Mesquita Musa and Carte de Blue PS Marathon that had four faults in each round. Brazil ended 7th with a total score of 38.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ It was not Italy's day and the team finished on 54 faults. Giampiero Garofalo and Gaspahr were by far the best Italian couple of the day with a clear in the first round, and eight on their second attempt.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ It was a nerve wracking watch for the Brits... From the Kiss and Cry it was difficult to see the fences on the far end of the huge arena; here Robert Whitaker and Stanny Van Paesschen follow the action.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ The closer the Brits got to a victory, the closer the support team came to falling over...

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ The tears flowed for Kerry Finch when John Whitaker and 'Frank' secured the victory for the Brits.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Tim Gredley couldn't stop smiling.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Hugs, smiles and tears all around on the British team.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. The King!

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ The look of admiration... John turns 68 in just a few days and made sure Britain won when delivering a clear in the second round of his 180th Nations Cup.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Are these for me?

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. A kiss for Medoc de Toxandria.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Family photo!

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ It was a lot of grass collecting going on during the prize giving...

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ ... here Exit Remo gets a taste...

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ ...Chef d'Equipe Henk Nooren was also busy...

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ ... when providing all the French horses with some fresh grass.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Also Casquo Blue was treated with both grass...

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. ... and kisses.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Di Lampard made sure the grooms took their place on the podium to be honoured as they definitely deserved.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ John made a young equestrian fan very happy...

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. ...Equine America Unick du Francport was eager to get going, but with some help...

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ ... the ribbon could be handed over!

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ The sought-after trophy matched very well to the glass of champagne the British team was served after their win.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ As it seems, the tradition of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup at Hickstead has come to an end with this year's edition. The FEI today announced their 2024-venues for their new Longines League of Nations, with Hickstead left out. At WoSJ, we anyhow look forward to be back at Hickstead, with or without a Nations Cup!

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