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Home win in the CSIO5* Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of Switzerland

Monday, 06 June 2022
CSIO5* St. Gallen 2022

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ
The winning Swiss team in St. Gallen: Martin Fuchs, Steve Guerdat, Chef d'Equipe Michel Sorg, Pius Schwizer and Edouard Schmitz. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.


Text © World of Showjumping



The CSIO5* Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of Switzerland ended with a win for the hosts after Martin Fuchs on Leone Jei (Baltic VDL x Corland), Edouard Schmitz on Quno (Quo Vados I x Cashandcarry), Pius Schwizer on Vancouver de Lanlore (Toulon x Le Tot de Semilly) and Steve Guerdat on Venard de Cerisy (Open Up Semilly x Djalisco du Guet) ended the two rounds of jumping in St. Gallen with a total of eight penalties. The last Swiss win in St. Gallen came 26 years ago, so it was four happy men led by Chef d’Equipe Michel Sorg that could step to the top of the podium. “We had a super team with super horses and I’m of course very proud of these four,” Sorg said after the victory. 

The course set by the Swiss course designer Gerard Lachat counted 12 obstacles and 15 efforts, and while the faults spread out, it was the green plank at fence seven after the open water that proved decisive in the battle between the eight nations competing. 

Great Britain had a team consisting of three young guns and a legend – Harry Charles on Casquo Blue (Chacco-Blue x Carthago Z), Joseph Stockdale on Equine America Cacharel (Cachas x Quinar Z), Jack Whitaker on Equine America Valmy de la Lande (Mylord Carthago x Starter) and John Whitaker on Equine America Unick du Francport (Zandor x Helios de la Cour II) – and after round one, they led the way on four penalties, followed by the Swiss, Dutch and Norwegians on eight, while Germany, Belgium and Austria moved on with twelve faults and Brazil with twenty.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Double clear for Switzerland: Martin Fuchs and Leone Jei. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

In the second round, the Brazilians – with Marlon Modolo Zanotelli on VDL Edgar M (Arezzo VDL x Marlon), Felipe Amaral on Androide 3 (VDL Zirocco Blue x unknown), Luiz Felipe Cortizo Goncalves de Azevedo Filho on Hermes van de Vrombautshoeve (Vigo d’Arsouilles x Equitop de Moyon) and Pedro Veniss on Nimrod de Muze Z (Nabab de Reve x Tinka’s Boy) on the team – stepped up their game with three clear rounds, ending the day on a total of twenty faults to move up on the leader board to eventually finish sixth as Norway and Austria both fell down behind them.

As round two progressed, the tables started to turn in favour of the hosts and when Great Britain’s third pair – Jack Whitaker and Valmy de la Lande – had the green plank after the open water down, their penalties were levelled with the Swiss and the spectators were brought to the edge of their seats. 

With Fuchs, Schmitz and Schwizer all delivering clears for the hosts – with the crowd living every jump with them – Swiss anchor Steve Guerdat did not need to jump round two, but meanwhile the pressure piled on Great Britain’s last man out in the ring; John Whitaker. A clear from the living legend would mean a jump-off between the Brits and the Swiss, while a fault would hand the win to the hosts. Riding Equine America Unick du Francport, Whitaker was well on the way to delivering the much needed clear, until a pole fell at the last element of fence number ten – the oxer-vertical-oxer triple combination. This meant the Brits ended their day on twelve penalties, placing third behind the Dutch team – consisting of Jack Ansems on Fliere Fluiter (VDL Zirocco Blue), Sanne Thijssen on Con Quidam RB (Quinar Z x Cardino 5), Jur Vrieling on Long John Silver 3 (Lasino x San Patrignano Corrado) and Marc Houtzager on Sterrehof’s Dante N.O.P. (Canturano x Phin-Phin) – that also finished on a score of twelve but with a faster time, to take the second place.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Young gun Edouard Schmitz helped secure the Swiss win with a clear in round two aboard Quno. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

“It was fantastic with the win today in front of an amazing audience that has been waiting for this for so long. This will be a fantastic memory and this victory was for sure very special,” Guerdat said after the Nations Cup. 

With one of only three double clear rounds in the Nations Cup, Martin Fuchs – who also won the Grand Prix in St. Gallen on Saturday – had a big smile on his face, saying: “It was very special to be able to ride in front of the home crowd here today and as Steve said the audience was fantastic. They cheered us on like never before and they knew already that we had a strong team. I had a fantastic feeling with my horse Leone Jei and I trusted my team mates, since they all belong to the best.”

“I’m really happy to be back on the team again,” Schwizer – who last was on the team in St. Gallen in 2015 – said. “We luckily have many very good riders in Switzerland and also great horses so now we just have to keep them healthy and then it will look good for us for the next years.”

Schmitz, who was not even born when Switzerland took their last win in St. Gallen, had a day he won't forget any time soon. “For me it was just unforgettable that I was allowed to ride and then to take the first win in several years is of course very special,” Schmitz smiled. 

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