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Sportsmanship prevails in the Barrière Nations Cup in La Baule

Friday, 07 June 2024
CSIO5* Jumping International de La Baule 2024

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Otto Becker's German team won the Barrière Nations Cup in La Baule. Photos © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ.


Text © World of Showjumping




“Thank you to the organizers and to the incredible crowd here,” Philipp Weishaupt said after Germany won Friday’s CSIO5* 1.60m Barrière Nations Cup at the 2024-edition of Jumping International de La Baule ahead of the hosts in second and Belgium in third. “It is not normal how fair the public was, and it is not something we should take for granted. I went in and I jumped clear and I had the feeling that I got a lot of applause from the public – even though we beat France. Thank you for that; it shows we had great sportsmen and women here – and that was a great feeling.” 

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Philipp Weishaupt and Zineday sealed the deal for the Germans with a double clear round.

The course set by the French course designer Gregory Bodo counted 12 obstacles and 15 efforts, and it was a delicate challenge for the world-class starting field. With a wall at fence two, a triple combination at fence five followed by a forward four or a holding five strides to a vertical at fence six, an open water at fence number eight followed by a vertical-vertical combination on a bended line at fence number nine, the course received a lot of praise afterwards.

Six pairs out of the 36 horse-and-rider-combinations at start delivered a double clear, one of them being Germany’s anchors Philipp Weishaupt and Zineday (Zinedine x Polydor) who sealed the deal for Otto Becker’s team that also consisted of Andre Thieme and DSP Chakaria (Chap 47 x Askari 173), Marcus Ehning and Coolio 42 (Casalito x Quidam de Revel) and Kendra Claricia Brinkop aboard Tabasco de Toxandria Z (Thunder vd Zuuthoeve x Cento Lano), leaving them on a total score of four – securing the victory over the French who finished on five penalties.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Double clear for the French, that finished second: Francois Xavier Boudant aboard Brazyl du Mezel.

Out of the nine teams at start, only the best eight continued to the decisive second round, leaving the Spanish team out of the battle. After the first round, Germany and USA led the way with a four-fault score each, followed by the French team on five and Belgium and Switzerland on eight penalties. However, for the US team it was always going to be an uphill battle, after Kent Farrington and Landon (Comilfo Plus Z x Quadrillo) withdrew from the second round following their surprise elimination on 9a in round one. 

With Olivier Robert on Iglesias D.V. (Quasimodo van de Molendreef x Labor’s VDL Indorado) and Francois Xavier Boudant aboard Brazyl du Mezel (Haloubet de Gorze x Apache d’Adriers) delivering double clears for the French team, it all came down to anchors Roger Yves Bost and Delph de Denat HDC (Air Jordan x Tlaloc M) in the second round. Jumping clear, Bosty kept the home side's hopes alive when helping the French to keep their total tally on five as Simon Delestre's score of four could be discharged. 

All the pressure was on Philipp Weishaupt and the 10-year-old Zineday when they entered the packed arena at François André Stadium as the German anchors. A clear was needed to stay ahead of France, while a time fault would have led to a jump-off against the hosts and a fence down would have handed the win to the French. “I can handle pressure quite well,” Weishaupt commented on his nerves after delivering a much needed clear and securing the win for Germany. 

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. “It is a long time ago since I won something,” Marcus Ehning said afterwards.

“This is a great show with great conditions, so to the whole team here; thank you and congratulations – and also for the crowd, we as Germany won and they were very fair,” the German Chef d’Equipe Otto Becker said at the press conference following the win. “Personally, I am very happy and proud – it has been 16 years since we won here, it is a long time. Last time we won, I was riding here!” 

“It is a long time ago since I won something,” Marcus Ehning echoed humbly. “I am very happy today that I have very good colleagues on the team. Coolio is quite a new horse and it was very exciting, it was my first Nations Cup with him and I hope this can give me a good push for the weeks that are coming.” 

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. “I am blessed with this horse and I am lucky to have gotten the chance to come here,” Andre Thieme said.

For Andre Thieme, it was second time at the iconic French venue. “I am blessed with this horse and I am lucky to have gotten the chance to come here,” he commented. “My horse was a little bit hurt last year, so I could not go to the Europeans and it was a big question how she was going to come back or if she is going to come back. Now since four, five months we know she is back and she is getting stronger every week and of course I am very excited and happy with the way she gets better and better.” 

Speaking about the pressure he had on his shoulders during the deciding second round, Weishaupt said: “That is the exciting part of a Nations Cup and obviously when you are last in for the team, you always know it could happen that it gets very tight and you need to deliver that clear round. Thanks God on a horse like Zineday, it is a little bit easier than on most of the other horses; it is just such a great pleasure to ride him. I was a bit lucky on the first jump, I took it a bit too easy in the beginning of the second round. For sure the situation has changed; last year he was a talented young horse and everybody was surprised how good he was, now he is one of the favourites. It is a different kind of pressure now. I wish that everybody that does equestrian sports once in their life gets to have a feeling like on this one; it is pretty special to ride Zineday. I am extremely happy and thankful that I have a chance to ride a horse like him.” 

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Roger Yves Bost and Delph de Denat HDC delivered a much-needed clear in the second round for the French team, to help them finish second.

“We have felt very welcome,” Weishaupt contined to speak about the beautiful venue in La Baule. “Just to show how good La Baule is: Last year, I could pick any Nations Cup ahead of the Olympics, and I directly chose to come here. I think it shows how much we like this show and how nice it is to come here. I have been coming here for probably 18 years, and it gets better and better every year, they are never tired of doing something new.” 

Kendra Claricia Brinkop, who delivered a clear for the Germans in the second round, was full of praise for her young horse: “Of course I am feeling very pleased with my horse, who is only 9-years-old,” she beamed. “I think that is something very unique, jumping a course like this at a show like this. It is the first time for me to be on a team here in La Baule, and I am thankful to Otto that I was able to ride here and be on the team. If you know you have these guys in the team, you want to keep up!”


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