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Strong start for Switzerland in the opening leg of the 2024 Longines EEF Series

Friday, 26 April 2024
CSIO3* EEF Gorla Minore 2024

Photo © Filippo Gabutti. Switzerland won the Longines EEF Series 2024-season opener in Gorla Minore, Italy. Photo © Filippo Gabutti.


Text © World of Showjumping



Switzerland won the opening leg of the Longines EEF Series in Gorla Minore, Italy, after a jump-off against the German team. Divided in four regions – South, North, Central and West – the Longines EER Series runs over two qualifiers for each region, followed by semi-finals in Budabest (HUN) and Deauville (FRA), and a final in Warsaw (POL) in September. 

Friday's season opener, the CSIO3* 1.45m Nations Cup in Gorla Minore, saw eleven teams line up for the challenge set by the Italian course builder Elio Travagliati. “Today was very interesting, because it was the first leg of the Series, and the riders are jumping maybe their first Nations Cup this season," he commented on Friday's competition in a press release from EEF. "The first part of the course was a little soft, a good approach for the riders and after number 5 it became more difficult. The end result was good, the horses jumped well and we had two teams for a jump-off which is a very good result." 

After finishing the two rounds on four penalties, Switzerland and Germany were left to battle it out in a deciding jump-off. Jumping clear in 38.71, Switzerland's Barbara Schnieper (SUI) and Judy KM (Joly St. Hubert x Saphir von der Rossi) secured the win for her team that consisted of Gilles Müller and Giavanna CB (Ukato x Lux), Eva Gautschi and Christiane K (Christian x Chambertin) and Dominik Führer aboard Ghost (Lord Z x Cantos). 

Photo © Filippo Gabutti. Barbara Schnieper and Judy KM sealed the deal for the Swiss. Photo © Filippo Gabutti.

“We had a very interesting team with two riders making their debut, Gilles Müller and Eva Gautschi," Swiss Chef d’Equipe Peter van der Waaij said in a press release from EEF. "They both did very well, Gilles with a double clear and Eva also with a clear so we’re very happy with that. You can never expect a victory, but we always go for a victory and we had a very good team, good horses who jumped a lot of clears so we knew we had a good chance for the podium, but to win is always special. This Series is very important for us. It gives us an opportunity to bring up new pairs, new riders, new horses. I think Nations Cups in general are very important for the sport, but also at this level it is very good to build people and horses up.”

Germany's Patrick Stühlmeyer and Drako de Maugre (Kannan x Fusain du Defey) clocked a faster time in the jump-off than Schnieper, stopping the clock on 37.93, but a pole on the floor left Chef d'Equipe Marcus Döring's German team – also consisting of Pia Reich and PB Loewenherz (Levisto x Contender), Philip Rüping and Chatolinue PS (Diablo Blanco x Stakkato) and Marie Ligges aboard Ballerina NRW (Balous Diamond x Cachas) – to second. 

The United Arab Emirates completed the podium in third, finishing the two rounds on a total of eight penalties. Led by Chef d'Equipe Wiliam Funnel, the UAE team consisted of Omar Abdul Aziz Al Marzooqi and Enjoy de La Mure (Vigo Cece x Sable Rose), Ali Hamad Al Kirbi and Jarlin de Torres (Jarnac x Calvaro F.C.), Salim Ahmed Al Suwaidi and Fonceti vd Heffinck (For Pleasure x Concetto) and Abdullah Mohd al Marri aboard BBD McGregor (Cardento x Mark Twain). 

The Longines EEF Series continues in Mannheim (GER) on May 5th.


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