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Team Belgium wins the Longines EEF Series qualifier in Luxembourg

Saturday, 08 June 2024
CSIO3* Roeser 2024

Photo © EEF. Team Belgium won the CSIO3* 1.45m Longines EEF Series Nations Cup in Roeser, Luxembourg. Photo © EEF.


Edited press release from EEF



The second Longines EEF Series qualifier for Region West took place in Roeser, Luxembourg, on Friday afternoon. The action packed CSIO3* 1.45m Nations Cup competition saw Ireland and Belgium match each other round for round from start to finish, resulting in a nail biting jump-off which saw Belgium come out on top. Ireland took second place, with Great Britain finishing third.

Course designers Peter Schumacher (GER) and Paul Engel (LUX) gave the riders plenty to think about, with most of the faults coming later on the course. A steep right hand turn to two tall verticals after the water jump accounted for quite a few penalties, as did the thin blue top plank of fence 10. The final line of a treble combination followed by the yellow Longines EEF Series oxer took accurate jumping, and caught out many who were clear up to that point. 

In the first round, Belgium's Jeroen Appelen got things underway for his team with a superb clear round aboard the 11-year-old chestnut gelding Monte Blue PS (Monte Bellini x Chacco-Blue). Second line rider Aaron Tijskens provided the discard score of four faults when he had the last part of the treble combination down with the 12-year-old gelding Hurricane (Untouched x Karlstad). Third line rider Frederic Vernaet put in a particularly eye catching clear round with the 10-year-old black stallion Orak d’Hamwyck (Tobago Z x Toulon) and the Belgian anchorman Yves Vanderhasselt followed up with another super clear round with the 12-year-old stallion Merald Van’t Zorgvliet (Emerald x Nonstop). 

The Irish team pushed Belgium all the way, and in the first round Max Wachman and Kilkenny (Cardento x Guidam), Michael G Duffy and Clitschko 17 (Christian x Check In) and Cian O’Connor aboard Fancy de Kergane (Berdenn de Kergane x Cor de Hus) all delivered beautiful clear rounds. The 19-year-old Tom Wachman provided the discard score of four faults, when Cathalina S (Catoki x Sandro) chipped out the back rail at fence six.

With Belgium and Ireland both going into the second round on zero penalties, the competition really began to heat up. Belgium’s Jeroen Appelen and Monte Blue PS faulted at fence 10, but Irishman Max Wachman and the brilliant grey gelding Kilkenny also faulted at the same fence. Aaron Tijskens and Hurricane finished their second round on four faults for Belgium, followed by Ireland’s Michael G Duffy and Clitschko 17 just catching the front rail of the Longines EEF Series yellow oxer, leaving the scores level once more.

With both teams still level and fighting for the top spot, Ireland's Cian O’Connor kept the pressure up and delivered a flawless clear round on the 9-year-old stallion Fancy de Kergane. Yves Vanderhasselt and Merald van't Zorgvliet answered right back for Belgium, and their clean sheet meant that Ireland and Belgium would go to a jump-off to decide the winner. 

The Irish Chef d’Equipe Michael Blake put forward Cian O’Connor and Fancy de Kergane for the jump-off, who set off at a good pace. However, an uncharacteristic two fences down in a time of 44.06 left the door wide open for the opposition. Belgian Chef d’Equipe Fabienne Daigneux-Lange nominated Jeroen Appelen and Monte Blue PS. Delivering the goods in a time of 48.88, they sealed the victory for Belgium. 

The British quartet of Mark Edwards and Flying Tinker II (Tinkers Tale x unknown), Adrian Whiteway and Chacco Volo (Chacco-Blue x Carthago), Oliver Fletcher and Hello William (Waldo van Dungen x Stakkato) and Robert Murphy aboard Kannem J.A. Z (Kannan x Lux Z) took third place on the podium, finishing with nine penalties. Switzerland and France both finished on 20 penalties, but Switzerland were 0.47 quicker, clinching fourth place. Ukraine, Austria and Columbia took the next three spots, and they were followed by Luxembourg and United States of America to round out the top ten.  

With only five teams from Region West moving forward to the Longines EEF Series semi-finals in Deauville in two weeks time, it was also all to play for in the hunt for league points. After the Peelbergen and Luxembourg qualifiers, Belgium, Ireland, Great Britain and Spain will progress to the next round.

Alongside the event in Luxembourg, the second qualifier for Region North took place in Drammen. Together these events have confirmed the teams who will contest the semi-final in Deauville on June 21: Belgium, Ireland, Great Britain, France and Spain from Region West as well as Poland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland from region North.


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