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The Irish can't be caught in the CSIO3* Longines EEF Nations Cup in Peelbergen

Saturday, 05 June 2021
CSIO3* Peelbergen 2021

"We came here with a very strong team because of the new series. Peelbergen was the only qualifier we had left and I am very happy for the results. I would want to thank the owners and the support staff for making this possible," Irish chef d'equipe Michael Blake told World of Showjumping. Photo © World of Showjumping.
"We came here with a very strong team because of the new series. Peelbergen was the only qualifier we had left and I am very happy for the results. I would want to thank the owners and the support staff for making this possible," Irish Chef d'Equipe Michael Blake told World of Showjumping. Photo © World of Showjumping.

 

Text © World of Showjumping

 


 

On Friday, the CSIO3* Longines EEF Nations Cup Series 2021 continued with its second regional qualifier at Peelbergen Equestrian Centre in the Netherlands. 

The 1.45m course set by Louis Konickx was a real test of skill and scope, with an open water at fence number four, followed by a plank at fence five and a triple combination at fence six – and the hot, humid weather added to the challenge. 

Team Ireland was in a league of their own with Alexander Butler on Athene (Berlin x Numero Uno), Eoin Gallagher on Faltic HB (Baltic VDL x Concorde) and Eoin McMahon on Chakra (Casall x Quidam de Revel) all jumping double clear – leaving David Simpson on Foudre F (Namelus R x San Patrignano Mister) the option to retire from round one and leave his four faults from round two as the discharge score. 

The Irish Chef d'Equipe Michael Blake was elated about the win, and said to World of Showjumping: "We came here with a very strong team because of the new series. Peelbergen was the only qualifier we had left and I am very happy for the results. I would want to thank the owners and the support staff for making this possible." 

Speaking of the course, Blake said: "I think the first round was a bit too fair – there were five teams on a score of zero – and we felt it needed to be stronger for the second round. To up the standard was a good choice from the course builder, as from those five teams only one could keep a zero score in round two. Louis is one of my favorite course builders."

"There were some good performances today, it was important and the job was well done," Blake continued, speaking about the importance of the Nations Cup events ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. "We go to La Baule with a strong team and then to Sopot with another one – and after that we will pick our team for Tokyo. We have a lot of riders going well and we have choices, which I am happy for. The rescheduling of the Olympics has changed a lot: There are new combinations that have evolved and are now serious contenders." 

"Peelbergen is a fantastic venue with wonderful facilities," Blake said of the organisers. "Ken (Ruysen) and the staff do all they can to help – nothing is a problem. I think a place like this has a great future in the sport."

Great Britain placed second with a total score of eight. Jack Whitaker on Scenletha (Scendix x Contendra I) jumped clear in round one, but picked up four faults in the second round, while Joe Stockdale on Equine America Cacharel (Cachas x Quinar) was able to switch his score of four from round one to zero in round two. William Whitaker on Galtur (Cornet's Stern x Balou du Rouet) – who also filled the role of a Chef d'Equipe this weekend – and Chad Fellows on Eindhoven G.H. (Vaillant x Sheraton) both jumped clear in round one. In round two, Whitaker picked up four faults, while last-to-go Fellows ended the class with a dramatic fall and was eliminated. However, a total score of eight secured the British team the runner-up position. 

Even though the end of the day was dramatic, WIlliam Whitaker was happy: "I thought the course was very good, it was tricky enough for the riders," he told World of Showjumping afterwards. "The beginning was difficult with the open water. There was quite a difference between the rounds on the amount of faults – whether it was due to the hot weather or the fact that the fences were higher, I am not sure, but it was certainly noticeable. However, it was a fair, testing course and we had good results at the end." 

Spain with Manuel Fernandez Saro on Jarlin de Torres (Jarnac x Calvaro F.C.), Santiago Nunez Riva on Valentino de Hus Z (Vivaldi du Seigneur x Trophee du Rozel), Ismael Garcia Roque on La Costa (Gitano V Berkenbroeck x Calvino Z) and Sergio Alvarez Moya on Valdocco des Caps (Number One d'Iso x Quidam de Revel) placed third with a total score of eight, while the hosts had to settle for the fourth spot with a total score of nine. 

With one qualifier in the Central and West regions and two in the South and North, the Longines EEF Series 2021 ends with a semi-final in Budapest (HUN) and a final in Warsaw (POL) in July. 

 



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