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Under the floodlights in Barcelona: The first round of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup Final 2021 in images

Saturday, 02 October 2021
CSIO5* Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup Final 2021

The first round at the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup Final in Barcelona proved out to be tough enough. Only eight of the 58 horse-and-rider combinations managed to answer all the questions asked by master mind Santiago Varela – staying clear and inside the time allowed. One of these pairs was Brazil's Marlon Modolo Zanotelli and the 10-year-old stallion Grand Slam VDL, who made the course look deceptively easy. 

In this photo special, we look back at some of Friday night’s action under the floodlights at the Real Club de Polo de Barcelona – where the eight best teams earned qualification to Sunday’s deciding round: Germany, Spain, The Netherlands, Brazil, Sweden, Ireland, USA and Belgium.

All photos © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping. No reproduction of these images is permitted. 

The pathfinder of the class was Belgium’s Nicola Philippaerts on the 11-year-old mare Katanga vh Dingeshof, who yet again impressed with a strong performance and a clear round. 

USA's Lillie Keenan and Skyhorse were one of many that fell victim to the time allowed, and had to leave the ring with one single penalty – best of the American riders. 

Sweden's Henrik von Eckermann and King Edward – team Olympic Champions – made Varela's course look like a walk in the park, helping their team qualify for Sunday's deciding round. 

Great Britain's Harry Charles and Romeo 88 delivered the only clear for their team – contributing heavily to qualification for Sunday's final. 

Another young talent in action was 22-year-old Sanne Thijssen who with Con Quidam RB jumped one of two clears for the Dutch team, that also qualified for Sunday's deciding round. 

Darragh Kenny and VDL Cartello delivered a very important clear round for defending champions Ireland, which kept them in among the eight best teams that move on to Sunday.

Once again, Daniel Deusser proved why he is world number one – jumping clear for the top ranked team Germany with his Aachen Grand Prix-winner Killer Queen VDM.

Still going strong. At 17, Willem Greve's Carambole is still in super shape. 

The newly crowned European Champions Switzerland did not have the best of nights and finished 12th of the 15 teams, and will have to jump in Saturday's Challenge Cup that decides which Europe Division 1 team will be relegated to the EEF series in 2022. 

Norway's Marie Valdar Longem and Echo de Virton impressed with only a time penalty. The team finished on 12 penalties, just like Belgium – but with a total time that was slower, the Norwegians have to battle it out in the Challenge Cup tonight.

The French also ended up in the Challenge Cup after finishing 13th on 22 faults. Here Marc Dilasser and Arioto du Gevres.

The host nation impressed though, finishing second on only three penalties – much to the delight of the home crowds. Here Eduardo Alvarez Aznar and Legend.

Even the most experienced riders can get in trouble, but they can also get out of it... John Whitaker's Unick du Francport had the backpole down on the a-element of the triple combination and slammed on the breaks on the following upright...

...but the British legend convinced the 13-year-old gelding to clear it on the second try and completed the course without further problems.

The triple combination claimed quite a few victims, and caused the exit of Canada's Tim Wilks and Guestlist who were eliminated here after two refusals on the b-element. With only three riders, that meant elimination for the team as well. 

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Olivier Robert has had a fantastic outdoor season, but yesterday it was not to be and he finished on 23 faults with Vivaldi des Meneaux.

Like Canada, Uzbekistan was also eliminated. None of the three riders on the team had ever competed their horses internationally until this event. 

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