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Team Europe best in the Riders Masters Cup at the Longines Masters of Paris

Saturday, 02 December 2017
CSI5* Longines Masters of Paris 2017

Photo (c) Tiffany Van Halle Team Europe won the Riders Masters Cup in Paris. Photo (c) Tiffany Van Halle.

The Riders Masters Cup made its debut on the international showjumping scene at the Longines Masters of Paris on Saturday night, and it was Team Europe that went out on top.

The first round jumped as a Table A over a 1.50m course, with one rider from each team duelling against each other with each duel won bringing one point to the winning team.

After the first round it was Team Europe that held the lead: 3-2 against the USA. As pathfinder, Kevin Staut (FRA) went clear for the Europeans against Devin Ryan who saw the hackamore on his horse snatch and exited involuntarily at the in-gate.

It evened out though when Chloe Reid went clear for the US and Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) had both the first and the last fence down, putting the scores to 1-1.

After the next pair in the ring, the USA took over the lead however when Gregory Wathelet (BEL) had a refusal at the last jump and Laura Kraut followed him with a clear round. As next to go, Reed Kessler went clear for the US and the pressure was on Jos Verlooy (BEL) but he delivered as well and being faster than the American rider the European team went into equal with the US at a score of 2-2.

Now it was down to the last two, and when Lorenzo De Luca (ITA) jumped clear Lauren Hough had to deliver for the US team but two stops at the wall resulted in elimination and Team Europe went out in front on a score of 3-2 before the second round.

Round two was a Table C with three seconds to add for a rail down, and the course was set at 1.45m. The riders had the possibility to switch horses from the first round, but only Lauren Hough used this option going from Waterford (Coolcorron Cool Diamond x Julio Mariner XX) to Quantas 15 (Quintero x Laurin). As the losing team, the USA chose their first rider to go and Team Europe chose their first direct opponent before it switched into the second duel. Each duel won accumulated two points for the winning team added to the scores from the first round. 

The US started with an advantage over the European team, as Kevin Staut had to see himself beaten by Devin Ryan this time around but that quickly changed as Maikel van der Vleuten caught up on behalf of the hosts in the second duel against Chloe Reid setting the scores to 5-4 for the Europeans. 

When Laura Kraut had one down it got even more exciting, and the suspension continued as Gregory Wathelet saw MJT Nevados S (Calvados Z x Romualdo) knock the last fence down still stealing two more points for Team Europe with the three seconds added putting the score to 7-4. 

Jos Verlooy and Igor (Emerald van't Ruytershof x Nabab de Reve) had the Land Rover vertical down, and three seconds added to finish on 66.08 seconds while Reed Kessler and KS Stakki (Stakkato Gold x Silvio I) went clear again in 65.38 giving the US two more points and putting the scores to 7-6 between Europe-USA.

The pressure was on the last duel, but Lauren Hough got in trouble again having the a-elemet of the Longines double down and a stop at 6a to finish on 75.06 seconds. So, when Lorenzo De Luca on Jeunesse van’s Paradijs (Emerald van't Ruytershof x Heartbreaker) went clear Team Europe took home the win with a 9-6 score over the US.

“It was a great competition, and a great format,” concluded US Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland despite having to let go of the victory.

Team USA will now seek revenge at the second part of the Riders Masters Cup that takes place in New York on April 28, 2018.


Text © World of Showjumping // Picture © Tiffany Van Halle

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