By Louise Parkes - FEI
German riders recorded their second Europe Division 1 victory of the season at the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2013 leg in Falsterbo, Sweden this afternoon. Having missed out on the opportunity to collect points after withdrawing from St Gallen (SUI) last month, they returned to battle in Rotterdam (NED) where they came out on top. And although they had to settle for third at the following leg on home ground in Aachen two weeks ago, today they were all but untouchable as they reigned supreme at the Swedish fixture.
In fact today’s performance was so smooth that the anchor partnership of Philipp Weishaupt and Monte Bellini found themselves redundant as their team-mates had it all sown up without their assistance. ”It’s the first time I have managed to win without riding - I kind of feel a bit bad about that!” Weishaupt said afterwards with a laugh. But today’s result sees his country lying sixth on the Furusiyya league table and well within sight of a qualifying spot for the series Final in Barcelona (ESP) at the end of September.
The Italians pulled off a big surprise when securing runner-up spot ahead of The Netherlands and Sweden in joint-third. It was an uneasy day for the Swiss and French who filled fifth and six places while the Ukraine, one of the pre-competition favourites, finished a disappointing seventh ahead of Spain in eighth place. There were nine teams on the start-list but just eight came back for the second round, and it was the Danish side, recipients of a wildcard invitation, who sat it out during round two after collecting a hefty 25 faults in the early stages.
Course designer, Germany’s Frank Rothenberger, set a 12-fence test with nice distances, and four horse-and-rider combinations returned clear in both rounds. Marcus Ehning was the first man into the ring with Plot Blue, and the star German duo gave a master-class in smoothness to post the perfect opening result for their side.
The triple combination came at the end of a bending line that began with a vertical at fence three followed by an oxer at fence four, but one of the biggest questions on the track was the tight turn to the open water at fence nine which was quickly followed by a narrow white gate, while the triple-bar front element of the penultimate double, and the final vertical, also claimed a number of victims.
One of the biggest surprises of the day was the cheeky refusal at the relatively innocuous-looking vertical second fence by Janika Sprunger’s Uptown Boy which set the tone for the Swiss team’s performance. Olympic champion Steve Guerdat was the only Swiss rider to stay clear in the first round when 12 of the 36 starters kept a clean sheet. When three of those 12 clears were registered by German riders they were out in front at the halfway stage on a zero score, but they only had a one-fence advantage over Ukraine, Sweden and Italy, each carrying four faults, while The Netherlands was just one fence further adrift with eight. The Swiss carried 10 faults into round two while the French carried 12 and the Spanish just made the cut into the second round when collecting 20 faults at their first attempt.
DISAPPEARED FROM THE RECKONING:
As the second round evolved, the Spanish disappeared from the reckoning and the French and Swiss continued to slide further out of contention. Sprunger’s 12-year-old gelding repeated his boldness at the second fence and returned with 12 faults this time out, so not even foot-perfect second efforts from Romain Duguet (Quorida de Treho) and Niklaus Rutschi (Windsor XV) could rescue them when Guerdat’s Nasa lowered both the oxer at fence six and the following water-tray oxer at fence seven which were raised in height for the second round.
The Dutch looked like they might just produce one of their trademark second-round comebacks when pathfinders Jeroen Dubbeldam and Utascha improved from a first-round double-error to come home with a clean sheet and then Willem Greve produced the second part of his spectacular double-clear with the nine-year-old stallion Carambole. But two mistakes from both Leon Thijssen (Tyson) and Jur Vrieling (VDL Bubalu) saw them finish up with 16 faults on the board.
The Swedish challenge faded when all four riders faulted second time out to leave them sharing that total of 16 faults while the Ukrainians, so impressive and effective when winning at the Piazza di Siena in Rome (ITA) at the end of May, fell apart when adding a 24 faults to their scoreline. But the Italians added just eight more to finish on a total of 12. Luca Moneta’s Neptune Brecourt followed his first-round clear with a mistake at the gate after the water, Emanuele Gaudiano and Cocoshynsky produced their second four-fault effort when hitting the vertical fence eight but Franco Francesco’s 12 faults with Cassandra could be discounted when Piergorgio Bucci registered a second lovely clear with Casallo Z.
It was all over long before the last-line riders took their turn however, as double-clears from Ehning and from Carsten-Otto Nagel with Corradina ensured that the single mistake made by second-line rider Rolf Moormann with the mare, Acorte, was all they had to count at the end of the day. The only real effort Monte Bellini and Weishaupt would have to make would be to look good during the prize-giving ceremony. Nagel was presented with the Furusiyya Rider of the Day award for his foot-perfect display with his lovely mare.
“We are of course very happy with today’s win”, said German Chef d’Equipe Otto Becker. “All the riders did very good rounds, especially Philipp Weishaupt!” he quipped. “I don’t think we have any chance of going to the Final, but of course we will do our very best and want to win the remaining qualifier at Hickstead”, he added. However with 182.00 points already accumulated and another chance to pick up more at the British fixture in three weeks’ time it looks very much like Germany can make the cut to the inaugural Final in Spain.
It was an important day for Rolf Moorman. The 38-year-old rider is not one of the most familiar faces on the top German team but is a well-known and successful trainer and producer of horses in his home country and has developed a particularly good partnership with the 10-year-old Hannovarian mare, Acorte. "I have her since she was six years old and we brought her on through the Youngster Tours and so on. Last year we did two 4-Stars and competed in the Nations Cup at Copenhagen (DEN) where she was double-clear and she was also really good at Gijon (ESP). Last year she finished third in the German Championship and this year she was fourth” he explained. He got his call-up for today’s competition after showing good form in Aachen. “While I was there Otto (Becker, German Chef d'Equipe) said I could come on the team to Falsterbo and today my horse did a great job! In the second round I didn't ride her so well to the last fence and we had that down but otherwise she was very good", he said. And asked what it was like to be riding on a top team alongside Ehning and Nagel, he replied “it’s very nice, they are all good people and we know each other well and when Marcus goes first you just watch and learn, it gives you a great feeling to be part of a team with him", he pointed out.
The German Chef d’Equipe will be sure to send a crack side to the penultimate leg of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Europe Division 1 leg at Hickstead as it is his country’s last opportunity to pick up more points. Each nation has just four opportunities to pick up points.
Lying second-last on the Europe Division 1 league table, the Ukrainians have a lot to do if they want to stay in the race, but they still have two more points-gathering chances at Hickstead and Dublin (IRL) next month. The British meanwhile are bottom of the league table, but also have two more runs ahead, while the Swiss and Dutch, who hold the top two places, have used up all their chances but are quite secure. The third-placed French will be hunting points at Hickstead while the Irish and Spanish, currently in fourth and fifth, will be battling it out when Europe Division 1 draws to a close at Dublin (IRL) in four weeks’ time.
For information on the 15th leg of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2013 series at Falsterbo, Sweden go to website www.falsterbohorseshow.com or contact Press Officer Malin Fredriksson Email firstname.lastname@example.org Tel +46 702 924 679. The next Europe Division 1 leg of the Furusiyya series takes place at Hickstead (GBR) on Friday 2 August. For details of the British fixture check out website www.hickstead.co.uk or contact Press Officer Victoria Spicer, Email email@example.com
Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2013 - Round 15 at Falsterbo
1. Germany 4 faults: Plot Blue (Marcus Ehning) 0/0, Acorte (Rolf Moormann) 0/4, Corradina (Carsten-Otto Nagel) 0/0, Monte Bellini (Philipp Weishaupt) DNS/DNS.
2. Italy 12 faults: Neptune Brecourt (Luca Maria Moneta) 0/4, Cocoshynsky (Emanuele Gaudiano) 4/4, Cassandra (Franco Francesco) 15/12, Casallo Z (Piergiorgio) 0/0.
3. Netherlands 16 faults: Utascha SFN (Jeroen Dubbeldam) 8/0, Carambole (Willem Greve) 0/0, Tyson (Leon Thijssen) 8/8, VDL Bubalu (Jur Vrieling) 0/8.
3. Sweden 16 faults: Lunatic (Jens Fredricson) 0/4, Baltimore (Malin Baryard-Johnsson) 5/8, Titan (Emma Emanuelsson) 4/4, Casall Ask (Rolf-Goran Bengtsson) 0/4.
5. Switzerland 18 faults: Uptown Boy (Janika Sprunger) 6/12, Quorida de Treho (Romain Duguet) 8/0, Windsor XV (Niklaus Rutschi) 4/0, Nasa (Steve Guerdat) 0/8.
6. France 20 faults: Number One D'Iso Un Prince (Nicolas Delmotte) 4/4, OHM de Ponthual (Jerome Hurel) 8/5, Qarat de la Loge (Julien Epaillard) 0/4, Quorioso Pre Noir (Timothee Anciaume) 8/0.
7. Ukraine 28 faults: Vivant (Cassio Rivetti) 0/4, Nobylis (Oleg Kraysuk) 4/20, Verdi (Ulrich Kirchhoff) 0/8, Pour Le Poussage (Katharina Offel) 8/12.
8. Spain 41 faults: Quinai Des Chayottes (Julio Arias) 4/0, Cash and Go (Antonio Marinas Soto) 4/12, Prunella D'Ariel (Paola Amilibia Puig) 12/9, Bonaire (Manuel Fernandez Saro) 19/13.
9. Denmark 25 faults in FIRST ROUND: Vivaldi K (Andreas Schou) 8, Chopin van Het Moleneind (Thomas Velin) Ret, Amarone (Thomas Sandgaard) 9, Tailormade Esperanza de Rebel (Soren Pedersen) 8.
FACTS AND FIGURES:
Falsterbo in Sweden presented the 15th leg of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2013 series and the sixth leg of Europe Division 1.
There are just two more legs of Europe Division 1 remaining, at Hickstead (GBR) on Friday 2 August and Dublin (IRL) on Friday 9 August 2013.
9 nations started in today's competition at Falsterbo.
4 nations were chasing qualifying points for the inaugural Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final which will take place in Barcelona (ESP) at the end of September.
4 horse-and-rider combinations produced double-clear performances in today's competition, two from the winning German team - Marcus Ehning with Plot Blue and Carsten-Otto Nagel with Corradina - along with Italy's Piergorgio Bucci and Casallo Z and The Netherlands' Willem Greve with Carambole.
8 of the 9 starting nations returned for the second round. Denmark failed to make the cut when collecting 25 faults in round one.
German anchorman, Philipp Weishaupt (Monte Bellini) was not required to jump in either of today's two rounds of competition.
Course designer was Germany's Frank Rothenberger.
Germany’s Carsten-Otto Nagel was presented with the Furusiyya Rider of the Day award.
Rolf Moormann (GER), talking about the course - "The water jumped well. The biggest problem on the course was the narrow vertical after it. It was a good course and the competition was nice to watch, there were no bad pictures".
Swedish Chef d’equipe Sylve Söderstrand - “I am very pleased with today’s rounds. Three of our horses were beginners so I am happy with their results. This was good preparation and answered some questions before the European Championships”.
Marcus Ehning: ”I am very happy about this win. I was the first rider to go in the competition so I was feeling a bit nervous but my horse was really great today and made my life a lot easier!”
Carsten-Otto Nagel about his double clear: “The crowd is unbelievable here and it’s always a pleasure to ride in Falsterbo. I am delighted with my result today, it couldn’t be better.”
Willem Greve (NED) “Actually to be honest my nine-year-old horse has always been good to me. I have had him since he was four and there has not been one day that he has let me down. I’m very proud of him and he’s a super horse.”
“I think it gives you an extra drive if the crowd is enthusiastic. Okay I never rode in Aachen, but to ride here, a double clear and the people they cheer for the Dutch, but they cheer a bit extra for Rolf and Malin than the rest, but they cheer for everybody and just enjoy the sport no matter who is jumping.”
Jens Fredricsson (SWE) “In the first round I had three of four small rubs and he was clear. Second round he jumped beautifully and I rode a little bit too strong into the last combination and the last stride a little bit too short, so he had a small touch. It’s a rider’s mistake I would call it. The crowd is really interested, you know? There are a lot of breeders and horse owners and riders here and for the whole week it’s a lot of people. I’ve been coming here for about 20 years, and the crowd here is absolutely fantastic.”
Steve Guerdat (SUI) “My horse felt ok in the first round. In the second round I don’t know really, she just didn’t jump up. Yeah, that’s how it is today, sometimes you have the luck and you stay clear and sometimes a little less.”
Piergorgio Bucci (ITA) “It feels amazing to go double clear, I’m glad I’m riding the best horse in my life and after three years he gives me this big present, it’s really easy with this horse, it’s unbelievable.”
Ulrich Kirchhoff (UKR) “My horse jumped very well over the water, but I knocked the last fence over. Overall, he jumped very well and I got a super feeling. I’ve been here for five or six times and it’s a fantastic show for me. I have had a lot of success here. The people are horse people and you can feel it out there, it’s fantastic!”
Marcus Ehning and Plot Blue jumped double-clear to help secure victory for Germany at the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping series in Falsterbo, Sweden. Photo: FEI/Roland Thunholm.