It’s all to play for in the final of the 2016 FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing at Boekelo (NED) next month as Germany, Great Britain and France, respectively first, second and third at the penultimate leg at Waregem in Belgium, could all win the series in which the best seven results count.
The Netherlands finished fourth at Waregem and are now in fourth place on the overall leaderboard, but more than 200 points behind France.
Germany scored their fourth win of the 2016 FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing season at Waregem, following victories at Fontainebleau (FRA), Houghton Hall (GBR) and Vairano (ITA) last week, with team member Stephanie Böhe leading throughout to take individual honours on Haytom. The team’s worst score so far this season is a fourth place at Strzegom (POL).
However, Britain still holds a slim five-point advantage over the Germans on the 2016 FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing rankings. The British team has competed at the most legs, seven, with two wins, at Ballindenisk (IRL) and Strzegom. Provided they do well at Boekelo, they could be in a strong position, as they would only have 55 points to discard for a sixth place at Fontainebleau, their weakest result.
At Waregem, the British team, made steady headway up the leaderboard, from fifth after Dressage to third after Jumping and finally to the runner-up spot thanks to four clear Cross Country rounds and a brilliant performance from Izzy Taylor, fourth on Trevidden and the only rider in the field to achieve the optimum time.
German riders Leoni Kuhlmann (Cascora) and Franziska Keinki (Lancaster 149) finished seventh and 17th, but Andreas Dibowski, who led the team to victory last week in Vairano (ITA), had to withdraw before the Jumping with It’s Me when in fifth place.
France’s best performance came from regular team member Caroline Chadelat, who finished third on Kadessia, climbing from 22ndafter Dressage with just 0.8 Cross Country time penalties.
These three nations have dominated the 2016 FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing, but Boekelo is likely to be the most competitive leg of all and there’s plenty of opportunity for the leaderboard to change – Ireland and New Zealand have claimed the last two runnings and the Australians are likely to be strong. A great competition is in store.
1. Germany 176.7
Stephanie Böhe/Haytom, 47.1; Leonie Kuhlmann/Cascora, 57.8; Franziska Keinki/Lancaster 149, 71.8; [Andreas Dibowski/It’s Me XX, WD SJ]
2. Great Britain, 186.7
Izzy Taylor/Trevidden, 52.5; Laura Collett/Cooley Again, 67.2; Tom Jackson/Dusty, 67.0; [Jodie Amos/Soltair Justice, 69.8]
3. France, 202.4
Caroline Chadelet/Kadessia, 52.3; Pascale Boutet/Pol des Vents, 70.7; Aurélien Leroy/Seashore Spring, 79.4; [Sidney Dufresne/Swing de Perdriat, 85.8]
4. Netherlands, 214.2
Alice Naber-Lozeman/Coral Estate Harry Belafonte, 56.9; Jordy Wilken/Burry Spirit, 77.6; Tim Lips/Keyflow, 79.7
5. Belgium, 1,150.8
Joris Vanspringel/Lully des Aulnes 69.7; Steve Van Winkel/Airkan Sylvester, 81.1; [Valentine Steeman/Beauty Boy, EL XC; Karin Donckers/Lady Brown, WD XC]
6. Sweden, 1,163.1
Hanna Berg/Quite Survivor, 68.7; Anna Freskgard/Box Qutie, 94.4; [Christoffer Forsberg/Hippo’s Sapporo, EL XC; William Nilsson Fryer/Quireboy, RET XC)
Full results on www.rechenstelle.de
Standings (after 8 out of 9 events)
1. Great Britain 555 points
2. Germany 550
3. France 475
4. Netherlands 265
5. Australia 260
6. Ireland 250
7. Italy 220
8. USA 205
9. Belgium 180
10. Sweden 150
11. New Zealand 130
12. Switzerland 125
13. Canada 90
14. Norway 60
FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing 2016 calendar
1. Fontainebleau (FRA) 23-25 March
2. Ballindenisk (IRE) 22-24 April
3. Houghton Hall (GBR) 26-29 May
4. Strzegom (POL) 24-26 June
5. The Plains (USA) 8-10 July
6. Aachen (GER) 14-17 July
7. Vairano (ITA) 16-18 September
8. Waregem (BEL) 22-25 September
Picture: The victorious German team at Waregem (BEL), the eighth and penultimate leg of the 2016 FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing. L-R Leonie Kuhlmann (Cascora), Stephanie Böhe (Haytom), Franziska Keinki (Lancaster 149) (Eventing Photo/FEI)