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Meydan FEI Nations Cupô - 2009 Falsterbo Competition Report

IRISH ON SONG AT FALSTERBO
Falsterbo (SWE), 17 July 2009

Three second-round clears secured victory for Ireland at the sixth leg of the Meydan FEI Nations Cup™ series in Falsterbo, Sweden this afternoon where the winning side's Darragh Kerins and Night Train and French rider Olivier Guillon and Lord de Theize registered the only completely fault-free performances.  It very nearly came down to yet another two-way jump-off against the clock to decide the winner, but the home team from Sweden had to settle for runner-up spot when anchorman Rolf-Goran Bengtsson's inexperienced mare Kiara La Silla faulted in the closing stages.

Switzerland slotted into equal-third with France while the British and Dutch shared fifth spot and the USA finished seventh ahead of Germany in eighth.  It was another dreadful day for the Italians who floundered after their opening partnership, Giovanni Principi and Jaguar, were eliminated.   Their first-round tally of 72 faults seemed to put the final stamp on their relegation papers, and they were joined on the benches by the Belgians today, who also failed to make the cut into the eight-team second round.

TESTED TO THE LIMIT

Frank Rothenberger's track asked for plenty of jumping off short distances and the triple combination tested many to the limit, while the final double - a massive triple bar followed by a vertical with water tray - proved the bogey of the day.  "The horses had their eye on the gate coming down to this one" explained Irish pathfinder Cameron Hanley afterwards, "and then when they turned to the fence they could see the water through the triple bar so they took their eye off that too - it was a really difficult one to ride" he added.

The Swiss were in the lead at the halfway stage with five faults on the board, but the Irish and Swedes were close behind with nine each while the French were next carrying 12.  The British and Dutch were next with 13 and the Germans and Americans were also on level pegging with 16 faults, but at this stage the competition still seemed wide open.  It would be the ability to improve on first-round performances that would mould the final line-up - and as it turned out the Irish would be the best at doing just that.

TRICKY TRIPLE BAR

Phillip Weishaupt (Souvenir) hit just the middle of the triple combination second time out while Marco Kutscher and Cash clipped the tricky triple bar when almost home, but a total of 13 in the second round would prove too expensive for the Germans who totalled 29.  A 20-fault scoreline for Charlie Jayne and Urbanus and 24 faults for Michelle Spadone and Melisimo left the Americans vulnerable despite an impressive four fault result for rookie Cara Raether riding the big-jumping Ublesco, and when Beezie Madden steered the promising but relatively inexperienced Danny Boy to an eight-fault total the series leaders completed with 28 faults and would lose their grip on pole position on the leaderboard.

The Dutch and British both registered eight-fault second rounds, Eric Van der Vleuten producing an inspired ride on VDL Groep Tomboy because the Dutch duo got into a real muddle at the final fence and were eliminated first time out but came back to clear it next time in a four-fault round.  Leon Thijssen and Olaf were clear for Holland in round two and Britain's Geoff Billington followed suit with Rosinus but the 21-fault tally for their teams would never challenge the leading pack and it would not be another glorious day for the double-winners from France either.  Not even a clears from Patrice Deleveau (Katchina Mail) and a repeat clear from Olivier Guillon (Lord de Theize) could put them into contention as they completed with a score of 17. 

FOOT-PERFECT RUNS

It would fall to the Irish, Swedish an Swiss to battle it out in the closing stages and the eventual winners really put it up to the rest of them with foot-perfect runs from Hanley and Kerins.  Sweden answered that with copybook rounds from Helena Lundback and Madick and Svante Johannson and Saint Amour but the Swiss lost their grip after Pius Schwizer (Ulysse) hit the last element of the triple combination and then Jane Richard (Zekina) picked up nine faults.

Ireland's O'Brien got into trouble at the triple combination to rack up 13 faults and when 19 year old Royne Zetterman and Isaac clipped only the vertical after the combination it seemed the home side might take the spoils.  Everything would now depend on the last-line rider and Aachen Grand Prix winner Denis Lynch really put it up to Swedish anchor Rolf-Goran Bengtsson with a turbo-charged round from Lantinus who pulled hard and jumped like a stag.

The Swede however was at a significant disadvantage.  His top horse, Ninja La Silla, had been put out of action after stepping on a nail in the warm-up ring on Monday.  Too lame to compete, the horse that took the quiet man to such great heights in Hong Kong would be munching hay back in the stable and leaving the hard work instead to a relative novice in the shape of the handsome grey mare Kiara La Silla.  The Swedish crowd was electric with excitement as their man came into the ring and as commentator, Steve Hadley, said the mare had 12,000 people riding her as she set off over the track but a fence down and a time fault would put paid to the dream of a home victory at this very first top-level Nations Cup at the Swedish venue.

IRISH EYES

Irish eyes were smiling however.  "We were capable of a zero score today such was the quality of the team we had" said a delighted Irish team manager Robert Splaine.  And he thought the luck of the Irish might be kicking in too - "yes I think our luck has turned at last, we had a difficult start to the series but we have real strength in depth now and today's performance will give us guidelines for the European Championships too" he pointed out.

"We are not going to take anything for granted however" he added, "we'll be coming out in Hickstead with all guns blazing next week and we want to finish well in Dublin but its great to have moved ourselves up the leaderboard and into a stronger position - no time to be complacent though - I'm well aware of that" he said.

The host British team can't afford any complacency either when the Meydan FEI Nations Cup™ arrives on the doorstep next Friday afternoon.  Despite today's valiant effort they share the relegation zone with the Italians while Belgium now lies eighth on the leaderboard just 1.5 points ahead of them.  At the top end the Americans have been forced to give way to the French who now hold the whip hand but there is only 0.5 points between them.  It's crunch time heading for the British fixture next week.

FACTS AND FIGURES

There were only two double-clear rounds in the competition - from Ireland's Darragh Kerins and Olivier Guillon for France.

There were two eliminations - Holland's Eric van der Vleuten and VDL Groep Tomboy and Italy's Giovanni Principi with Jaguar, both in round one.

The bogey fence of the competition was the final fence - a double consisting of a triple bar to a vertical with water tray.

Just five lady riders competed in this leg of the series. 

QUOTES:

Irish Chef d'Equipe, Robert Splaine - "Denis Lynch could have used his efforts in Aachen - the Nations Cup and his win in the Grand Prix - as a reason to leave Lantinus home today but he is 100% behind the Irish effort to stay in the Meydan FEI series.  We all believe that this series tests and checks the ability of horses for the championships and Olympic Gams, we want to stay in the series because its the best way for any nation to remain competitive at top level"

Irish rider Cameron Hanley - "Livello's first Nations Cup was in Rotterdam and I'm really pleased with him.  Sevil Sebanci bought him as a 6 year old and he's always shown huge promise - he's had eight months off due to injury but he's come back better than ever".

Swedish Chef d'Equipe Maria Gretzer - "I'm very happy with the result because this week started so badly for us when Rolf-Goran's horse was injured.  Alexander was great today - he jumped a perfect first round and I'm really pleased that my riders coped so well with the pressure here today.  It's always more difficult in front of your home crowd and you always want to do your very best - they really kept their nerve".

Maria Gretzer - "This Meydan league is very important for us.  We are using it to look at our horses and riders for the Championships this year".

RESULT:
1.    Ireland 9 faults - SIEC Livello (Cameron Hanley) 5/0, Night Train (Darragh Kerins) 0/0, Kiltoom (Capt David O'Brien) 9/13, Lantinus (Denis Lynch) 4/0.

2.    Sweden 14 faults - Madick (Helena Lundback) 4/0, Saint Amour (Svante Johansson) 4/0, Isaac (Alexander Zetterman) 1/5, Kiara la Silla (Rolf-Goran Bengtsson) 4/5.

Equal 3. Switzerland 17 faults - Ulysse (Pius Schwizer) 0/4, Zekina Z (Jane Richard0 5/9, Peu a Peu (Daniel Etter) 0/4, Jalisca Solier (Steve Guerdat) 5/4.

Equal 3. France 17 faults - Katchina Mail (Patrice Deleveau) 8/0, Luccianno (Nicolas Delmotte) 8/5, Mentor de Smet (Fabrice Dumartin) 4/8, Lord de Theize (Olivier Guillon) 0/0.

Equal 5. Great Britain 21 faults - Rosinus (Geoff Billington) 8/0, Romanov (Phillip Spivey) 4/4, Torinto van de Middlestede (Guy Williams) 8/4, Pall Mall (Peter Charles) 1/8.

Equal 5.  The Netherlands 21 faults - Audi' Alpapillon-Armanie (Vincent Voorn) 8/4, VDL Orame (Jur Vrieling) 1/9, Olaf (Leon Thijssen) 4/0, VDL Groep Tomboy (Eric Van der Vleuten) Elim/4.

7.    USA 28 faults - Urbanus (Charlie Jayne) 8/12, Ublesco (Cara Raether) 4/0, Melisimo (Michelle Spadone) 16/8, Danny Boy (Beezie Madden) 4/4.

8.      Germany 29 faults - Asti Spumante (Thomas Muhlbauer) 0/4, Chacco-Blue (Alois Pollmann-Schweckhorst) 8/8, Souvenir (Philipp Weishaupt) 9/4, Cash (Marco Kutscher) 8/5.

9.     Belgium 24 faults in first round - Kassini Jac (Ludo Philippaerts) 12, Aluna (Niels Bruynseels) 8, Top Gun (Peter Postelmans), Spender S (Jos Lansink) 8.

10.    Italy 72 faults in first round - Jaguar (Giovanni Principi) Elim; Calgary Z (Roberto Turchetto) 13, Cool On (Roberto Cristofoletti) 34, Akteur (Jerry Smit) 25.

MEYDAN FEI NATIONS CUP™ - Standings after sixth leg in Falsterbo (SWE):

1.  France             -    36.5

2.  USA            -    36

3.  Switzerland        -    28.5

4.  Netherlands        -    27.5

5.  Germany        -    26

6.  Ireland            -    21.5

7.  Sweden        -    18

8.  Belgium        -       16.5

9.  Great Britain        -     13.5

10. Italy            -    4


MEYDAN FEI NATIONS CUP™

A Meydan FEI Nations Cup™ event is organised as a five-star Nations Cup, i.e. a competition in which official teams representing nations compare their merit. At each event the teams gain points according to their placing. At the end of the season the team with the highest points wins the Meydan FEI Nations Cup™ and the two teams with the lowest points are relegated to the FEI Nations Cup series (Promotional League). The two best placed teams of that series following the Promotional League Final join the Meydan FEI Nations Cup™ for the following year.


The World’s Best Ten Teams: Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, , Ireland, USA, Switzerland, Sweden, and Italy

The World’s Best Eight Venues

La Baule (FRA); Friday 15 May; http://www.labaule-cheval.com/2009/pages/accueil.html
Rome (ITA); Friday 29 May; http://www.piazzadisiena.com/

St. Gallen (SUI); Friday 5 June; http://www.csio.ch/

Rotterdam (NED); Friday 19 June; http://www.chio.nl/

Aachen (GER); Thursday 2 July; http://www.chioaachen.de/

Falsterbo (SWE); Friday 17 July; http://falsterbohorseshow.se/se/valkommen/hem/

Hickstead (GBR); Friday 24 July; http://www.hickstead.co.uk/

Dublin (IRL); Friday 7 August; http://www.dublinhorseshow.com/


The complete rules, latest news, results, standings and photos are on www.meydanfeinationscup.org

MEYDAN FEI NATIONS CUP™ - Standings after sixth leg in Falsterbo (SWE):

1.  France             -    36.5

2.  USA            -    36

3.  Switzerland        -    28.5

4.  Netherlands        -    27.5

5.  Germany        -    26

6.  Ireland            -    21.5

7.  Sweden        -    18

8.  Belgium        -       16.5

9.  Great Britain        -     13.5

10. Italy            -    4


MEYDAN FEI NATIONS CUP™

A Meydan FEI Nations Cup™ event is organised as a five-star Nations Cup, i.e. a competition in which official teams representing nations compare their merit. At each event the teams gain points according to their placing. At the end of the season the team with the highest points wins the Meydan FEI Nations Cup™ and the two teams with the lowest points are relegated to the FEI Nations Cup series (Promotional League). The two best placed teams of that series following the Promotional League Final join the Meydan FEI Nations Cup™ for the following year.


The World’s Best Ten Teams: Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, , Ireland, USA, Switzerland, Sweden, and Italy

The World’s Best Eight Venues

La Baule (FRA); Friday 15 May; http://www.labaule-cheval.com/2009/pages/accueil.html
Rome (ITA); Friday 29 May; http://www.piazzadisiena.com/

St. Gallen (SUI); Friday 5 June; http://www.csio.ch/

Rotterdam (NED); Friday 19 June; http://www.chio.nl/

Aachen (GER); Thursday 2 July; http://www.chioaachen.de/

Falsterbo (SWE); Friday 17 July; http://falsterbohorseshow.se/se/valkommen/hem/

Hickstead (GBR); Friday 24 July; http://www.hickstead.co.uk/

Dublin (IRL); Friday 7 August; http://www.dublinhorseshow.com/


The complete rules, latest news, results, standings and photos are on www.meydanfeinationscup.org

© Cyberhorse 2009 Jenny Barnes

 

 

23 November 2017  
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