CROSS COUNTRY DAY AT THE HSBC FEI EUROPEAN EVENTING CHAMPIONSHIP
Fontainebleau (FRA), 26 September 2009
Watch LIVE on FEI TV:
Sunday, 27 September
11h00 - 12h00 CEST (Jumping Part l)
14:00 - 16:30 CEST (Jumping Part ll)
Audio Interviews (click the name to listen to the interview)
Kristina Cook (GBR)
William Fox Pitt (GBR)
Jean Teulère (FRA) in French
Michael Jung (GER) in German
Karin Donckers (BEL)
BRITAIN TRIUMPHS ON EXCITING CROSS-COUNTRY DAY
Great Britain is on course to win a record 8th consecutive team gold medal at the HSBC FEI European Eventing Championship at Fontainebleau (FRA) after the Cross-Country produced an extraordinary and thrilling day's sport which has dramatically altered the leaderboard.
France has risen to silver medal position - 57 penalties in arrears of Great Britain - despite the shock loss of their defending champion, Nicolas Touzaint (FRA), who was eliminated for jumping the wrong side of a flag at fence 8c, and Italy has moved up three places to bronze, after two brilliant rounds from Roberto Rotatori and Juan Carlos Garcia, who is now in line to make history by winning medals in both the FEI European Jumping and Eventing Championships in one year.
In a disastrous day for Germany, in which three team members were eliminated, Michael Jung (GER) now remains their sole medal hope; he and his brilliant La Biosthetique Sam are in individual silver position after producing a superb early clear round, one of only three inside the optimum time of 10 minutes 27 seconds.
Five out the six British riders jumped clear, and Kristina Cook (GBR) and William Fox-Pitt (GBR) are now in individual gold and bronze positions with newcomer Piggy French (GBR) lying 4th on her senior team debut, although Oliver Townend's (GBR) amazing run this season ended with two run-outs, both at corners, at 8c and 22.
The French team now has to count the score of Eric Vigeanel and the 19-year-old Coronado de Prior, who had two run-outs - ironically, individuals Arnaud Boiteau (FRA) and Didier Dhennin (FRA) are lying 5th and 7th - but 57-year-old anchorman Jean Teulère and his 17-year-old 2002 World Champion Espoir de la Mare, the very last on course, were simply magnificent, returning to a hero's welcome from an ecstatic home crowd.
WHAT HAPPENED TO GERMANY?
Germany's day started to go badly wrong when their second team member, Frank Ostholt (GER), was eliminated for three refusals, at the corner at fence 22 and at the narrow fences in the second water complex at 24. Ingrid Klimke (GER) had a difficult jump into the troublesome double of angled brushes at 11 when Butts Abraxxus cat-jumped the first element and then stopped. She, too, was eliminated after further run-outs at the brush arrowhead at fence 16. Individual rider Dirk Schrade and team anchorman Andreas Dibowski both fell at double of arrowheads at fence 14.
The Irish team, also, was wiped out when their first and last riders, Sacha Pemble (IRL) and Elizabeth Power (IRL) were eliminated for three refusals apiece, and The Netherlands fell apart when Jan Van Beek (NED) retired and Tim Lips (NED) had three refusals.
5 teams completed
44 riders completed
27 clear rounds
3 inside the optimum time
6 riders retired
14 riders were eliminated
7 falls (5 horse falls)
Fence 11 was the most influential, with 12 faults
There were 10 faults at fence 16 and at fence 24
Nicola Wilson (GBR): "Opposition Buzz loves his cross-country - he thinks all his Christmases and birthdays have come at once. I took all the direct routes and the course jumped as well as I'd hoped. He was very strong, though, so I may try a different bit next time."
William Fox-Pitt (GBR): "I'm thrilled. Idalgo is totally unsuited to this course and he got very strong - I'm a bit hot, actually - but he was fabulous, so generous and staying on the line. At the water (fence 24), I had no reins, no nothing, and I didn't think it was worth the risk, which is why I took a longer route."
Oliver Townend (GBR): "I suppose it was too much to expect after Badminton and Burghley that I could pull this off too. Flint Curtis is fine, but he has not felt on his best form."
Kristina Cook (GBR): "My horse was magic. I've had him for seven years since he was a four-year-old and we have a real partnership now. I just kept thinking of my team mate William Fox-Pitt's words - he told me not to worry about looking pretty!"
Michael Jung (GER): "Obviously today went worse than you could imagine for the team, but my horse is in very good shape. He looks good in the stable and I am hoping to stay in the medals. Today was a very difficult course from beginning to end; there wasn't a second to breathe and zillions of places to make a mistake. But Sam is a very good horse at the cross-country; he has proved it many times this year already and he did it again today."
Sam Watson (IRL), after his refusal at 24b: "Horseware Bushman was just too far off the second element because he jumped very big into the water. He had been spot on all the way round, so I couldn't be more disappointed."
Karen Donckers (BEL): "I had a really good time, maybe not fast enough, but it was great. I thought after I saw Michael Jung and Nicola Wilson that the course was perhaps quite easy, but I soon realised that it was tough enough. But I've got a smart mare who works well with me. I like to jump the fences well, rather than fast, which is perhaps my weakness and is why I'm often in the top 10 but don't win! But it's important for the jumping tomorrow and for my team."
Linda Algotsson (SWE), 12th: "Stand By Me was fantastic. He has a huge stride so he was happier on the second half of the course. I had a big headache about fence 22, but he was brilliant there, and we had a scary moment at 24b in the second water, but he popped some of the fences as though they were pony club."
Kristina Cook (GBR) and Miners Frolic on the Cross Country of the HSBC FEI European Eventing Championship. Additional high resolution photographs are available from the online FEI Photo Catalogue. (c) Kit Houghton
1 Great Britain, 140.50
2 France, 197.90
3 Italy, 211.20
4 Belgium, 286.60
5 Sweden, 313.60
1= Kristina Cook/Miners Frolic (GBR) 37.9 + 0.8 = 38.7
2 Michael Jung/La Biosthetique Sam FB (GER) 45 + = = 45.0
3 William Fox-Pitt/Idalgo (GBR) 41.5 + 3.6 = 45.1
4 Piggy French/Some Day Soon (GBR) 41.7 + 5.6 = 47.3
5 Arnaud Boiteau/Expo du Moulin (GER) 41.8 + 6 = 47.8
6 Jean Teulere/Espoir de la Mare (FRA) 43.8 + 6.4 = 50.2
7 Didier Dhennin/Ismene du Temple (FRA) 50.6 + 0 = 50.6
8 Roberto Rotatori/Della Malaspina Irham (ITA) 45.8 + 4.8 = 50.6
9 Karin Donckers/Gazelle de la Brasserie (BEL) 38.7 + 16 = 54.7
10 Nicola Wilson/Opposition Buzz (GBR) 56.7 + 0 = 56.7
Full results and start sheets on www.fontainebleau-2009.com
HSBC, ‘the world's local bank', is one of the world's largest banking and financial services organisations. HSBC Holdings plc is the exclusive financial services partner to the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) and in 2008 became a ‘Platinum Sponsor' - the FEI's highest sponsorship platform.
HSBC's equestrian sponsorship portfolio includes:
The HSBC FEI ClassicsTM
The HSBC FEI World CupTM Eventing
The HSBC FEI European Eventing Championship 2009