Team USA claimed the top step of the podium in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Saturday when winning the eighth leg of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Europe Division 2 series.
Drawn eighth to go of the 13 competing nations, the US riders shared a zero score with Brazil at the halfway stage. But when both pathfinder Catherine Pasmore and third-line rider Megan Nusz produced double-clear performances, anchor rider Kirsten Coe didn’t have to jump a second-round because the four-fault result returned by Quentin Judge was all they had to count and would be good enough for the win.
Brazil finished with eight on the board for runner-up spot ahead of Finland on 12 while Austria slotted into fourth with 13, and Germany finished next in line when collecting 16 faults. Sweden finished sixth when posting a final score of 19 faults, while Switzerland and France shared seventh place when each racked up a 20-fault total. Only eight of the 13 teams returned in the second round, and the host nation of Slovakia missed out when picking up 13 faults in the opening round.
Course designer Eduard Petrovic said his ultimate was to “have as many riders ‘survive’ but also to make it difficult enough. We want riders to keep coming year after year and to be intrigued by the challenge that they face here – to relish it”.
This was the fifth time for Petrovic to build the courses at CSIO Bratislava which celebrated its 48th edition in 2013.
“The quality of competition has risen year-on-year,” he noted. “The competition has gone up a notch every time and that is great. The Slovak Republic and Hungary are two countries that are attracting more and more skilled and competent riders which is very exciting for the Eastern European region. The footing here is absolutely fantastic and the OC is really pushing for this event to become better and better.”
US Chef d’Equipe Kent Farrington was well-pleased with the win. “It was really exciting for us to bring a team of developing riders,” he said. “It was Megan’s first time competing in the Nations Cup and she jumped a double clear which is absolutely fantastic. These are four very qualified riders, so there is no weak link in the team.
“Our strategy was to send a more senior team to Hickstead, which gave us the opportunity to bring younger riders and younger horses here to Bratislava to gain experience and develop. This is all down to the new format of the Nations Cup,” he said.
Farrington will be back in the saddle himself next week, lining out in the last qualifying round of the Furusiyya FEI Nation Cup Europe Division 1 league in Dublin, Ireland on Friday afternoon. “It’s my first time being Chef d’Equipe so I might retire undefeated and keep my record intact!” he said with a grin.
There were six teams battling for points in the contest – Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Poland and the host nation of Slovakia – and it was Finland who collected the most points for the highest placing of the day when slotting into third. This leaves them in fourth place on the Europe Division 2 leaderboard which continues to be led by Belgium followed by Sweden in second and Norway in third going into the next leg at Gijon, Spain at the end of August. Austria, Denmark, Poland and Bulgaria hold the next four places. A total of eight teams from Europe Division 2 will qualify for the inaugural Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping 2013 series Final in Barcelona, Spain at the end of September.
The next leg of the Europe Division 2 series takes place in Gijon, Spain on Friday 30 August 2013.
1. USA 4 faults: Bonanza van Paemel (Catherine Pasmore) 0/0, HH Dark de la Hart (Quentin Judge) 0/4, Dynamo (Megan Nusz) 0/0, Calypso (Kirsten Coe) 5/DNS.
2. Brazil 8 faults: Show Show (Alvaro Alfonso de Miranda) 5/8, Amemoi O Sandor (Pedro Veniss) 0/4, Clowni (Marion Zanotelli) 0/4, Dolores (Bernardo Alves) 0/0.
3. Finland 12 faults: Armani the Gun CH (Maiju Mallat) 8/4, Celestine (Satu Liukkonen) 0/4, Agropoint Cassius (Kaarlo Kovacs) 0/4, Fardon (Anna Julia Kontio) 4/0.
4. Austria 13 faults: Emir vh Molenid (Dieter Kofler) 4/4, Royal des Bissons (Astrid Kneifl) 1/0, Texas (Markus Saurugg) 0/12, Connycor (Stefan Eder) 12/4.
5. Germany 16 faults: Taquila (Sebastian Karshuning) 4/0, Cash (Simone Blum) 0/12, Dante de Joter (Thorben Kohlbrand) 4/8, Cassius (Andreas Knippling) 8/0.
6. Sweden 19 faults: Be Wonderful (Linda Heed) Elim/6, Duchess van de Zuthoe (Elin Janson) 1/12, Easy Contact Humlan (Mariano Maggi) 0/0, Newton Nickel (Angelie Von Essen) 4/8.
7. Switzerland 20 faults: Nouvelle Europe (Faye Schoch) 4/4, Oceane de la Taille (Evelyne Bussmann) 0/0, Nirvana Basters (Frederique Fabre Delbros) 12/4, Milor Landais (Pascal Bettschen) 8/Elim.
7. France 20 faults: Rhune d Euskadi (Marie Demonte) 4/8, Origan de Vains (Jaques Helmlinger) 8/8, Marlou de Etisses (Alexis Borrin) 8/0, Quastor de la Vallee (David Jobertie) 0/0.
9. Slovakia 13 faults IN FIRST ROUND: Centor (Andrej Holly) 8. Lord Levisto (Jana Slavikova) 5, Pinocchio (Monika Stangelova) 4, Concano (Bronislav Chudyba) 4.
10. Hungary 16 faults/263.64 seconds IN FIRST ROUND: Dr Oklund (Gyula Szuhai) 10, PM Jumping Lady (Balazs Horvath) 4, Timpex Cent (Gabor Szabo) 8, Chacco Boy (Szabolcs Krucso) 4.
11. Czech Republic 16 faults/266.87 seconds IN FIRST ROUND: Kallisto (Jiri Skrivan) 0, Luka’s Ninja (Zuzana Zelinkova) 8, Bel Canto Hradiste (Kamil Papousek) 8, Zidande P (Ales Opatrny) 8.
12. Poland 24 faults/268.09 IN FIRST ROUND: Duke of Carneval (Radoslaw Zalewski) 19, Abigej (Marek Lewicki) 0, Zoweja (Marek Ludwiczak) 8, Denetor (Gregorz Kubiak) 16.
13. Italy 24 faults/284.28 IN FIRST ROUND: Fixdesign Chopin (Filippo Bologni) 5, Caesar (Rebecca Lippi Bruni) 11, Lucky du Reverdy (Nicolo Montini) 16, Calida (Federico Ciriesi) 8.