Turkey put itself on the map with a superb victory in the latest Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping leg in the popular beach resort of Sopot in the north of Poland.
In a 10-nation contest it seemed the host country would come out on of the top fourth leg of the Europe Division 2 League as they led the way at the halfway stage and remained in contention during the second round. But it is clear rounds that decide results at the end of the day, and two of those clinched it for Mert Alicioglu’s Turkish side which had threatened from the outset.
This was Turkey’s debut in the Furusiyya series, and a most impressive one. With three further qualifying opportunities available to them, they have the final now very much in their sights.
Poland had to settle for runner-up spot ahead of Norway in third, Denmark in fourth and Germany in fifth place. The Italian team rose from the bottom of the pile to finish sixth while Hungary slotted into seventh and Belgium finished last of the eight teams that made the cut into the second round. Sweden and Finland were side-lined at the end of round one, and it wasn’t good news for the Finns who, along with Denmark, Hungary, Norway, Poland and Turkey, were chasing points towards the final at Barcelona, Spain in October.
The result may have been a bit frustrating for the host side, but Poland has now moved to the top of the Europe Division 2 leaderboard ahead of Denmark and Italy in joint-second place as the series moves on to Budapest, Hungary in July.
Polish course designer Lukasz Jankowski gave the riders plenty to think about, and faults were scattered all through the 12-fence track.
Winning team member Omer Karaevli, who has been living in The Netherlands for the last 18 years, said the country’s goal was to qualify for the WEG and the Olympics.
“Normally I compete mainly as an individual but we are working on building up our Turkish team now and we have the opportunity because we have support for our programme. Our Federation has put together a special budget for this Furusiyya League,” he said.
He was delighted with how his team-mates performed, singling out Husnu Dinc and Cagri Basel for praise, and speaking highly of pathfinder, Derin Demirsoy, who made history in 2011 when he was the first Turkish rider to take an individual Junior medal at the FEI European Championships, claiming silver. Demirsoy has been nominated by his Federation for the 2016 Olympic Games.
1. Turkey 12 faults: Harry K (Derin Demirsoy) 4/0, Chiara (Husnu Dinc) 0/4, Chaccomo (Cagri Basel) 6/9, Dadjak ter Puttenen (Omer Karaevli) 4/0.
2. Poland 17 faults: Crazy Quick (Jaroslaw Skrzycznski) 0/4, Abigej (Marek Lewicki) 12/8, Osadkowski van Halen (Piort Morsztyn) 0/1, Cros (Andrezj Gloskowski) 4/8.
3. Norway 20 faults: Cassiopeia (Stein Endresen) Elim/4, Edesa S Banjan (Geir Gulliksen) 0/4, Dimaro VD Looise Heide (Dag Ove Kingsroed) 4/4, CC Top (Olie Kristoffer Meland) 4/12.
4. Denmark 21 faults: Leonardo der Kleine (Andreas Schou) 0/0, Qualico du Bobois (Rikke Haastrup) 8/5, Amarone (Thomas Sandgaard0 12/16, Tailormade Experanza de Rebel (Soeren Pedersen) 4/4.
5. Germany 24 faults: Forchello (Christian Kukuk) 4/0, Tabou Z (Tobias Thoenes) 0/4, Baldira (Philip Rupling) 12/8, Comtessa (Henrik Griese) 8/8.
6. Italy 36 faults: Winn Winn (Gianni Govoni) 4/8, Triomphe Van Schuttershof (Davide Sbardella) 8/4, Ram Watch Ambra (Roberto Previtali) 12/0, Mon Flipper (Emanuele Fiorelli) 12/Ret.
7. Hungary 38 faults: Catara (Attila Tecsy) 8/Elim, Dr Oklund (Gyula Szuhal) 24/5, PM Jumping Lady (Balazs Horvath) 4/ 0 Timpex Cent (Gabor Szabo) 8/13.
8. Belgium 39 faults: Ebano (Bert Prouve) 8/8, Faemes van T Poelzelhof (Quinten Bradt) 15/8, Quax (Marc Boes) 16/20, Emilie de Diamant AS (Jan Vinckier) 0/0.
9. Sweden 20 faults in first round: Caleno 3 (Jenny Johansson) 8, Cornet 39 (Irma Karlsson) 24, Audi’s Valentino (Elina Petersson0 4, Bill Breaker (Wilma hellstrom) 8.
10. Finland 29 faults in first round: Cue Channa 42 (Sebastian Numminen) 12, Cosma Shiva (Lotta-Rikke Rintamaki) 8, Celestine (Satu Liukkonen) 9, Avantos (Juulia Jylas) 16.