The German national anthem rang out yet again as the team were victorious at Waregem (BEL), seventh leg of the FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing 2015, where they beat the home side of Belgium by nearly 50 penalties.
This was Germany’s third win this season, following victories at Houghton Hall (GBR) and Aachen (GER), but Britain, who have participated in the most contests, still head the FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing leaderboard by a significant nine points going into the last leg at Boekelo (NED) next month. Germany led throughout at Waregem and was the only team to have all four riders complete Tom Ryckewaert’s (BEL) excellent Cross Country course.
Team members Andreas Ostholt (Pennsylvania 28), Julia Krajewski (Samourai du Thot), Anna-Maria Rieke (Petite Dame) and Andreas Dibowski on the veteran FRH Butts Avedon finished second, fifth, sixth and 15th respectively. Belgium’s best rider was Julian Despontin, in eighth place on Waldano 36. The Netherlands finished third, with the experienced Tim Lips their best rider in 17th place on Trademark, more than 50 penalties behind Belgium.
The Cross Country phase proved influential - especially the elusive optimum time - and considerably re-ordered the leaderboard, producing a surprise individual CIC3* winner in British team member Nana Dalton (GBR) on Abbeylara Prince.
Waregem is not an easy track on which to make up time, as it has some wooded sections, and Dalton was the only rider to come home with time penalties in single figures; she had been only 26th after Dressage and 14th after a clear Jumping round.
Australia was second after the Dressage and Jumping phases by only 5.8 penalties, but the individual leader, Christopher Burton, retired Tempranillo after a couple of run-outs on the Cross Country and Andrew Hoy had three refusals at fence 18 on Algebra, dropping the team to fifth. Paul Tapner finished best of the quartet in individual fourth place on Bonza King of Rouges.
Britain ended up in fourth place after team member Sarah Bullimore had a run-out with Reve du Rouet in the water complex (fences 22-23). Her team mate Francis Whittington had a rider fall from West Side here, and Coral Keen also fell, at fence 19, from Wellshead Fare Opposition.
The scene is now set for a thrilling finale at Boekelo, which always attracts a strong field. Great Britain will be under pressure to hang on for a second FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing victory since the series inception in 2012, but the mighty Germans, defending champions, will press them right to the line, and both nations will have to fend off challenges from Australia, France and the flying Kiwis.
Results from Waregem
1 Germany, 179.0 Andreas Ostholt/Pennsylvania 28, 57.6; Julia Krajewski/Samourai du Thot, 59.9; Anna-Maria Rieke/Petite Dame, 61.5; (Andreas Dibowski/FRH Butts Avedon, 69.5)
2 Belgium, 227.6 Julian Despontin/Waldano 36, 63.8; Joris Vanspringel/Lully des Aulnes, 67.9; Pieter de Cleene/Havanna van’t Castaneahof, 95.9; (Virginie Caulier/Nepal de Sudre, RET Cross Country);
3 Netherlands, 280.5 Tim Lips/Trademark, 72.1; Alice Naber-Lozeman/Coral Estate Harry Belafonte, 102.3; Nienke Van Roekel/Coral Estate Sagnoi, 106.1; (Raf Kooremans/MC B Vulcano, EL Cross Country)
4 Great Britain, 1142.8 Nana Dalton/Abbeylara Prince, 59.6; Sarah Bullimore/Reve du Rouet, 85.9; Coral Keen/Wellshead Fare Opposition, EL Cross Country; (Francis Whittington/West Side, EL Cross Country)
5 Australia, 1147.9 Paul Tapner/Bonza King of Rouges, 58.4; Sam Griffiths/Foxdon Sunny Jim, 89.5; Christopher Burton/Tempranillo, RET Cross Country; (Andrew Hoy/Algebra, EL Cross Country)
6 France, 1174.5 Helene Vattier/Quito de Balière, 68.6; Regis Prud’Hon/Debiut, 105.9; Geoffroy Soullez/Qokery Ko, EL Cross Country; (Koris Vieules/Rejoind Moi, EL Cross Country)
Full results on www.rechenstelle.de
FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing 2015 Leaderboard after 7 out 8 events
1 Great Britain 49 points
2 Germany 40
3 Australia 35
4 France 32
5 Netherlands 29
6 Belgium 17
7 Ireland 15
8 Sweden 10
9 New Zealand 9
10 USA 7
11 Spain 6
12= Poland 4
12= Canada 4