Historic Win for Ukraine at Thrilling Furusiyya Leg in Rome

The Ukrainian team on the podium at Piazza di Siena in Rome (ITA) today after winning the seventh leg of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2013 series, and the second leg of Europe Division 1.  Left to right (back row) Cassio Rivetti, Oleg Kraysuk, Ulrich Kirchhoff and Katharina Offel, (front row) HE Saleh Mohammad Al Ghamdi, Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Italy, and Ukrainian Chef d’Equipe, Najib Chami.  Photo: FEI/Beatrice Scudo.
The Ukrainian team on the podium at Piazza di Siena in Rome (ITA) today after winning the seventh leg of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2013 series, and the second leg of Europe Division 1. Left to right (back row) Cassio Rivetti, Oleg Kraysuk, Ulrich Kirchhoff and Katharina Offel, (front row) HE Saleh Mohammad Al Ghamdi, Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Italy, and Ukrainian Chef d’Equipe, Najib Chami. Photo: FEI/Beatrice Scudo.

On their debut in Europe Division 1 of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping series today at the Piazza di Siena in Rome (ITA), the Ukrainian team came out on top in a thrilling three-way jump-off and entered the history books of equestrian sport.
 
Cassio Rivetti, Oleg Krasyuk, Ulrich Kirchhoff and Katharina Offel were flying the flag of the Ukraine for the very first time at this top level of the sport.  And they demonstrated their formidable combined strength when taking on the giants and taming them all, although Rivetti’s jump-off round was a nail-biter as he racked up three time faults during the slow clear that clinched it.
 
Crack sides from Germany and France had to settle for second and third places while the host nation made a brilliant recovery from an edgy first round effort to finish fourth ahead of Great Britain and Sweden in joint-fifth.  The Swiss team, so impressive when runners-up at La Baule (FRA) last week, had to settle for seventh while the Spanish team finished eighth when collecting 44 faults.
 
Extraordinary Competition
It was an extraordinary competition during which no less than six riders recorded double-clears, yet so many of the favourites stumbled when things didn’t go to plan.  Yesterday, French Chef d’Equipe, Hans Hoorn, predicted that there could a few surprises and he was right about that.  But he wasn’t banking on double-elimination for his own Roger-Yves Bost (Nippon d’Elle) which seriously compromised his side’s chances despite foot-perfect performances from both pathfinder Kevin Staut (Silvana HDC) and anchorman Patrice Delaveau (Orient Express HDC). 
 
And the home crowd was completely taken aback when the first man into the ring, their own Emanuele Gaudiano, was eliminated for two refusals at the third fence with Cocoshynsky in the first round.  However, amidst all the drama, the track created by Italian course designer Uliano Vezzani provided fantastic sport that played out until the very last fence was jumped.
 
No Allowance
Vezzani made no allowance for the fact that only six of the eight starting nations were top-league material, setting a big, bold course that, true to his style, demanded control of the horse and complete concentration from both horse and rider.
 
The poles fell all around the track, with even the vertical at fence two claiming a significant number of victims. But it was the triple combination at fence six and the line from the open water at nine to the double at 10 that proved most troublesome, while the run from the penultimate vertical at 11 to the final water-tray oxer at 12 was also the undoing of many.
 
By the end of the first round it had already turned into a pitched battle between the Germans, French and Ukrainians who were all sharing a four-fault tally.  The British were next in line on eight thanks to clears from Nick Skelton (Big Star) and Tina Fletcher (Hello Sailor) while Skelton’s fellow London 2012 team gold medallists Scott Brash (Hello Sanctos) and Ben Maher (Cella) each had two fences down. 
 
The Swiss and Italians were already on 16, with Sweden on 20 and the Spanish bottom of the order with 24.  But while the Italians really pulled it out of the bag in round two with a single time-fault from Francesco Franco (Cassandra), a fault-free effort from Roberto Turchetto (Baretto) and another clear from Juan Carlos Garcia (Bonzai van de Warande) it fell apart for the Swiss with 21 more to add.  And Rob Hoekstra’s expression said it all when Skelton’s pure perfection, and a four-fault result from Brash, were scuppered by 16 from Fletcher and 17 from Maher.
 
Could Have Sealed It
Germany could have sealed it before the end of the second round if, last-to-go, Ludger Beerbaum and Chaman left all the fences up.  Daniel Deusser’s double-clear with the lovely grey, Cornet D’Amour, and a foot-perfect run from Carsten-Otto Nagel and Corradina set them up for a four-fault final total if their last man could stay clear, but the tricky double after the open water didn’t come up right for Beerbaum’s stallion who kicked out the first element, and with Philipp Weishaupt’s Monte Bellini providing an eight-fault discard score they now moved on to eight. 
 
And although both Staut and Delaveau never put a foot wrong, the single second-round error from Simon Delestre and Classic Bois Margot had to be included in the French scoreline after Bost’s stallion once again ground to a halt at the first element of the triple combination. So a jump-off was on the cards with an eight-fault tally for them too.
 
A spectacular double-clear from Oleg Kraysuk ensured that only one of the four-fault results from Rivetti and Kirchhoff would have to be taken into account if last-line Ukrainian, Katharina Offel could come home with nothing to add with Pour le Poussage.  Under intense pressure, she did just that, so that ensured a three-way third-round battle against the clock.
 
Led the Way
Beerbaum led the way for Germany over the new six-fence track, but hit the penultimate vertical to leave the door ajar when crossing the line in 40.84 seconds.  Delaveau was chosen to represent France, but he also left one on the floor in the slower time of 41.84 seconds so now it was all up to Rivetti..  A slow clear seemed like the best option, but he pushed it to the limit when clocking up 50.61 seconds which left him with three time faults.  He admitted afterwards that he had cut it very close - “I thought I’d take my time, but I didn’t mean to take that much time!” he said.  Kirchhoff teased him by saying “he liked it so much in there that he didn’t want to come out!” but the smiles on the Ukrainian team-members faces said it all.
 
Great Camaraderie
Kirchhoff pointed out that there is great camaraderie between the four riders who have, over the last few weeks, moved their horses to his base near Milan (ITA) where he trains them along with Heinrich Willem Johannsman.  Kraysuk was understandably thrilled to have produced a double-clear on his debut at this top level of the sport and with a horse he has only been riding for a few weeks. His 12 year old gelding, Nobylis,  made it all look effortless. “He jumped fantastic, I have only had him since Arezzo and I have a super feeling with him.  This is a very good start for me - a top team, a good sponsor, it’s just right!” said the man who claimed the Furusiyya Round the Day award.
 
Chef d’Equipe, Najib Chami, who hails from Lebanon and shares his time between there and his other home in Rome, and who has only been managing the Ukrainian team since the beginning of the year, seems to have powerful force at his disposal.  Kirchhoff said, “yes, I believe that together we are a force to be reckoned with!” On a personal note Kirchhoff, who took individual and team gold for Germany at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, USA in 1996, pointed out, “I have not competed in Nations Cup for two and a half years and I only started in January with this team.  But we made a plan to go the big shows including Arezzo and Mannheim and now here in the Rome Nations Cup.  It’s working out pretty well!” the former German rider pointed out.
 
There was nobody arguing with that, and after two legs of the Europe Division 1 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2013 series Ukraine lies third on the leaderboard, with Great Britain in second and France in the lead.  Each of the eight Division 1 teams can select only four of the eight Division 1 events at which to collect points however, so it is still wide open going to the next top league round at St Gallen, Switzerland next Friday.
 
For information on the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping leg in Rome, go to website www.piazzadisiena.com or contact Press Officer Caterina Vagnozzi at email c.vagnozzi@gmail.com or Tel +39 335 610 7070.
 
Result:
1. Ukraine 3 time faults in 50.61 seconds in third-round jump-off: Temple Road (Cassio Rivetti) 0/4/3 50.61, Nobylis (Oleg Krasyuk) 0/0, Verdi (Ulrich Kirchhoff) 4/4, Pour Le Poussage (Katharina Offel) 4/0.
2. Germany 4 faults in 40.84 seconds in third-round jump-off: Cornet D'Amour (Daniel Deusser) 0/0, Monte Bellini (Philipp Weishaupt) 4/8, Corradina (Carsten-Otto Nagel) 4/0, Chaman (Ludger Beerbaum) 0/4.
3. France   faults: Silvana HDC (Kevin Staut)  , Nippon d'Elle (Roger-Yves Bost)  , Classic Bois Margot (Simon Delestre)  , Orient Express HDC (Patrice Delaveau)
4. Italy 17 faults:  Cocoshynsky (Emanuele Gaudiano) Elim/8, Cassandra (Francesco Franco) 12/1, Baretto (Roberto Turchetto) 4/0, Bonzai van de Warande (Juan Carlos Garcia) 0/0.
5. Great Britain 28 faults: Big Star (Nick Skelton) 0/0, Hello Sanctos (Scott Brash) 8/4, Hello Sailor (Tina Fletcher) 0/16, Cella (Ben Maher) 8/17.
5, Sweden 28 faults: Lunatic (Jens Fredricson) 8/0, Spike Jones (Sandra Carlsson) 8/8, H&M Cash In (Peder Fredricson) 4/8, Gotha FRH (Henrik von Eckermann) 8/0.
7. Switzerland 37 faults: LB Callas Sitte Z (Christine Liebherr) 4/8, Albfuehren's Paille (Alexandra Fricker) 8/8, Upanisad Di San Patrignano (Jane Richard Philips) 8/20, Picsou du Chene (Pius Schwizer) 4/5.
8. Spain 44 faults: Nuage Bleu (Pilar Cordon) 13/16, Prunella D'Ariel (Paola Amilibia Puig) 12/16, Quinai des Chayottes (Julio Arias) 8/4, Zipper (Sergio Alvarez Moya) 4/0.
 
Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2013 - Europe Division 1 leaderboard after second leg in Rome:
1. France - 157.67
2. Great Britain - 143.67
3. Ukraine - 100.00
4. Switzerland - 90.00
5. Ireland - 75.67
6. Spain - 64.00

Facts and Figures:
8 nations competed in today's Europe Division 1 leg of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ at the Piazza di Siena in Rome, Italy.
4 countries - France, Great Britainn, Ukraine and Spain - were fighting for points towards the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final which will take place in Barcelona, Spain in September.
Course designer was Italy’s Uliano Vezzani.
CSIO Rome 5* celebrates its 81st anniversary in 2013.
The winning Ukrainian team was making its debut in top-league FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping today.
There was a thrilling three-way jump-off against the clock between Ukraine, Germany and France.
6 double-clear rounds - from Ukraine’s Oleg Kkrasyuk (Nobylis), Germany’s Daniel Deusser (Cornet d’Amour), French riders Kevin Staut (Silvana HDC) and Patrice Delaveau (Orient Express), Italy’s Juan-Carlos Garcia (Bonzai van de Warande) and Britain’s Nick Skelton (Big Star).
Three eliminations - Emanuele Gaudiano and Cocoshynsky for two refusals in round one and Roger-Yves Bost and Nippon d’Elle at the same fence in both rounds.

Quotes:
FEI Director Jumping, John Roche - “we had great sport over a great course today.  On behalf of the FEI I’d like to thank the Organising Committee and the Italian Federation for a super competition at this very historic site and to thank Furusiyya for all their support”.
 
Ulrich Kirchhoff - “you run a wonderful show here in Rome, everyone is very nice to us and we really appreciate it”.
 
Uliano Vezzani - “the course was difficult enough and big, but it is a Nations Cup in Rome so it is very important for me”.
 
Daniel Deusser (GER) - "My horse (Cornet D’Amour) is in the best shape of his life. He is quite young and last year we grew together. This is the first year that he has done these kind of classes every week. I’ve had him for 11 months and you could feel his potential for the start. At the moment he is really good.
 
Kevin Staut (FRA) - "I’m very happy with my mare SIlvana, she jumped both rounds fantastically well. She’s really given everything each round."
 
Peder Fredricson (SWE) - "It’s a really nice show and this is my third time here. It was my first Nations Cup with this horse (H&M Cash In) and he went well in the first round and was then he was a little tired in the second round, but he will be great in the future. I will rest him now for the weekend and ride another horse in the Grand Prix".
 
Juan Carlos Garcia (ITA) - "To make double clear at home makes me feel completely different than at other Nations Cup. The horse (Bonzai van de Warande) is going very well and I’ve been taking very good care of him over the last month so that he can compete here in Rome in the Nations Cup – for an Italian it’s very important to perform well in Rome!"
 
Christina Liebherr (SUI) - "I was quite happy in the first round, but in the second round she (Callas Sitte) felt a bit tired, but she is now 15 and we have been together a long time. The challenge for our Swiss team is hard as we do not have a lot of experience, whilst the teams in the jump-off have top riders, but we are looking forward to our home show in St Gallen next week, and I have two horses ready to go, so we are very excited."
 
Nick Skelton (GBR) - "The horse is jumping great and he is in really good form, and I couldn’t really ask for more. Hope he can jump on Sunday as well as he did today. It was not too technical but was big." 
 
Oleg Krasyuk (UKR) - "This was my first big Furisiyya Nations Cup and to go double clear makes me super happy – it’s like a feeling of your son being born. We have a fantastic team at the moment and we have a great sponsor in Aleksander Onishchenko and we must thank him so much for everything that he has done for the team." 




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