Meydan FEI NationsCup™ 2010 - Rotterdam

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FEI TV - Follow the fourth leg of the 2010 Meydan FEI Nations Cup™ series in Rotterdam LIVE on FEI TV - Transmission begins at 14.25 local time on Friday 18th June 2010 - www.feitv.org


French First Ino The Ring At Rotterdam
The defending champions from France, who have already taken a stranglehold on the leaderboard again this season, will be pathfinders as the fourth leg of the 2010 Meydan FEI Nations Cup™ series gets underway at the Kralingse Bos Arena in Rotterdam, The Netherlands tomorrow afternoon.  The order-of-go is as follows: 1, France; 2, Great Britain; 3, The Netherlands; 4, Sweden; 5, Germany; 6, Ireland; 7, Spain; 8, USA; 9, Poland; 10, Switzerland.

At today's Draw Press Conference, FEI Executive Commercial Director Carsten Couchouron said "the series has been galloping along since it started at La Baule in May, and it's hard to believe that we have reached the half-way stage already.  The French won here at Rotterdam last year, so this is a happy hunting ground for them - it seems the big question right now is whether any of the other teams can actually beat them!".

Upbeat
The Dutch are lying second-last on the leaderboard going into tomorrow's competition, and as Mr Couchouron explained "that's not a comfortable place to be because four of the 10 competing nations will be relegated after the last leg at Dublin in August".

The Netherlands' Chef d'Equipe, Rob Ehrens, was upbeat about his side's chances however, although he is acutely aware of the dangerous situation in which they now find themselves.

He said he will adopt exactly the same attitude tomorrow as he has done at each of the previous rounds despite the fact that things have not worked out well so far.  "We have a good team and they are in good shape so I am optimistic" he pointed out.  "We started well in La Baule but we have been using some new combinations - a lot of our top horses have been sold and now we have younger horses coming up" he added.  He knows how important it is to pick up some significant points with a good result tomorrow - "we are a strong, fighting country and we will fight to the bitter end.  We want to finish in the top six in this series so that we can stay in the top level for next year" he insisted.

An Open Affair
French Chef d'Equipe Laurent Elias graciously suggested that tomorrow's competition will be an open affair - "there are many good teams here and any of them can win" he said. Asked if he thought it was a particularly tough test this season because so many countries will be relegated he said "yes, but eight teams is the ideal number and this will allow us to have an eight-nation tournament in 2011".

The British have been strong this season and their new team manager, Rob Hoekstra, said that the Meydan FEI Nations Cup™ series is continuing to raise the profile of equestrian sport in Britain ahead of the London Olympic Games.  "This is our preparation for the Olympics - our priority is to stay in the series in order to be competitive in 2012" he pointed out.

US Chef d'Equipe George Morris said that remaining in the Meydan FEI Nations Cup™ is "critical" from a number of perspectives, and that this year's series is being used as a selection process for the American team ahead of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky.  With characteristic humour, he made a point of thanking the sponsors - "as my father said to me when I was starting out in horse sport, somebody has to pay for it!  and we are all very grateful to Meydan for their support"

Transformation
Mr Frans Lavooij, President of CHIO Rotterdam, explained that the Kralingse Bos Arena will be undergoing a transformation after the end of this year's show.  A €5 million face-lift is on the cards ahead of next year's FEI European Dressage Championships at this popular venue.  For now however it is tomorrow that everyone is thinking about.  And as Irish Chef d'Equipe Robert Splaine said "the French have been an inspiration to us all this year but every one of the Chefs will all be hoping that their teams can produce three double-clear rounds tomorrow - that will make for a good competition!"   

For further information on the fixture at Rotterdam go to website www.chio.nl or contact Press Officer Anita Lussenberg at Email press@chio.nl or Tel (mobile) +31621585878.

2010 MEYDAN FEI NATIONS CUP™- STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 3 IN ST GALLEN:
1.  France - 30.0
2.  Great Britain - 18.5
3.  Germany  -  16.5
4.  Ireland - 13.5
5.  Spain  - 12.5
6.  USA -  12.0
7.  Switzerland -  8.0
8.  Sweden -  2.0
9.  The Netherlands - 1.0
10. Poland - 0   

Facts and Figures:

Rotterdam stages round four of the eight-leg Meydan FEI Nations Cup™ 2010
The last time the home team won the Nations Cup of The Netherlands was in 2003.
The records show the Dutch have won their own nations cup on 7 occasions in the period since 1948.
Great Britain holds the record for most wins of the nations cup of The Netherlands - they have won 14 times since 1948 while Germany has enjoyed 12 victories.
The French, winners in Rotterdam in 2009, have won the Dutch Nations Cup 11 times.

Quotes:
Frans Lavooij, President CHIO Rotterdam - "We will be building a new permanent stand here for the European Championships next year along with 40 new stables".
Julie Letherby, Meydan Hospitality Sales Specialist - "I'd like to wish all the riders the best of luck tomorrow and I am delighted to visit Rotterdam for the first time"

Meydan FEI Nations Cup™
A Meydan FEI Nations Cup™ event is organised as a five-star Nations Cup, i.e. a competition in which official teams representing nations compare their merit. At each event the teams gain points according to their placing. At the end of the 2010 season the team with the highest points wins the Meydan FEI Nations Cup™ and the four teams with the lowest points are relegated to the FEI Nations Cup series (Promotional League). Two teams from the Promotional League will join the Top League in 2011.

The complete rules, latest news, results, standings and photos are on www.meydanfeinationscup.org

The World’s Top 10 Teams: France, the USA, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, The Netherlands, Sweden, Great Britain, Spain and Poland.

The World’s Best Eight Venues: La Baule (FRA), Friday 14 May; Rome (ITA), Friday 28 May; St. Gallen (SUI), Friday 4 June; Rotterdam (Ned), Friday 18 June; Falsterbo (SWE), Friday 9 July; Aachen (GER), Thursday 15 July; Hickstead (GBR), Friday 30 July; Dublin (IRL), Friday 6 August.

To learn more about the FEI go to www.fei.org

To learn more about Meydan, the title sponsor of the Meydan FEI Nations Cup, go to www.meydan.ae




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