It has been the dream of the German team to win the 100th Nations Cup of Germany presented by MVV Energie Mannheim. Still, after the second round of the 200,000 Euro Nations Cup the dream could be dreamed. After the fifth of the eight teams it was clear: The 100th Nations Cup of Germany would be decided in a jump-off. With eight penalty points each after the first round the teams of the US and Belgium had been together with the Swiss team in third place. Either the US nor Belgium had to add any additional counting fault to their result of the first round.
After the German team with Christian Ahlmann / Taloubet Z (0/4), Hans-Dieter Dreher / Embassy II (4/8) and Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum / Fibonacci (8/0) had already one counting pole down in the second round, all had been laying in the hands of Ludger Beerbaum, for whom it was the 127the Nations Cup of his career. His double clear aboard Chiara saved the German team its starting place in the jump-off.
The jump-off, in which only one horse rider combination of each team competed, was opened by the double bronze medalist of the 2014 WEG Beezie Madden with the 13 year old Belgian gelding Cortes C in clear 32.72 seconds. Madden’s lead was still valid after the round of Belgian rider Pieter Devos with the one year older gray gelding Dylano, who stayed clear as well but needed 34.14 seconds. The first German victory after seven years in a Nations Cup of Germany seemed to be possible through the 2011 World Cup Champions Christian Ahlmann and the 15 year old stallion Taloubet Z and the 8,000 spectators seemed to give the combination wings, but finally the last fence came down – but also the time of 32.95 seconds would have not been fast enough for victory. Germany placed third behind the US an Belgium, last year’s winner of the Nations Cup of Germany. Fourth place was shared by the French and the Swiss team with 20 penalties each. Sixth became Italy (26), seventh Ireland (27) and eighth the Netherlands (29). After the first round Ireland had been in lead with just one counting penalty point ahead of Germany (4).
Beezie Madden was happy about the "great sport and a super atmosphere". Also her team-mate Laura Kraut expressed her enthusiasm about the mood in the MVV Equestrian Stadium and gave her thanks to Beezie, as Lucy Davis did that “she has saved victory for us”. US Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland called the victory a great team success and laughed, “It is just great to win!”
Show organizer Peter Hofmann was speaking of a day and a Nations Cup to remember with its thrilling three nation jump-off and the enthusiastic audience of 8,000 spectators. He gave his thanks to Dr. Georg Müller, the COE of the MVV Energie for the already for decades lasting, reliable engagement of MVV Energie, who has been always at our side and gave us the confidence to organize such an event. He thanked as well the City of Mannheim, whose First Major Christian Specht considered it for “a great pleasure and honor” that the 100th Nations Cup of Germany took place at Mannheim.
Very glad was Peter Hofmann that Germany’s Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen was present representing the patroness of the CSIO, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Federal Government and had come to Mannheim to congratulate the winning teams in the prize-gibing ceremony. Von der Leyen, herself an eqauestrian, expressed her happiness to have seen equestrian sports of the very best this afternoon and three excellent teams in the jump-off over a very demanding course and gave her respect to the performances of the wining team, as well for the second and third placed team of Belgium and Germany. She would report in Germany’s capital Berlin about this extra-ordinary horse show, the passionate audience and the highly professional organization.
Less happy and very self-critical was Ludger Beerbaum, “We should not speak of bad luck, we never had been in lead, not in the first round, not in the second and not in the jump-off. We should figure out till the European Championships what we can do better to be in the lead again.”
Result 100th Nations Cup of Germany at Mannheim:
1 - USA (8 faults after 2 rounds; jump-off 0/32.72) – Laura Kraut / Nouvelle (4/0), Kirsten Coe / Baronez (5)/0), Lucy Davis / Barron (0/(8)), Elizabeth Madden / Cortes C(4/0/0, 32,72)
2 - Belgium (8 after 2 rounds); jump-off 0/34.14) – Pieter Devos /Dylano (0/0), Judy-Ann Melchior /As Cold as Ice Z (0/(4)), Jerome Guery / Papillon Z (8/0), Jos Lansink / Ensor de Litrange LXII (9)/0)
3 - Germany (8 faults after 2 rounds; jump-off 4/32.95) – Christian Ahlmann / Taloubet Z (0/4/4, 32,95), Hans-Dieter Dreher / Embassy II (4/(8)), Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum / Fibonacci (8)/0), Ludger Beerbaum / Chiara (0/0)
4 - France and Switzerland (20)
6 -Italy (26)
7 - Ireland (27)
8 - The Netherlands (29)
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