The Dutch are clearly on a roll after recording their third victory of the inaugural Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping series at Copenhagen in Denmark today. Winners at the opening leg at Al Ain, UAE in February, they also topped the first round of the Europe Division 1 league just a week ago in La Baule, France. And today another new combination of horses and riders took the lead from the outset and added only four faults to their first-round zero score to head the line-up at the Danish venue where six nations – Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Poland and Sweden – were all hunting for qualifying points ahead of the series Final which will take place in Barcelona, Spain in September.
France finished second with the host nation in third, while the British slotted into fourth ahead of Sweden and Poland in joint-fifth place. Both Belgium and Switzerland added 16 faults second time out, but this was still good enough to take seventh and eighth places respectively as only eight of the 13 countries went through to the second round.
Put it Up to Them
London 2012 Olympic Games course designer, Great Britain’s Bob Ellis, really put it up to them at this Europe Division 2 event with a course that asked them to turn and re-balance, and to measure their distances carefully. And as if that wasn’t quite enough, he set them an enormous question just three fences from home, with the open water followed by the triple combination of vertical, to oxer, to vertical before tackling the offset final oxer at fence 12.
Time and again horses coped well with the early part of the track only for it all to fall apart here. Jur Vrieling wasn’t only competing on the Dutch team, he was also acting as team manager for the day, and the much-experienced 44-year-old said of the course – “when I walked it I thought it was difficult enough, it’s the first time in my life that I had a triple combination after the water and I was really a bit surprised by it! But it ended up very well for us. It makes the victory even nicer after a difficult task – because you can say that it was quite something for the horses to jump! It (the course) was very nicely built, but it was tough enough” he added.
Bit Between Their Teeth
At the end of the first round the Dutch already had the bit between their teeth as their only mistake was made by their opening rider, Hendrik-Jan Schuttert (Up to Date HS) who had been a member of the winning side at La Baule a week earlier. And the host country was looking strong with only the four faults registered by Andreas Schou (Allerdings) on the board following clears from both Thomas Velin (Chopin van Het) and Thomas Sandgaard (Amarone).
Poland and France were next in line with eight faults apiece while Sweden was on nine, Britain and Belgium were each carrying 12, and Switzerland had racked up a total of 13.
These eight nations qualified for round two, but, with 16 faults, the Irish had to settle for the best of the rest in ninth place ahead of Norway with 20 faults in 10th, Finland in 11th place with 25 faults, Germany in 12th with 28 and Italy’s 32 first-round faults leaving them lying 13th and last.
Once out in front, the Dutch hardly flinched, pathfinder Schuttert going clear second time out and anchorman Vrieling clinching it with the only double-clear of the day with his very handsome grey, Zirocco Blue VDL, which ensured the four collected by Willem Greve second time out was all they had to add. Suzanne Tepper had provided a vital first-round clear with KM Wish but the horse seemed to tire in the round two with three fences down.
The Danes slipped to third when having to count three four-fault results this time out, and that allowed the French to move into runner-up spot as both Nicolas Delmotte (Number One d’Iso Un Prince) and Timothee Anciaume (Quorioso Pre Noir) kept a clean sheet so they only had to add in the one mistake made by Aymeric Azzolino’s impressive French-bred, Looping D’Elle.
The British meanwhile improved two places when Jesse Drea’s second-round clear with Touchable meant they could drop the eight collected by Tim Davies (Salome ll) and count just the single errors from opener David McPherson (Octavio) and anchorman Geoff Billington (Uppercut) – the latter providing the only British clear of the first round.
Result a Delight
For rider and Chef d’Equipe Jur Vrieling, the Dutch result was a delight. “I am very pleased” he said. “I think all three of the other riders had a really good round. When you start the first round well then it’s just about keeping your head and staying positive – it went really well for us” he explained. And talking about his own horse, Zirocco Blue, he added “he’s a breeding stallion, breeding a lot in Holland and he is a really fantastic horse, and for sure one for the future. I think you can say the same for Willem Greve’s Carambole – these are two exceptional horses”.
Greve agreed – “my horse is a nine-year-old stallion I produced myself since he was four. I took a lot of time with him, and gave him a lot of time to develop himself. I was very pleased with the way he jumped today. I think he jumped the first round beautifully and the second round even better! We took a bit of the pressure off Jur who was the last rider of our team, and he did it brilliantly. We all had a share in this win, so that makes it feel really good, and we have a really good team atmosphere so we are very happy!” said the 30-year-old rider.
Tepper has been enjoying an ever-upward curve in recent months with KM Wish. “I have her for two years now and she’s really good with lots of scope and she’s fast. A month ago we won a Grand Prix in Poland, then we were on the Nations Cup team that was second in Drammen and we were second in the Grand Prix there. I think she was getting tired when we had those fences down in the second round” she added.
Schuttert has been riding the 12-year-old Up to Date since the horse was five years old. “I rode two Young Riders Europeans with him. In the first round today I had one down, I came in a bit big into the combination (the double at fence three) but afterwards it came good in the second round where I had a clear”.
Surprised them Today
Course designer, Bob Ellis, certainly surprised them today. “I was very pleased” he said. “I think that we had 10 or 12 clear rounds in the first round and I think 6 or 7 in the second round. I think that I am actually the lucky Mascot for the Dutch team, everywhere I seem to be they seem to win, including many medals at the Games! – and the sun shone for us today”.
Asked if it is difficult to build a course in the Copenhagen arena because of the trees and the shadows they create, he said, “you’ve got the gradients as well which take its toll with the course but no, it’s not difficult. What is difficult is that you’ve got 13 teams through all sorts of levels, to be fair to everybody, you’ve got some very good teams and some lesser teams. It wasn’t a monster of a course, there were a couple of big verticals and not terrific spreads but it was difficult enough in the last line, very difficult” he pointed out. Plenty of the riders today would agree with that, but the winning Dutch proved more than equal to the challenge.
1. Netherlands 4 faults: Up to Date (Hendrik-Jan Schuttert) 4/0, KM Wish (Suzanne Tepper) 0/12, Carambole (Willem Greve) 0/4 , Zirocco Blue VDL (J Vrieling) 0/0.
2. France 12 faults: Number One d'Iso Un Prince (Nicolas Delmotte) 4/0, Looping d'Elle (Aymeric Azzolino) 0/4, Amadeus Z (Francois Xavier Boudant) 4/8, Quorioso Pre Noir (Timothee Anciaume) 4/0.
3. Denmark 16 faults: Allerdings (Andreas Schou) 4/4, Kamila (Kim Kristensen) 12/12, Chopin van het Moleneind (Thomas Velin) 0/4, Amarone (Thomas Sandgaard) 0/4.
4. Great Britain 20 faults: Octavio (David McPherson) 8/4, Salome (Tim Davies) 12/8 , Touchable (Jesse Drea) 4/0, Uppercut (Geoff Billington) 0/4.
5. Sweden 21 faults: Udermus (Douglas Lindelow) 8/8, Tital (Emma Emanuelsson) 0/4, Newton Nickel (Angelie von Essen) 5/Elim, Clarimo (Rolf-Goran Bengtsson) 4/0.
5. Poland 21 faults: Bischof (Andrzej Lemanski) 0/4, El Camp (Lukasz Koza) 12/8, Wavantos vd Renvillehoeve (Lukasz Wasilewski) 4/4, Centino du Ry (Igor Kawiak)4/5.
7. Belgium 28 faults: Cortez (Nicola Philippaerts) 0/8, Equipharma Dax van Dabdijhoev (Pieter Devos) 8/12, Calumet (Catherine van Roosbroeck) 8/4, Upper Star (Jerome Guery) 4/4.
8. Switzerland 29 faults: Even to Heaven (Roland Grimm) 8/8, Alessa Z (Emilie Stampfli) 8/12, Oceane de la Taille CH (Evelyne Busmann) 4/0, Rubin Vlll (Fabio Crotta) 1/8.
9. Ireland 16 faults IN FIRST ROUND: Cruise on Clover (Thomas Ryan) 4, Value T (Anthony Condon) 8, Corona (Alex Duffy) 4, Par Trois (Mark McAuley) 8.
10. Norway 20 faults IN FIRST ROUND: Dimaro vd Looise Heide (Dag Ove Kingsrod) 16, Tiffany (Camilla Storemark) Elim, CC Top (Ole Kristoffer Meland) 0, Quartel du Mazes (Tony Andre Hansen) 4.
11. Finland 25 faults IN FIRST ROUND: Coolidge (Niclas Aromaa) 16, Agropoint Cassius (Kaarlo Kovacs) 5, Celestine (Satu Liukkonen) 12, Carolus Z (Henri Kovacs) 8.
12. Germany 28 faults IN FIRST ROUND: Conthendrix (Andreme Thieme) 12, Balance (Andreas Kreuzer) 16, Westbridge (Nisse Luneburg) 0, JK Horsetrucks Commanchi (Jorg Naeve) 20.
13. Italy 32 faults IN FIRST ROUND: Varon O'Hessein (Roberto Previtali) 12, Calida (Federico Ciriesi) 12, Zyquita sr (Giampiero Garofalo) 12, Onnyl des Seruois (Antonia Maria Garofalo) 8.
Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2013 – Europe Division 2 leaderboard after Copenhagen:
1. Sweden – 220.00
2. Norway – 198.00
3. Denmark – 148.00
4. Finland – 141.00
5. Belgium – 131.00
6. Belarus – 123.00
7. Austria – 75.00
8. Italy – 70.00
9. Poland – 68.00
10. Russia – 65.00
Facts and Figures:
13 nations competed in today's Europe Division 2 leg of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ in Copenhagen, Denmark.
8 went into the second round.
Course designer was Great Britain's Bob Ellis who built the track for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The teams fighting for points towards qualification for the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Final in Barcelona, Spain in September were Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Poland and Sweden.
The youngest horses competing in today's competition at Copenhagen were both 8-year-olds and ridden by British riders – David McPherson's Octavio and Geoff Billington's Uppercut ll.
The oldest horse was the 16-year-old Bischof L ridden by Poland's Andrzej Lemanski.
One double-clear in today's competition from The Netherlands' Jur Vrieling and Zirocco Blue VDL