French first in today's Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup

French first in today's Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup

The defending champions from France will be first into the arena when the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ presented by Longines gets underway at Piazza di Siena in Rome today. The draw for the order-of-go took place this evening in the Globe Theatre, a perfect replica of Shakespeare’s Globe in London which is located beside the Piazza di Siena jumping arena, and the starting order for this third leg of the Europe Division 1 series is as follows:

1. France: 2, Netherlands; 3, Great Britain; 4, Germany; 5, Qatar; 6, Italy; 7, Ukraine; 8, Belgium.

The draw was conducted by FISE Commissioner Gianfranco Rava and John Roche, Director of Jumping for the Federation Equestre Internationale.

Piazza di Siena is celebrating its 82nd anniversary this year and for the first time this year the show is dedicated to the memory of the legendary Italian showjumping brothers, Piero and Raimondo d’Inzeo, who recently passed away.

Canada’s Eric Lamaze brought the first day action to a close with a superb victory in tonight’s main event. From a starting field of 64 there were 26 qualified for the jump-off and the 2008 Olympic champion sealed it with a great round from the 10-year-old Zigali PS. French riders slotted into second and third places, Simon Delestre filling runner-up spot with Ryan des Hayettes ahead of Kevin Staut with Oh d’Eole in third, while Italy’s Emanuele Gaudiano lined up fourth with Admara.

The host nation riders had it all their own way earlier in the day however, dominating the opener when Emilio Bicocchi won through ahead of Francesco Franco and Roberto Previtali in third. And Previtali won the following Speed class, pipping Belgium’s Niels Bruynseels.

Gaudiano has been selected for the Italian team in tomorrow’s Nations Cup along with Lorenzo de Luca, Francesco Franco and Philippe Moyerson. A total of eight nations will compete, but only five – France, Germany, Great Britain, Netherlands and Ukraine – will be fighting for points towards the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ 2014 Final which will take place in Barcelona, Spain in October. Italy, Qatar and Belgium however will be sure to give them all a run for their money.

Ukraine’s Chef d’Equipe, Najib Chami, said tonight that he is very much hoping to achieve the same result as last year when his team came out on top. “This is the first big test for us this year and it is also a test for the World Equestrian Games later in the sumemr so I hope everything goes according to plan” he said.

For the mighty German team it is their first Europe Division 1 outing of the season and they are also determined to do well. “Our main goals for this year are the World Equestrian Games and to qualify for the Furusiyya final” said team manager Otto Becker tonight. “This is our first big Nations Cup of the year and we are a little bit excited about it. We will be trying to do our best and I hope we have a good result!” he added.

AN ARENA JUST FULL OF EMOTION

Piazza di Siena is a horse-show with a unique magic, and reigning Olympic champion Steve Guerdat is competing here for the very first time. “It’s fantastic!” he said. “The stables are good so the horses are happy, the atmosphere is really nice and that arena is just full of emotion!” he pointed out. He arrived late last night and has not toured the city yet, “but I intend to see as much as I can around Rome over the next few days because I know it is one of the greatest cities in the world!” he said.

World No. 1 rider, Great Britain’s Scott Brash, has competed here before. “Rome is always a very important show because it is in such an extraordinary place, and this year the event is better than ever. The organisation is good and the atmosphere is amazing!”.

Tomorrow’s highlight, the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ presented by Longines, is followed on Saturday by the Small Grand Prix and the always-exciting Puissance. And with a world-class line-up, Sunday’s Loro Piana Grand Prix is destined to be a thriller as riders battle it out for the one of the most coveted trophies in the sport.

Categories: News, Show Jumping