Britain’s Nations Cup quartet posted a superb second place finish at the penultimate leg of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup series, held in Waregem, Belgium (25-28 September). Their placing also puts GBR second on the Nations Cup rankings leader-board behind Germany, who increased their lead at the top of the table with a win this weekend - their fifth of the series.
The top three teams at Waregem scored:
Great Britain 180.50
Supported by the UK Sport National Lottery funded World Class Programme, Team Manager Philip Surl commented; "It was a solid team performance overall with Germany having the edge after the dressage phase. We managed to pull it back to within 4 points of the Germans at the end of showjumping phase so we had it all to play for going into cross-country.
"Tom did a solid pathfinding mission for the team however we were later to learn that his round would count towards the team points as sadly Lucy Wiegersma, who was in fifth place after showjumping, had to withdraw Mr Chunky this afternoon as he knocked himself in the lorry during the short drive to the cross country site of the event. It is nothing serious but of course very unlucky for Lucy who was in with a good individual shot. Nicky had a good round with 7.60 time penalties, whilst Sarah put in another strong cross-country round with 8 time penalties, setting them up nicely for the final leg at Boekelo.”
Sarah Bullimore was the best placed of the British riders, riding her own and Mr Brett Bullimore’s Lilly Corrine to a fourth place finish, just behind a German top three of Andreas Ostholt, Andreas Dibowski and Anna-Maria Rieke. After getting her competition underway to a good start with a 45.90 dressage test, the pair produced a clear round during Saturday’s showjumping phase before adding on only eight time penalties, in an otherwise great cross-country round, to give them a final score of 53.90.
Finishing just behind her team-mate was Gloucestershire’s Nicky Roncoroni with Mrs Janey Barclay Roncoroni’s Stonedge. Posting 50.20 in her dressage test, the talented combination went on to climb up the rankings after going clear both in the showjumping and cross-country phases, with only 7.60 time penalties picked up in the latter for a fifth place finish.
Just outside the top ten was World Class Development Programme rider Tom McEwen with Diesel, owned by Mr and Mrs Brook Johnson. Pathfinder for the team, Tom put in a solid dressage score but was unfortunate to have two poles down and two time faults added to his score during his showjumping round. Heading into the challenging cross-country course sitting in 38th place, a superb performance with the twelve year old bay gelding saw the duo finish twelfth, after jumping clear with just six time faults to add.
Lucy Wiegersma had an unlucky weekend, after sitting in fifth place overnight on Saturday after a lovely dressage test and clear showjumping round, picking up just two time penalties with Mr Chunky (owned by Mr Huw Lloyd, and Christopher and Sarita Perkins’), it was disappointing for the combination that they had to withdraw from the competition before the cross-country.
The final leg of the 2014 series will be contested at Boekelo, The Netherlands, 9-12 October.
The Equestrian World Class Programme has been funded through Exchequer and National Lottery funds, via UK Sport since 1998.