Not for the first time in the history of the popular CSIO in Sopot, Poland, Team Germany came out on top at the fourth leg of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2015 Europe Division 2 League today. However they had to work hard for their success, forced into a jump-off by the French who eventually had to settle for runner-up spot.
Belgium finished third, but it was the host team and Russia that scooped the maximum qualifying points towards the Furusiyya 2015 Final when sharing fourth spot ahead of Great Britain in sixth and Denmark in seventh, while last year’s Sopot winners from Turkey had to settle for eighth place this time around.
With the maximum number of 13 nations lining out at this leg, the teams from Norway, Sweden, Ukraine, Austria and The Netherlands failed to make the cut into the second round when only eight teams returned. And it came to a thrilling climax, with Andre Thieme clinching it for Germany when clear with Conthendrix in the two-way jump-off.
France and Belgium shared the lead at the halfway stage carrying four faults each, but the German, British and Polish sides were close behind with just five faults apiece. And the other three teams to make the cut into the second round were Russia and Turkey carrying nine faults each, and Sweden whose faster first round gave them the nod over Norway when both put 10 faults on the first-round scoreboard.
The Belgians lost their grip when Wouter Devos, who was eliminated first time out, collected eight faults at his second attempt with Tonik Hero, and Catherine van Roosbroeck (Gautcho da Quina) also double-faulted. This meant that, despite superb double-clears from both pathfinder Jos Lansink (Ensor de Litrange LXll) and anchorman Jerome Guery (Papillon Z) they had to add eight to their scoreline which proved way too expensive.
The Polish side added 12, and the British added 13 to also slip out of contention, but the Germans put huge pressure on the French with clears from Thieme, Janne-Friederike Meyer (Goja) who had picked up just a single time fault first time out, and anchorman Patrick Stuhlmeyer who produced one of the four double-clears on the day with Lacan. Holger Wulschner’s single second-round error with BSC Cavity could therefore be discarded, leaving them on their first-round total of five.
The French meanwhile slipped onto level pegging when having to count the single time fault collected by Cyril Bouvard (Quasi Modo Z). Laurent Goffinet (Quinette du Quesnoy) followed his opening four-fault effort with a clear and Jerome Hurel was double-clear with Quartz Rouge but seven faults from Alexandre Fontanelle (Prime Time des Vagues) ensured Bouvard’s score had to be added. So a two-way showdown was assured.
Germany’s Thieme was first to go in the third-round gallop against the clock and set the standard with a foot-perfect run in 35.45 seconds. And although Fontanelle was more than two seconds quicker with his 12-year-old bay, he put four faults on the board for France to settle the matter.
German Chef d’Equipe, Heinrich-Hermann Engemann, was well-pleased with the result. “We had a discussion before the jump-off and agreed that Andre would jump it. He did a really good job and fought a lot to jump clear which placed pressure on the French rider to jump clear with a fast time” he said afterwards.
Hero of the day, Thieme commented, “now that the jump-off is over, I feel great! Normally I am very calm, almost too calm, and people try to wake me up! For the first time today before the jump-off I felt a bit ‘aaah’. We didn’t have the right bridle, so the groom had to run back to the stable to get it. We didn’t have an ideal preparation in the build-up, but anyways, it worked out in the end!” he said happily.
Talking about how the competition evolved, Thieme said, “the Brits, the Belgians and the French were all ahead of us coming into the second round – they really looked on top of things. It was really surprising to see teams with strong line-ups such as Ukraine and The Netherlands not doing so well. But we knew there would be a lot of good competitors. With our three clear rounds in the second round we managed to claw our way back!” he said proudly.
Talking about his winning ride, the 11-year-old Conthendrix, he explained, “from the very beginning, when I got him a few years ago, he was a talent but a bit too wild and fresh. From last year onwards, he has really started to settle down. He has done some great Nations Cup 5-Star shows – he was in Hickstead, Calgary, Dublin and won it in Falsterbo as well. Today he had one down in the first round, but from the second round he started jumping extra good. He was extremely consistent. That’s the great thing about him, you can keep jumping and he doesn’t get tired – he is just exceptional!” he added.
Patrick Stuhlmeyer was understandably delighted too. “The course was very long and the time required to complete it was very short. It was a good job from the course designer. I’m really proud, my horse jumped a great double clear!” said the rider who is based near Osnabruck in Germany.
Janne-Friederike Meyer was also a happy lady. “When you just won the Nations Cup, it’s easy to say that we love it here in Sopot! On a serious note though, it’s a super show from all aspects; whether the arena, the crowd or the accommodation. Yesterday, there were some small issues with the ground but they rectified it immediately. The jump-off was really exciting today, and in the end there were enough faults from the other teams for us to clinch it. The organisation as a whole here was fantastic!” she said.
The next leg of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2015 Europe Division 2 League will take place in Budapest, Hungary on 17 July and it promises to be a frenetic affair, with 12 teams in the race for points towards the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final in September.
For further details of the eleventh leg of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2015 Europe Division 2 at Sopot, Poland visit www.csio.sopot.pl or contact Press Officer Karolina Ferenstein-Krasko, Email Karolina.firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel +48 601 39 1111.
The next leg of the series will take place in Rotterdam, Netherlands on Friday 19 June. For details of the Dutch fixture visit www.chio.nl or contact Press Officer Anita Lussenberg, Email email@example.com
1. Germany 5 faults, 0/35.45 in Jump-Off: Conthendrix (Andre Thieme) 4/0/0 35.45, Goja (Janne-Friederike Meyer) 1/0, BSC Cavity (Holger Wulschner) 9/4, Lacan (Patrick Stuhlmeyer) 0/0.
2. France 5 faults, 4/33.26 in Jump-Off: Quinette du Quesnoy (Laurent Goffinet) 4/0, Prime Time des Vagues (Alexandre Fontanelle) 0/7/4 33.26, Quasi Modo Z (Cyril Bouvard) 4/1, Quartz Rouge (Jerome Hurel) 0/0.
3. Belgium 12 faults: Ensor de Litrange LXll (Jos Lansink) 0/0, Cautcho de Quinta (Catherine van Roosbroeck) 4/8, Tonik Hero (Wouter Devos) Elim/8, Papillon Z (Jeromy Guery) 0/0.
4. Russia 17 faults: Copperphild (Mikhail Safronov) 4/17, Quilata (Maria Madenova) 0/1, Cosimo (Natalia Belova) 5/1, Griffone (Vladimir Beletskiy) 18/6.
4. Poland 17 faults: Abigej (Marek Lewicki) 6/12, Zoweja (Krzysztof Ludwiczak) 0/4, Emperio van’T Roosakker (Zusanna Gowin) 4/8, Osadkowski v. Halen (Piotr Morsztyn) 1/0.
6. Great Britain 18 faults: Basic (Guy Williams) 9/9, Bintang ll (Laura Renwick) 0/4, Ashkari (Yazmin Pinchen) 4/0, Calcourt Falklund (Michael Whitaker) 1/10.
7. Denmark 22 faults: Thornhill Kate (Linnea Ericsson-Carey) 9/4, Qualico du Bobois (Rikke Haastrup) 5/4, Antares (Torben Frandsen) 4/8, Allstar (Andreas Schou) 1/4.
8. Turkey 26 faults: Harry K (Derin Demirsoy) 0/4, Chiara (Husnu Dinc) Elim/DNS, Beau du Rouet (Efe Siyahi) 5/9, Dadjak Ter Putten (Omer Karaevli) 4/4.