German eventers take out first Nations Cup leg

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The successful German team after the opening leg of the FEI Nations Cup in Fontainebleau, France. L-R: Michael Jung on Leopin FST, Andreas Dibowski on Butts Leon, Team Coach Hans Melzer, Dirk Schrade on King Artus and Frank Ostholt on Little Paint.
The successful German team after the opening leg of the FEI Nations Cup in Fontainebleau, France. L-R: Michael Jung on Leopin FST, Andreas Dibowski on Butts Leon, Team Coach Hans Melzer, Dirk Schrade on King Artus and Frank Ostholt on Little Paint. © Hanna Broms/FEI

Germany has started out its eventing Nations Cup season much the way it did last season, when they won  four out of six competitions in the inaugural series.

The German team produced yet another excellent performance to score victory at Fontainebleau in France, the first leg of the FEI Nations Cup Eventing for the season.

Michael Jung and Leopin FST.
Michael Jung and Leopin FST. © www.eventingphoto.com/FEI

Team manager Hans Melzer had again fielded an ‘A’ team, made up of Olympic, World and European Champion Michael Jung on his second string Leopin FST (they finished third individually), Olympic team gold medallists Dirk Schrade and King Artus, plus Andreas Dibowski (Butts Leon) and 2011 European bronze medallists Frank Ostholt and Little Paint.

The quartet scored an emphatic victory over the host nation, France, and were dominant from the start, even without Jung’s top horse, La Biosthetique Sam, on whom he scored individual victory in the CIC3*, and Olympic bronze medallists Sandra Auffarth and Opgun Louvo, who finished second.

There were only five clear cross-country rounds inside the optimum time on Pierre Michelet’s twisting, accuracy-testing course around the forest tracks, and two of them came from Jung. French team member Donatien Schauly riding Seculaire*Mili produced another, finishing on his dressage score in individual fourth place.

Vittoria Panizzon, riding the little grey mare Borough Pennyz, was one of the fastest across country for two time penalties and, jumping clear for seventh place individually, she led the Italian team to third place, ahead of The Netherlands.

An all-female British team lay second after dressage, with Kitty King and Zidante in individual fourth place behind the German trio. However, King and Izzy Taylor, riding KBIS Starchaser, both faulted at the influential fence 18c on the Cross Country, a narrow brush fence on a curving line in water. The team dropped to fifth and Emily Llewelyn and Pardon Me, who had started out as the discard score after dressage, ended up best of the quartet in 17th place with a clear jumping round.

Fence 18c was also the downfall of the New Zealand team, as both Mark Todd on Regent Lad and Megan Heath (St Daniel) faulted here, and the Kiwis were unable to finish any higher than sixth, ahead of Spain in seventh.

The next FEI Nations Cup Eventing leg is on British soil in May, at Houghton Hall, where it will be interesting to see if the home side can resurrect their fortunes once more. Further nations, such as Australia, Ireland and Belgium, will also be expected to make their season débuts.

 

Results:

1 Germany, 159.4
Michael Jung/Leopin FST 38.2 + 0 + 8 = 46.2 Dirk Schrade/King Artus 43.8 + 6.4 + 4 = 54.2 Andreas Dibowski/Butts Leon 44.6 + 6.4 + 8 = 59 (Frank Ostholt/Little Paint 42.0 + 39.6 + 9 = 90.6)

2 France, 165.2
Donatien Schauly/Seculaire*Mili 46.4 + 0 + 0 = 46.4 Eric Vigeanel/Kalin de Burgo 53.4 + 0.8 + 4 = 58.2 Didier Dhennin/Opi de Saint Leo 45.8 + 6.8 + 8 = 60.6 (Denis Mesples/Oregon de la Vigne 55.8 + 2 + 8 = 65.8)

3 Italy, 174.4
Vittoria Panizzon/Borough Pennyz 44.8 + 2 + 0 = 46.8 Mattia Luciani/Horseware’s Parko 51.4 + 2.8 + 8 = 62.2 Stefano Fioravanti/Nodin d’Orval 51.4 + 10 + 4 = 65.4

4 Netherlands 193.4
Elaine Pen/Vira 49.2 + 4 + 4 = 57.2 Alice Naber-Lozeman/Coral Estate Mitok 50.0 + 8 + 0 = 58 Raf Kooremans/Cavalor Telstar 52.0 + 19.2 + 7 = 78.2 (Tim Lips/Concrex Oncarlos 53.4 + 38 + 0 = 91.4)

5 Great Britain, 204.4
Emily Llewelyn/Pardon Me ll 52.6 + 7.2 + 0 = 59.8 Gemma Tattersall/Arctic Soul 51.4 + 4 + 16 = 71.4 Kitty King/Zidante 40.0 + 33.2 + 0 = 73.2 Izzy Taylor/KBIS Starchaser 45.8 + 34.8 + 8 = 88.6

6 New Zealand, 260.0
Mark Todd/Regent Lad 40.8 + 36 + 0 = 76.8 Jonelle Richards/Flintstar 60.0 + 3.6 + 21 = 84.6 Megan Heath/St Daniel 60.6 + 38 + 0 = 98.6

7 Spain, 323.8
Carlos Diaz Fernandez/Junco CP 53.4 + 14.8 + 5 = 73.2 Albert Hermoso Farras/Hito CP 54.8 + 19.2 + 12 = 86.0 Gonzalo Senra Chover/Busti Husti 64.8 + 72.8 + 27 = 164.6 (Eduardo Via-Dufresne Mestres/Quica del Masset 66.4 + 84.4 + 23 = 173.8) 

Leaderboard (after 1 of 7 events)
1 Germany 11 points
2 France 9
3 Italy 8
4 Netherlands 7
5 Great Britain 6
6 New Zealand 5
7 Spain 4 

FEI Nations Cup Eventing 2013 calendar
1 Fontainebleau (FRA) 21-24 March
2 Houghton Hall (GBR) 23-25 May
3 Strzegom-W (POL) 30 May-2 June
4 Aachen (GER) 25-30 June
5 Montelibretti (ITA) 21-23 September
6 Waregem (BEL) 26-29 September
7 Boekelo (NED) 11-14 October 2013

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