Germany had to work hard to win the Sopot, Poland, round of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping series, after being forced into a jump-off by an in-form French team.
With the maximum number of 13 nations lining out at this leg, the fourth of the Europe Division 2 League, 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.
Belgium finished third, but it was the host team and Russia that scooped the maximum qualifying points towards the 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.
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 Andre Thieme (Conthendrix), 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.
Talking about his winning ride, the 11-year-old Conthendrix, Thieme 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.
The next leg of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping 2015 Europe Division 2 League will take place in Budapest, Hungary on July 17, with 12 teams in the race for points towards the Final in September.
The next leg of the Europe Division 1 League is in Rotterdam, in The Netherlands on Friday, June 19.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Russia 17 faults: Copperphild (Mikhail Safronov) 4/17, Quilata (Maria Madenova) 0/1, Cosimo (Natalia Belova) 5/1, Griffone (Vladimir Beletskiy) 18/6.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup 2015 Europe Division 2 Standings (after Round 4):
- Finland – 235
- Ukraine – 235
- Poland – 170
- Norway – 160
- Portugal – 155
- Denmark – 140
- Russia – 135
- Turkey – 130
- Czech Republic – 100
- Austria – 100
- Hungary – 55
- Slovakia – 45
- Bulgaria – 35