Germany dominate the Nations Cup and Britain suffer disappointment

It didn’t go Britain’s way in the final leg of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup 2016 season. Germany dominated to win on an impressive four fault total over the two rounds.

The afternoon started out well for Britain – drawn in the favourable final position – in what was a crucial point-scoring competition for the host nation. The quartet returned on four faults after round one, Ben Maher and the Kannan mare Diva II came home on four faults, but Tim Stockdale aboard the 11-year-old Fleur de L’Aube and Jess Mendoza with the Tornado daughter Spirit T both jumped clear to keep us in the running. Scott Brash and the 11-year-old Hello Guv’Nor made just one mistake for the drop score of four faults.

The Dutch kept pace with Germany at the halfway stage to lead on a zero score with Britain equal second alongside Ireland, Belgium and Italy just one fence behind. It was close.

But there were mixed fortunes in round two over Kelvin Bywater’s track, who utilised Hickstead’s vast, undulating – and sometimes initimidating – arena and big bold fences, and included three doubles but no combination in his course.

Germany’s Ludger Beerbaum had plenty of time to see it all play out – such was Germany’s domination, he wasn’t required to start as anchor in either round.

“It was a well set Nations Cup. The first round was straightforward, not too difficult with a good time allowed, but we didn’t really see the ‘first’ teams here because of the Rio Olympics just around the corner, so the course-designer had a reason for setting it up this way. The second round was tougher and it was what differentiated the teams in the end,” he said.

The Dutch plummeted down the order to finish on 28 faults and equal seventh with Italy, while the USA rallied to add a zero score to their initial 12 for an eventual equal fourth with Switzerland.

Errors from Britiain – Ben and Tim had four faults each and Jess and Scott came home on eight – putting Britain on a total of 16 and into equal sixth. It was a devastating score for the home team and means Britain will be relegated from European Division One in next year’s FEI Nations Cup series. Britain finished eighth in the final standings just 5.83 points behind France. The top seven qualify for the 2017 European Division One.

The Germans, who have a magnificent record at Hickstead with five wins out of 10 years – breezed round and victory was in the bag without Ludger needing to enter the ring.

Ireland maintained their solid round one performance, adding just another four faults to take equal second with Belgium on eight, Anthony Condon providing a magnificent double clear on the Hales family’s home-bred Arko stallion son Aristio.

Team-mates Bertram Allen on Molly Malone returned four in both rounds, Billy Twomey with Diaghilev posted clear and four and Shane Breen turned his first round retirement around with a clear second time out on Golden Hawk.

British ladies took the top two in the only other International class on Friday. Second the day before, Nicole Pavitt dismissed her swollen and bruised ankle – injured in a fall from a young horse on Wednesday – to commandingly take the Bunn Leisure International Stakes with Victor Blue.

Nicole galloped into victory by 1.70 sec on Virginia Quine’s ever-eager 14-year-old Victor.

“He’s naturally quick and likes to think he’s in control, so this type of class suits him,” said Nicole, “I know nine times out of 10 he’ll be clear and fast. He’s brilliant, my horse of a lifetime really.”

Holly Smith claimed second with Jane Heerbeck’s Indoctro nine-year-old former eventer Carolus K DHI.

Trevor Breen settled for third aboard Oldtown KC. Switzerland’s Werner Muff took fourth on Daimler with the Netherland’s Ruben Romp on Audi’s Dimple fifth and Britain’s Harriet Nuttall sixth aboard Galway Bay Jed.

Gemma Ellison recorded a treble clear with the Diamant De Semilly 11-year-old Rambler VDL to head the Foxhunter second round and claim the top ticket to the prestigious HOYS final.

A total of 71 starters contended the final HOYS Foxhunter qualifier of the 2016 season, with Dan Moseley on Richard Hooper’s Whitesnake seven-year-old Escapado S taking the second.

Anthony Condon took third on John Hales’ Zira II in third with Alex Gill on Billy Chatter fourth and Robert Whitaker on Brendon Stud’s Noble Warrior fifth.

Joe Clayton headed the Hickstead young breeding horse championship with Michael Whitaker’s highly-rated Valmy De La Lande with a fast, decisive clear in the jump-off.

Lucy Bunn took second on Billy Fanta more than six sec in arrears with the only other double clear.

Phillip Miller claimed third on Da Vinci V with fourth going to Michaela Huntington on the consistent Alegro Z, who obviously loves the big Hickstead International arena – the pair finished second in Wednesday’s winter B and C final.

Carron Nicol was fifth on the stallion Jaguar VD Berhoeve with Nicola Wilson sixth aboard Camille Z.

Tara Byrtt maxed on her chance to ride in the vast International arena at Hickstead and lifted the children-on-horses grand prix with Valerie B. The pair posted the only jump-off clear to take the title.

Eleanor Barnwell, who won the discovery second round at Dorset just a few days earlier on Billy Crisp, took second on the eight-year-old mare. They relegated Jack Whitaker into third on the 10-year-old Cherryfras de Rialflo Z.

Elizabeth Christopher took fourth on April V with Scott Dollemore fifth on Pauldarys Mysteque and Holly Coles was sixth with Corkhill Lad.


Bunn Leisure International Stakes

1 Nicole Pavitt & Victor Blue – GBR – 0 59.33

2 Holly Smith & Carolus K – GBR – 0 61.03

3 Trevor Breen & Oldtown KC – IRE – 0 63.41

4 Werner Muff & Daimler – SUI – 0 63.50

5 Ruben Romp & Audi’s Dimple – NED – 0 64.15

6 Harriet Nuttall & Galway Bay Jed – GBR – 0 64.94

Hickstead Young Breeding Horse Championship

1 Joe Clayton & Valmy De La Lande – 0/0 37.46

2 Lucy Bunn & Billy Fanta – 0/0 43.63

3 Phillip Miller & Da Vinci V – 4/0 49.78

4 Michaela Huntington & Alegro Z – 8/0

5 Carron Nicol & Jaguar VD Berhoeve – 4/4 41.21

6 Nicola Wilson & Camille Z – 8/0 48.07

Children-on-horses Grand Prix

1 Tara Byrtt & Valerie B – 0/0 36.75

2 Eleanor Barnwell & Billy Crisp – 0/4 35.35

3 Jack Whitaker & Cherryfras De Rialflo Z – 0/4 38.52

4 Elizabeth Christopher & April IV – 0/4 44.79

5 Scott Dollemore & Pauldarys Mysteque – 0/8 35.21

6 Holly Coles & Corkhill Lad – 0/8 49.93

FEI Nations Cup

1. Germany 4 faults: Fibonacci 17 (Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum) 0/0, Goja 27 (Janne Friederike Meyer) 0/0, Lacan 2 (Patrick Stuhlmeyer) 0/4, Chiara (Ludger Beerbaum) DNS/DNS.

2. Ireland 8 faults: Molly Malone V (Bertram Allen) 4/4, Diaghilev (Billy Twomey) 0/4, Aristio (Anthony Condon) 0/0, Golden Hawk (Shane Breen) Ret/0.

2. Belgium 8 faults: H&M Challenge vd Begijnakker Z (Olivier Philippaerts) 4/4, Gaucho Da Qinta (Catherine van Roosebroeck) 8/10, Cas de Liberte (Niels Bruynseels) 0/0, Cor van de Wateringhoeve (Karel Cox) 0/0.

4. USA 12 faults: Super Sox (Lillie Keenan) 4/0, Adare (Paris Sellon) 4/4, Dougie Douglas (Katherine Dinan) 4/0, Cornet 39 (Lauren Hough) 8/0.

4. Switzerland 12 faults: LB Eagle Eye (Christina Liebherr) 4/4, Capuera ll (Nadja Peter Steiner) 4/0, Cordel (Claudia Gisler) 0/8, Pollendr (Werner Muff) 4/0.

6. Great Britain 20 faults: Dive ll (Ben Maher) 4/4, Fleur de L’Aube (Tim Stockdale) 0/4, Spirit T (Jessica Mendoza) 0/8, Hello Guv’Nor (Scott Brash) 4/8.

7. Italy 28 faults: Casallo Z (Piergiorgio Bucci) 4/8, Ensor de Litrange (Lorenzo de Luca) 0/Ret, Ares (Emilio Bicocchi) 4/8, Antonio (Gianni Govoni) 0/8.

7. Netherlands 28 faults: Aquila SFN (Wout-Jan van der Schans) 0/4, Fernando (Johnny Pals) 12/12, Audi’s Teavanta ll (Ruben Romp) 0/12, VDL Glasgow VH Merelsnest (Jur Vrieling) 0/12.

Standings in Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2016 Europe Division 1 League after the eighth and last leg at Hickstead (GBR) -

1. Netherlands - 330

2. Ireland - 323.33

3. Germany - 313.33

4. Switzerland - 310

5. Sweden - 305

6. France - 265

7. Italy - 259.17

8. Great Britain - 255

9. Belgium - 246.67

10. Czech Republic - 180

Photos © Jumping Around & FEI