Germany take the first Nations Cup of the season

The mighty Germany claimed the FEI Nations Cup at Lummen to pick up maximum points in the first of the 2017 Nations Cup series – but it was not without a fight. After two rounds – where only three double clears were produced – Germany tied with France and home country Belgium on eight faults to force a tree-way jump-off, one rider from each team selected.

First off Belgium’s Pieter Devos returned on four faults with Dream of India Greenfield, but Germany’s Andre Thieme made no mistake on Conthendrix to storm home clear. Last to go for France, Penelope Leprevost and Ratina d’La Roussierie – one of the double clears alongside Germany’s Marion Stevens (Baloubet) and Spain’s Gerardo Menendez (Cassino DC) – was also clear but three quarters of a sec in arrears to leave Germany the winners.

“He’s so consistent and such a fighter – he likes me and I love him, we’re a great team,” said Andre on the Contendro 13-year-old Conthendrix.

Ireland finished sixth under new chef d’equipe Rdrigo Pessoa, but the British-based Irishmen posted good rounds. Richard Howley with Chinook posted four and four, Paul Kennedy improved on his first round four aboard Cartown Dangermouse with a great clear in round two and anchor Michael Duffy jumped clear first time out and came home on eight with Belcanto Z in round two. Pathfinder Dermott Lennon and Loughview Lou-Lou were drop-score both times on 12 and eight.

Derek McCoppin topped the 2* 1.30m speed with the Zuidam 10-year-old Fanadwest Dancer by 0.24 sec. James Davenport slotted the Cardento eight-year-old Evita into fifth more than nine sec behind the pace.

Derek was denied a double victory and had to settle for second in the 2* 1.40m section A on the Indoctro 13-year-old Zaire. The pair finished almost two sec behind the winner, Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat on Dioleen. Millie Allen was also double clear to jump the 12-year-old stallion Balou Star into third. Clear and four put Graham Gillespie (Laverin de Saar) and Michael Whitaker (Cherryfras de Rialfo Z) into 10th and 11th. In the section B 1.40m, James Davenport also scored clear and four on One Endeavour for eighth.

Photos © Jumping Around & courtesy FEI