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The German team won the Nations Cup at Aachen for the 27th year in succession on Thursday. But the Dutch team, featuring Anky van Grunsven and Gestion Salinero and the exciting pair of Edward Gal and Gestion Lingh, got to within 4% of the Germans.

This was despite not having the ascendant Antoinette Falandt and Jarwo on the team, who on form could have scored over 70%. At last year’s European Championships at Hickstead the young Dutch pair scored 71.292%.

A weaker US team was missing last year’s open European silver medal winners Lisa Wilcox and Relevant and dropped to the third spot from second last year. Team substitute Leslie Morse and Kingston scored only 66.583.

The 2003 World Cup champions Debbie McDonald and Brentina lead the team on 74.167%, with Robert Dover and FBW Kennedy in a supporting role on 71.458%.

The team to watch, though, are the Danes who moved up into fourth position thanks to an outstanding performance from Per Sandgaard with Zancor — a hot horse who looked athletic and controlled to score 71.5%.

The Danes number one combination was the breeding stallion Blue Hors Don Schufro piloted by Andreas Helgstrand to score 71.667%.

The British team finished in seventh place, but were without their most successful combination of Emma Hindle and Wie Weltmeyer. Click here for an in depth report about the British performance.

Team result

1. Germany 220.958;
2. The Netherlands 216.876;
3. USA 213.208;
4. Denmark 212.167;
5. Sweden 206.458;
6. Spain 205.334;
7. Great Britain 204.042;
8. Switzerland 201.250.

Individual result (after grand prix)

1. Rusty (Ulla Salzgeber);
2. Gestion Salinero (Anky van Grunsven);
3. Weltall (Martin Schaudt);
4. Brentina (Debbie McDonald);
5. Gestion Lingh (Edward Gal);
15. Ballaseyr Royale (Richard Davison);
19. Active Walero (Nicola McGivern);
24. Gambrinus (Peter Storr);
31. Escapado (Carl Hester).