The Germans made it two-in-a-row when, following on their opening round success at La Baule two weeks ago, they were triumphant once again on their home ground in Aachen today. The USA were hot on German heels when finishing second, and this summer’s Samsung Super League looks set to turn into a real tussle between these two countries.
The British team improved considerably on their performance in the first round in France, when they finished sixth, to slot into third place ahead of Switzerland in fourth, while the Swedes finished fifth. Just a single fault kept the French down the line in sixth ahead of Ireland.
Competition was so tight in Aachen that The Netherlands found themselves at the bottom of the order, despite none of their team collecting more than eight faults in any round of jumping.
Following clears from pathfinder Ludger Beerbaum (L’Espoir), Christian Ahlmann (Coster) and Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (Shutterfly) pictured the home team was already in the lead on a zero score after three riders had gone, so Ehning found himself out of work as the first round concluded.
The USA counted just four faults from McLain Ward and Sapphire after Margie Goldstein-Engle (Quervo Gold) and Beezie Madden (Authentic) left all the poles intact, but Lauren Hough and Casadora got their wires crossed and picked up 14 faults.
The British were lying third with just seven faults going into round two after both Robert Smith (Marius Claudius) and Tim Gredley (Omelli) collected a single time penalty, and Michael Whitaker’s double-error with Insul Tech Portofino was the drop score when his brother John returned with just five faults on the board for his new ride Peppermill.
The French and Swedes were only a single point further adrift in fourth, while the Swiss carried 10 faults to fill sixth place at the halfway stage.
In the second round the Swedes overtook the French when Michel Robert clocked up a disappointing 14 faults. Clears from Michael Whitaker and Tim Gredley cemented third place for Britain, leaving USA and Germany fighting it out at the top.
As the competition drew to a close it became clear that only a clear round from the last American rider Beezie Madden would be good enough to force Marcus Ehning to jump, but it was not to be.
“It was not the hardest course I’ve ever jumped in Aachen, but it was a good track with problems everywhere and it made for an exciting competition because it came down to the last few riders in the end,” said Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum afterwards.
“Shutterfly jumped two beautiful rounds, so I am very, very happy but you have to admire those Americans — they are very strong this season. They have done a great job getting riders as good as these together — they are going to feature strongly this summer I think.”
Samsung Super League round two in Aachen result
1, Germany – 4 faults: L’Espoir (Ludger Beerbaum) 0/4, Coster (Christian Ahlmann) 0/0, Shutterfly (Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum) 0/0, Gitania (Marcus Ehning) DNS, DNS.
2. USA – 8 faults: Quervo Gold (Margie Goldstein-Engle) 0/4, Casadora (Lauren Hough) 14/0, Sapphire (McLain Ward) 4/0, Authentic (Beezie Madden) 0/Ret.
3. Great Britain – 11 faults: Marius Claudius (Robert Smith) 1/4, Peppermill 5/5, Omelli (Tim Gredley) 1/0, Insul Tech Portofino 8/0.
4. Switzerland – 15 faults: LB No Mercy (Christina Liebherr) 4/0, Cantus (Niklaus Schurtenberger) 5/4, La Toya (Markus Fuchs) 9/4, Ideo du Thot (Bea Mandli) 1/1.
5. Sweden – 16 faults: VDL Cardento (Peter Eriksson) 8/12, Isaac (Royne Zetterman) 0/0, Butterfly Flip (Malin Baryard-Johnsson) 4/4, Ninja la Silla (Rolf-Goran Bengtsson) 4/4.
6. France – 17 faults: Diamant de Semilly Ecolit (Eric Levallois) 4/4, Flipper d’Elle (Laurent Goffinet) 8/4, Obelix (Herve Godignon) 4/1, Galet D’Auzay (Michel Robert) 0/14.
7, Ireland – 21 faults: World Cruise (Shane Breen) 4/0, Killossery (Capt Shane Carey) 5/0, Castle Forbes Maike (Jessica Kuerten) 8/8, Effective (Edward Doyle) 9/4.
8. The Netherlands – 29 faults: VDL Groep Fleche Rouge (Leopold Van Asten) 8/4, BMC Octavia (Jurgen Stenfert) 5/8, Okidoki (Albert Zoer) 0/4, Eurocommerce Berlin (Gerco Schroder) 8/8.
Samsung Super League Leaderboard
1. Germany 20
2. USA 14
3. Switzerland 7.5
4. Britain, France 7
6. The Netherlands 4
7. Sweden 3.5
8. Ireland 2