Di Lampard and Abbervail Dream is best of the Brits in the first European Samsung Nations Cup round in La Baule, where the Spanish team prove unbeatable

In the firstEuropean Samsung Nations Cup round of the 2002 season in La Baule, France, Britain failed to make the second round when finishing seventh of the 12 teams.

The Spanish quartet of Rutherford Latham, Cristino Torres, Fernando Sarasola and Ricardo Jurado powered to victory on time from France, with the three-rider Dutch team, Germany, Italy and Switzerland, few of whom were fielding their top squads, in the minor places.

Rutherford Latham (Bretzel) and Ludovic Leygue (Diabolo De Parc) jumped the only double clears of the competition .

Di Lampard opened for Britain over Serge Houtmann’s course with a first-class, morale boosting clear on Abbervail Dream, who looked at his brilliant best.

Fences five and six, in front of the grandstand, were parallels separated by four longish strides and it was here that Britain’s challenge faltered. Veronique Whitaker’s Eldorado put in five strides and only just brushed the toprail off fence six. Otherwise, the combination went really well.

John Whitaker’s ride, the big grey Lactic Two, spooked at fence seven, a wall, and then lowered all three elements of the following combination.

Although John used all his expertise, Lactic failed to find the answers and their total of 16 faults was our discard score.

Tim Stockdale hit the same fence as Veronique with Parcival in an otherwise impressive round.

“I was very disappointed that we didn’t make the second round,” said new team manager Derek Ricketts. “We missed out by a mere fraction.”

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