After finishing on the podium in the first four rounds of the 2010 Meydan FEI Nations Cup series, the British team finished a disappointing seventh in Falsterbo at the weekend.
The class was marred by some controversial judging decisions, in particular involving the water jump. (Read full details, including reaction from British team performance manager Rob Hoekstra, in this week’s Horse & Hound, on sale Thursday 15 July.)
Far from following the form book, the competition saw a massive reversal of fortunes for Sweden, who swept to victory. The host nation had only picked up two points in the first four legs and looked set for definite relegation.
The Netherlands finished second, while Spain and France shared third, Ireland and the USA were fifth. Switzerland just managed to squeeze into the second round to finish eighth. There was shock when the German team were sidelined at the end of round one, along with the Polish team, who were eliminated and remain without a single point to their name.
Britain remain in second place on the leaderboard behind France, while Switzerland are in real trouble, lying just above Poland at the bottom of affairs. Sweden and The Netherlands both need another good result in Aachen next week if they are to have any chance of climbing out of the relegation zone.
1. Sweden 9 faults: H&M Tomesch (Malin Baryard-Johnsson) 4/4, Bukowskis Erbblume (Helena Lundback) 0/4, H&M Artic Aurora Borealis (Peder Fredricson) 0/4, Casall La Silla (Rolf-Goran Bengtsson) 0/1.
2. The Netherlands 12 faults: VDL Groep Utascha SFN (Eric Van der Vleuten) 4/0, VDL Bubalou (Jur Vrieling) 0/4, VDL Groep Santana B (Leopold Van Asten) 4/0, HBC Tamino (Marc Houtzager) 4/4.
3. Spain 21 faults: Guarana Champeix (Rutherford Latham) 4/0, Loreal D’Utah (Manuel Anon Suarez) 1/13, New Remake de Servery (Fernando Fourcade) 4/0, ProcasaJulia Des Brumes (Ricardo Jurado) 12/12.
3. France 21 faults: Kiwi Du Fraigneau (Eric Navet) 15/9, Luccianno (Nicolas Delmotte) 4/16, Admirable (Marie Etter Pellegrin) 0/4, Sea Coast Siilvana (Kevin Staut) 0/4.
5. Ireland 24 faults: Hallmark Elite (Dermott Lennon) 4/12, Castle Forbes Myrtille Paulois (Jessica Kuerten) 8/12, Carmena Z (Shane Breen) 4/4, Nabab’s Son (Denis Lynch) 0/0.
5. USA 24 faults: Pavarotti (Todd Minikus) 4/8, Ublesco (Cara Raether) 0/8, Rothchild (McLain Ward) 0/4, Flexible (Rich Fellers) 8/8.
7. Great Britain 25 faults: Billy Congo (William Funnell) 4/8, Thesaura (Mark Armstrong) 16/8, Hello Sailor (Tina Fletcher) 0/1, Fresh Direct Kalico Bay (Tim Stockdale) 4/8.
8. Switzerland 28 faults: La Toya (Arthur Da Silva) 16/8, Touchable (Claudia Gisler) 8/12, Uptown Boy (Janika Sprunger) 4/8, Ulysse (Pius Schwizer) 0/0.
9. Germany 12 faults in first round: Chaco-blue (Alois Pollmann-Schweckhorst) 8, Calado (Jorg Naeve) 4, Catoki (Philipp Weishaupt) 0, Noltes Kuchengirl (Marcus Ehning)17.
10. Poland Eliminated in first round: Cabullus Z (Piotr Sawicki) 2 faults; Taunus (Jacek Bobik) Elim; Limbo (Dawid Kubiak) Did not start.
2010 Meydan FEI Nations Cup leaderboard
1. France – 39.0
2. Great Britain – 27.5
3. USA – 25.5
4. Germany – 21.5
5. Spain – 21.5
6. Ireland – 18.5
7. Netherlands – 14.0
8. Sweden – 12.0
9. Switzerland – 10.5
10. Poland – 0