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A strong German side took its 14th Rotterdam FEI Nations Cup victory despite a strong final attack from the Swedes, who were without fault in the second round.

The win moves Germany into first place in the league standings, taking over from The Netherlands, who finished seventh on their home ground, just one place behind Great Britain.

The time allowed on the course proved to be difficult to achieve, with course designer Louis Koninckx explaining the small dimensions of the arena made it difficult for riders to maintain the necessary 400m/min speed.

Five clears were produced, including one from Germany’s Ludger Beerbaum (Gotha FRH), with his teammates Philipp Weishaupt (Monte Bellini) and Marco Kutscher (Cornonet Obolensky) collecting just one time fault each. Things did not fair so well for Marcus Ehning (Copin Van De Broy) with a nine penalty first round total.

With just a three point advantage over Sweden going into round two, the pressure was increased when all of the Swedes left the arena without error. Marcus again produced the drop score, this time four, with Ludger gaining a time fault and Philipp jumping clear. This reduced the advantage to two for last-to-go Marco and, despite a rather awkward jump over the last with his grey stallion, he finished just outside the time allowed to collect one fault.

“I knew something was wrong because he felt almost scared going to the fence, which just isn’t him,” said Marco. “Afterwards, we found he had overreached.”

Of the British performances, Scott Brash (Hello Sanctos) and Peter Charles (Murka’s Vindicat W) were the strongest with just one fence a piece over the two rounds. Tina Fletcher (Hello Sailor) jumped for five faults in rounds A and B, while Tim Stockdale didn’t have a great day with a 17- and an eight-fault round on Fresh Direct Kalico Bay.

Rotterdam Nations Cup result
1, Germany
2, Sweden
3, France
6, Great Britain