Brazil claimed their first ever Longines FEI Nations Cup at the Royal International Horse Show today (Friday, 28 July), thanks to a brilliant display of jumping from all four team members.
The team had the title tucked firmly under the belt after their third rider, Yuri Mansur, completed the quartet’s trio of second-round clears aboard Babylotte — piling on the pressure for the first-round leaders Germany.
Brazil’s Marlon Modolo Zanotelli (Sirene De La Motte) and Perdo Veniss (For Felicila) both produced flawless clears, while their fourth rider Pedro Junqueira Muylaert was not required to jump again in the final round. The winning team completed on a total of four — ten penalties ahead of their rivals.
“My horse didn’t jump so well in the first round [12 penalties], I don’t think she liked the [wet] conditions but when they moved the fences for the second round she jumped much better,” said Yuri of his second-phase clear.
His teammate Marlon added: “It worked very well sending myself and Pedro first and Yuri is always a strong team member — it’s a great result for us.”
All four of the winning Brazilians were enjoying their debut Nations Cup at the renowned venue.
Drama for the Germans
The Germans went into the second round on an impressive zero score but a change of fortunes followed, when two of their riders, Kendra Claricia Brinkop and Mario Stevens, picked up 12 penalties. Patrick Stühlmeyer completed on four faults.
Meanwhile, the team’s most experienced rider, Marcus Ehning, produced a clear round with Comme Il Faut 5 but drama ensued when the combination were disqualified from the competition, after leaving the arena, under the FEI blood rule. It resulted in the team dropping down to eventual seventh.
A statement on Marcus’ Facebook page read: “Marcus is very disappointed because Comme Il Faut 5 has unfortunately been disqualified after his double [clear] in the Nations Cup at Hickstead. After the second round, a scratch from the spurs was found on Comme Il Faut 5 — which leads to the right to disqualification according to FEI rule 242.3.1. Of course he [Comme Il Faut 5] is doing very well.”
The Netherlands occupied the runner-up spot on a total of 14 penalties.
The British team had a positive Nations Cup finishing fifth behind Ireland. They had some great rounds particularly from Michael Whitaker (Viking) and William Whitaker (Utamaro D’Ecaussines, pictured below). The latter produced an excellent double jumping clear, just picking up one time-penalty in the first round.
The quartet of riders — all from the Whitaker dynasty — went into the second round in fourth position on a total of 11 penalties, with Michael Whitaker having pulled a clear round from the bag aboard Viking.
Joe Clayton was deputising for William Funnell, who withdrew Billy Buckingham from the team competition due to him being a “touch lame” the day before, and finished on a first-round score of 10 penalties. Robert Whitaker (Catwalk IV) was the team’s drop score in this round after three down, going on to have two down in the next.
Don’t miss the full report from the Royal International Horse Show in Horse & Hound, on sale Thursday, 3 August.