Britain finished fourth in the Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup in Aachen tonight (Thursday, 14 July).
“It’s a good result for us as everyone else had their Olympic team here,” said Guy Williams, who jumped a second round clear on his own and Charlotte Baines’ Titus.
While most nations fielded some Olympic riders and horses, Britain had just one Rio rider (Michael Whitaker) here and none of the equine stars headed to the Games, so this was a strong result.
Scott Brash was the team’s leading player with a double clear on the Harris’ and Kirkhams’ Hello Guv’nor.
Every rider contributed to the result. Nigel Coupe had just a foot in the water in the first round with Susan Simmons’ Golvers Hill, although he was the discard score in round two after knocking the second part of the double at five and the final upright at 12, as well as incurring a time-fault.
Michael Whitaker steered his wife Melissa Braybrooke’s Viking to a fault-free performance in round one and had the last part of the treble at eight down in the final barrage.
Guy recorded the discard score in round one with eight faults — the first part of the double down and a foot in the water.
“He felt better in the second round — but I rode better in the second round,” he said candidly.
Michael added: “Scott was excellent and Guy’s second round was very good, while Nigel’s first round was strong too. The three teams that beat us were all top teams.”
Germany won the class on a zero score. Once Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum had secured the home nation’s third clear in round two on the big-jumping Fibonacci 17, it was up to the final US rider to jump clear and force a jump-off for the honours. But Beezie Madden and Cortes ‘C’ splashed into the water to give Germany the win and leave the USA equal second.
Germany’s other riders were Christian Ahlmann, who had four faults and a clear on Epleaser Van’t Heike, Marcus Ehning (double clear on Pret A Tout) and Ludger Beerbaum (also fault-free on Casello). This was the home side’s first win in the Aachen Nations Cup since 2008.
“We’ve tried a couple of times to win and it’s never worked out, and this year it worked out and the performances were really good,” said Ludger. “This wasn’t just a win but one of the best wins.”
France shared second with the US, led by double clears from Pénélope Leprovost (Ratina D’La Rousserie) and Roger Yves Bost (Qoud’Coeur De La Loge).