Great Britain has won the Longines FEI Nations Cup at the CSIO***** Abu Dhabi, beating Germany and the Netherlands into second and third places respectively.
The team of Ellen Whitaker (Equimax Ocolado), Guy Williams (Torinto Van De Middelstede), Robert Smith (Talan) and Ben Maher (Robin Hood W), led by chef d’equipe Tim Stockdale, finished on a zero score, six penalties ahead of their nearest rivals.
Tim told H&H: “I’m very very proud! They all jumped fantastic — Ellen and Guy set us up beautifully with two double clears, neatly inside the time. Robert’s horse just made a mistake in the first round but came out clear in the second. And Ben rode a fantastic clear.
“They all worked really well as a team. I think we were the best prepared team — we came out a bit earlier than the others so the horses could acclimatise which meant they were nice and fresh for the Nations Cup. The course wasn’t over-big but the riders needed to use some nous to jump it.”
Of the 11 teams who started, seven went through to the second round. Robert Smith was the only rider to fault so became the discard score in the first round. Three clears from Ellen, Guy and Robert in round two meant that the competition was won and Ben Maher was not required to jump for a second time.
The Irish finished in seventh — earning €4,000 for the GOAL for the Haiti Earthquake relief fund.
Nations Cup result
1. Great Britain 0
2. Germany 6
3. Netherlands 9
4. UAE 23
5. Italy 23
6. Egypt 28
7. Ireland 31