At the half-way point in the Meydan FEI Nations Cup at The Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead, the good news is that Great Britain is through to the second round.
Early morning downpours have left the International Arena on the tacky side and many horses seem to be struggling to jump out of it, producing cricket scores aplenty. Bearing this in mind, Graham Fletcher’s comments in Horse & Hound this week about horses getting too used to jumping on artificial surfaces appear very timely.
Ben Maher was best of the Brits riding a confident round on Robin Hood W for four faults. Robert Smith (Raging Bull Vangelis S) and Tim Gredley (Omelli) were the other scores to count with 12 faults apiece leaving Team GB on 28. Peter Charles’s uncharacteristic 24-fault round on Murka’s Pom D’Ami was the discard score.
France and Germany are looking a class apart, both finishing the first round on a team score of eight faults. Ireland is currently lying in third place on 20, with Great Britain in equal fifth with USA.
Only eight of the 10 teams go through to round two this afternoon so Switzerland and Italy will miss out on the rest of the competition.
With Great Britain currently lying ninth in the Nations Cup series, and at risk of relegation, there’s a lot to play for this afternoon. It should be a cracker of a competition.
Results after round one
1eq – France & Germany (8)
3 – Ireland (20)
4- Sweden (25)
5 – USA & Great Britain (28)
7 – Belgium (32)
8 – Netherlands (41)
9 – Switzerland (49)
10 – Italy (63)
Pick up Thursday’s Horse & Hound (30 July) for our special 13-page report on all the action from the RIHS