Germany’s supremacy in this year’s Samsung Super League was franked in style in the final in Barcelona.
Kurt Gravemeier’s strong squad finished two fences clear of the Netherlands and Sweden — and ended up winning the league with almost twice as many points as their closest rivals.
Things did not go so well for Derek Ricketts’s Petplan-sponsored team of Robert Smith (Ronaldo); David McPherson (Pilgrim II); Tina Fletcher, making her Super League debut on Overa, and John Whitaker on Cortaflex Utah Van Erpekom.
Robert Smith fell victim to the FEI vertical at fence five, then Ronaldo lowered the final two parts of the penultimate combination. And when Overa struggled and collected 24 faults, Britain’s team had to count the eight-faults scores from David and John.
They went into round two in last place and things did not improve second time around with a total of 49 faults leaving the British team 13 points adrift of eighth-placed Switzerland.
Derek Ricketts put a brave face on things, saying: “Only the world’s eight best show jumping nations have the chance to compete in the Super League. I’m delighted that Britain will be part of the series again next year.”
Sweden narrowly retained their Super League place by just 1.25 points, with France being the nation relegated to the FEI Nations Cup series next year.
Read this report in full, including details of how the British riders got on in the back-up classes at the show, in this Thursday’s Horse & Hound (27 September, ’07)