Netherlands retain jumping lead in Aachen

  • The Dutch team held onto the lead in the race for the World Show Jumping Championship title at the WEG in Aachen today where the British improved their position when moving up from 11th place overnight to slot into eighth after the first round of the Nations Cup.

    The Ukraine, a team comprised mainly of riders that have defected from other countries, lies second ahead of the USA in third and only 10 of the 24 teams that lined out today will return to the ring tomorrow for Nations Cup round two, together with all the leading individual riders.

    The top three individuals retained their positions when America’s Beezie Madden and Authentic, Canada’s Eric Lamaze riding Hickstead and Holland’s Gerco Schroder and Eurocommerce Berlin jumped clear once again, but Brazil’s Bernardo Alves and Canturo ousted McLain Ward and Sapphire from fourth spot when the American faulted and Alves enjoyed the most incredible luck on his way around the track, especially when the 11-year-old stallion paddled through the oxer at fence 10 without hitting a pole.

    Beezie Madden retains her lead in the individual competition
    Picture by Trevor Meeks

    Michael Whitaker and Portofino and Nick Skelton with Russel both collected just a single time fault while Tim Gredley with Omelli and John Whitaker and Peppermill returned five-fault results. John said afterwards that he was a bit disappointed when making his mistake at fence 10 which Peppermill met on a long stride “but he’s still quite green really” he said, adding “it’s still all to play for and it’s very possible that we can still finish in the top five which is the main

    There was plenty of drama during the competition including an interesting interlude for South Africa’s Roger Hessen whose gelding, Quito, decided he had enough after jumping the oxer at fence eight and napped wildly in the direction of the in-gate. It took quite a bit of persuasion to get him back into the ring to complete, while, later in the day, Columbia’s Manuel Torres endured an unscheduled dismount from Chambacune who then enjoyed the freedom of the arena.

    Eyecatcher of the day was Jos Lansink’s Cavalor Cumano whose graceful and spectacular tour of the track produced gasps of delight from the sidelines and boosted the Belgian rider from 40th all the way up to individual 16th place while Malin Baryard-Johnsson had a horrible afternoon. Sweden’s passage to tomorrow’s top 10 second round depended on her returning clear but, having clocked up a cricket score in yesterday’s opening speed leg, she did it yet again when coming home with 29 faults from Butterfly Flip.

    The Irish benefitted from Malin’s disaster and squeezed into that final 10th qualifying spot behind Belgium in ninth, Britain in eighth, the surprising Spanish who are lying seventh, the three-man Brazilian team in sixth, Switzerland in fifth and Germany in fourth. The Dutch have a one-fence advantage at the top of the order but there is less than a fence between the next three teams.

    Read the show jumping reports in full in next week’s Horse & Hound (7 September)

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