US Third in Third Leg of Samsung Super League with FEI
RELEASE: June 1, 2007
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Joanie Morris
St. Gallen, Switzerland—They say a week is a long time in politics, but the fortunes of international show jumpers can be equally unpredictable as last week's Samsung Super League with FEI winners from Great Britain found out today when failing to complete the third leg of the 2007 series in St. Gallen, Switzerland, where The Netherlands recorded a resounding victory. The U.S. sustained a noble drive and ended up third.
On an afternoon that produced only two double-clear performances—one from the winning side's Angelique Hoorn riding O'Brien and the other from Christian Ahlmann and Coster from the second-placed German team—the pendulum swung wildly at various times. However, the U.S. team of Olinda (Todd Minikus), Miss Independent (Laura Kraut), Cristallo (Richard Spooner), and Authentic (Beezie Madden), which looked to be in trouble at one stage, rallied brilliantly to finish ahead of Belgium in fourth while the much-fancied Swiss had to settle for fifth ahead of France. Sweden finished seventh, but that was only one place better than the British, who didn't finish at all after double-elimination for Nick Skelton and Ark,o and big scores from William Funnell (Cortaflex Mondriaan) and Tim Stockdale (Fresh Direct Corlato). Not even the genius of anchorman John Whitaker could rescue the situation in the closing stages.
The British were already sharing last place with the French at the end of the first round, and it was the final line on the course set by Swiss designer Rolf Ludi that was the undoing of many. The second-last fence was a big wall on a related distance to the final triple combination which opened with a vertical followed by one stride to an oxer and two long strides to another oxer. It stretched many horses to their limit as Angelique Hoorn confirmed afterwards. "You really needed a lot of scope there…the two long strides to the last oxer was very difficult," she pointed out.
The Swedes were hampered by nine-fault results from Helena Lundback (Madick) and Lotta Schultz (Calibra) and carried 14 into the second round when Rolf-Goran Bengtsson and Ninja la Silla made a single mistake and Royne Zetterman and Isaac picked up just one time penalty. U.S. nerves were rattled by a 12-fault result for Laura Kraut and Miss Independent and nine for Richard Spooner and Cristallo. But, Todd Minikus and Olinda had just one fence down, and Beezie Madden's clear with Authentic raised spirits dramatically to leave them on a first-round tally of 13.
The Belgians were just one fault ahead on 12 after an encouraging opening clear from Philippe Lejeune and Vigo D'Arsouilles, while Patrick McEntee's nine faults with Every Mury Marais Z could be discarded when Marc Van Djick (Verlest Goliath) collected four and World Champion Jos Lansink had two fences down.
The Swiss were well in touch when Christina Liebherr and LB No Mercy opened with a clear, and with Markus Fuchs' five faults with Nirmette discounted, they completed round one on a score of eight when both Werner Muff (Plot Blue) and Beat Mandli (Ideo du Thot) faulted once. They were to slip down the order, however, in round two. The Germans completed round one carrying only the six faults collected by Ludger Beerbaum and Couleur Rubin after clears from both Marcus Ehning (Noltes Kuchengirl) and Christian Ahlmann (Coster), and the discounted eight from Marco Kutscher and Cash.
Leading the posse was The Netherlands with the five picked up by Vincent Voorn and Audi's Alpapilllion-Armanie. There was considerable pressure on the final partnership of Gerco Schroder and Eurocommerce Berlin after FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) Gold medalists Albert Zoer and Okidoki uncharacteristically left four on the floor, but Hoorn's opening clear was matched by Schroder to ensure that was discarded.
Germany added just four more to finish with 10 on the board and take second spot while the U.S. improved from fifth to finish third on 17 faults thanks