Germany Gets Best of the Draw for Dublin Round of Samsung Super League with FEI
RELEASE: August 9, 2007
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Louise Parkes
The Samsung Super League with FEI leaders from Germany will be last into the ring for Friday's seventh leg of the 2007 series in Dublin following Thursday's draw at the Royal Dublin Society showgrounds. The order of go will be as follows: 1. Belgium; 2. France; 3. Switzerland; 4. Ireland; 5. USA; 6. The Netherlands; 7. Great Britain; 8. Sweden; 9. Germany.
Belgian Chef d'Equipe Lucien Somers failed to arrive in time for the Draw Press Conference, but his team's unfavorable starting position had nothing to do with that despite much joking to the contrary. More new team managers have arrived on the scene with Anne-Catherine Carlsson, who shares responsibility for Swedish team affairs with Maria Gretzer and Peter Eriksson, taking over this time around, and Laurent Elias is conducting French affairs while British show jumping legend David Broome has stepped into Derek Ricketts' shoes.
Only a few of the team managers were prepared to name their line-up. Rob Ehrens listing Ben Schroder, Willem Greve, Leon Thijssen and Henk Van der Pol, while America's Melanie Smith-Taylor, again deputising for George Morris, sends out her winning side from Hickstead, which included Laura Kraut, Beezie Madden, Molly Ashe-Cawley and Christine McCrea.
David Broome has five riders at his disposal, but has decided to leave Geoff Billington "looking after operations in the training ring," and he added, "so we've got a team that includes one young person and three old hags!" Robert Whitaker filling the former category and Nick Skelton, William Funnell and Robert Smith the latter. Anne-Catherine Carlsson said her side will consist of "old riders with young horses," and the Swedes have a lot to do tomorrow. They are the ones now lingering in that dangerous relegation zone at the bottom of the league table, 3.25 points behind France and 3.50 points behind the USA and time is running out.
Germany's Sonke Sonksen has called up Holger Wulschner, Thomas Voss, Heinrich-Hermann Engemann and Thomas Muhlbauer and Ireland's Robert Splaine suggested that the German and American teams will be the ones to beat tomorrow. He is working hard to ensure Ireland's return to the Samsung Super League with FEI series just as quickly as possible.
The new footing in the main arena has been greeted with general approval. "This show has moved into the 21st century in a big way with the work that has been done with the surface," said David Broome. "And it will only get better as the roots deepen, giving horses more support on the turn," he added. Good reports from the riders suggest the €800,000 spent on completely re-laying the hallowed ground with a mixture of sand, soil and natural grass will pay dividends well into the future. "When you have top horses competing at top level you need the best ground, and Dublin now has it," said Dutch Chef d'Equipe Rob Ehrens. "I'm also delighted that the old ring has been replaced with grass. We like to jump on grass," he pointed out, and Switzerland's Rolf Grass agreed.Samsung Super League with FEI Leaderboard After Round 6 at Hickstead
1. Germany - 37.75
2. Great Britain - 28.50
3. Switzerland - 27.75
4. Belgium - 24.25
5. The Netherlands - 22.00
6. USA - 19.50
7. France - 19.25
8. Sweden - 16.00