Germans Make It a Dublin Double; U.S. Remains on a Roll in Samsung Super League with FEI
RELEASE: August 13, 2007
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Joanie Morris
From a press release by Louise Parkes.
Dublin, Ireland - Sonke Sonksen's German team galloped to victory, and almost all over the No. 1 Army Band at the seventh leg of the Samsung Super League with FEI series in Dublin today.
Their victory lap very nearly turned to disaster when, taking their eye off the arena as they waved in delight to the crowd, they found themselves on a collision course with the marching band. However, braking systems were in perfect working order just as their jumping technique had been on a testing, tough afternoon in the Royal Dublin Society arena.
The USA finished second ahead of Switzerland and Ireland in joint-third, and Belgium and The Netherlands shared fifth spot ahead of the British in seventh, France in eighth and Sweden in last place.
This was a horrible day for the Swedes who collected a massive 51 faults, and things are not looking promising as they head to the Final in Barcelona next month. Languishing at the bottom of the league table they really needed a good day, but elimination for Fredrik Gustafsson who dismounted after being struck in the face by his horse in the first round weakened their position, and a difficult second round for Niklas Arvidsson compounded the situation.
The winners already had the advantage at the halfway stage, but the non-Super League Irish were impressively only one fault behind while the Americans and Dutch were lying third on eight faults. The Swiss were carrying 13, the British 16, and Belgium, Sweden and France had already collected 17 apiece before round two began.
It was the bogey line that began with the open water at fence four followed by a dog-leg to a double - vertical to oxer with water-tray - and then another oxer that put an end to Gustafsson. A substantial number of horses balked at the second element of the double and when Serenata La Silla was a little frightened there and arrived all wrong to fence six the horse slammed into reverse gear and hit the rider on the nose. Gustafsson left the ring on foot and did not return in round two because Serenata was also injured in the dramatic incident.
Henk Van de Pol's Dan -T had already thrown in a stop at the second element of the bogey double in round one before slamming on the anchors at the first element in round two to leave his rider on the floor, but the Dutchman's frustration was possibly less than that experienced by Britain's Robert Whitaker when Lacroix simply would not approach the last fence in either round.
On each occasion the 24 year old made it all the way to the penultimate vertical, but when the rider asked for a right-hand turn to the final oxer Lacroix would have none of it and Whitaker was left with an uncomfortable walk back to the pocket.
Course designer Avelino Rodriguez Miravalles from Spain had set some real questions on his 12-fence track .
“As soon as we walked the course we could see it was more technical and bigger,” said Heinrich Hermann Engemann afterwards.
In the final analysis he only had to jump once, faulting only with a toe in the water for Aboyeur W, because his German team-mates had already sealed the deal and won the day. Thomas Voss (Leonardo B) and Thomas Muhlbauer (Asti Spumante) were both foot-perfect first time out when Holger Wulschner (Clausen) and Engemann both left one on the floor, and although Muhlbauer clipped the second-last in round two Wulschner's clear did the trick when added to just a single time penalty for Voss.
The Irish dropped to joint-third when Capt Shane Carey, Conor Swail and Comdt Gerry Flynn all had one fence down in round two and this allowed the Americans to squeeze into second spot when Molly Ashe-Cawley (Vicomte D) and Beezie Madden (Judgement) were fault-free. Second-round clears from Steve Guerdat (Jalisca Solier) and Markus Fuchs (La Toya) steadied the Swiss effort and the Belgians rallied brilliantly when adding nothing to their first-round ta