2008 Samsung Super League with FEI Round Five This Weekend in Aachen
RELEASE: July 3, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Louise Parkes
The American team will be first into the ring as the fifth leg of the 2008 Samsung Super League with FEI series gets underway in Aachen, Germany tomorrow evening.
The elite Nations Cup competition, which will begin at 7 p.m. local time, will take place under floodlights, and if you are not lucky enough to be there then you can watch the action unfold on live-stream video by visiting the Aachen website, www.chioaachen.de
The order of go is as follows : 1. USA; 2. Belgium; 3. Great Britain; 4. Ireland; 5. Sweden; 6. The Netherlands; 7. Switzerland; 8. Germany.
USA Chef d'Equipe George Morris was unperturbed when his team was drawn in the number one slot this afternoon – “there's first, second, third—whatever—we've done it all" he said nonchalantly.
Despite their perilous position at the bottom of the league table the Swedish are not fielding any of their Olympic horses for tomorrow's event – “we are keeping them fresh for Hong Kong," explained Chef d'Equipe Maria Gretzer. With just 2.75 points to their credit after the first four legs of the series it seems the Swedes are in a lot of trouble and there will be enormous pressure on Helena Lundback riding Bukowskis Erbblume, Royne Zetterman with Isaac, Henrik von Eckerman with Enorm, and Rolf Goran Bengtsson with Quintero la Silla as they take their turn.
FEI Jumping Director, Captain John Roche, pointed out that tomorrow's leg of the Samsung Super League with FEI series “will be decisive Olympic-wise.” And so it will because many of the team managers will be making their final choice of Olympic team members in the aftermath.
The Irish, lying seventh of the eight nations at this stage of the series, have only one Olympic spot to fill and while Denis Lynch, who has cemented an extraordinarily successful partnership with the former Gregory Wathelet ride Lantinus, looks to be the front-runner, it is clear that team manager Robert Splaine is leaving his options open until after the German fixture. Lynch is joined on the Irish side by Edward Doyle who partners Sequoyah Farms Utopia for the fifth consecutive leg of the series, Captain David O'Brien who made a superb Super League debut with the Irish army horse Mo Chroi in Rotterdam and Cian O'Connor with the seasoned Irish Independent Echo Beach.Strong Side
In sixth spot after the first four rounds are the Swiss, and Rolf Grass is sending out a strong side including Pius Schwizer with Nobless M, Niklaus Schurtenberger with Cantus, Steve Guerdat with Jalisca Solier, and Beat Mandli with Ideo du Thot.
George Morris is armed with two former Aachen Grand Prix winners in Anne Kursinski aboard Champ and Beezie Madden aboard Authentic, they will fly the American flag along with McLain Ward riding the brilliant Sapphire and Laura Kraut riding Cedric whose jumping was particularly impressive during the previous leg in Rotterdam.
Nick Skelton returns to the British team with the much-loved stallion Arko, and he will be joined by Peter Charles riding Rupert R, Tim Stockdale with Corlato, and John Whitaker riding Peppermill. Lying fourth on the league table they are carrying exactly the same number of points - 19 - as the third-placed Belgians who started the season with a superb victory in La Baule in May. Philippe le Jeune with Vigo, Ludo Philippaerts with Cavalor's Winningmood, Dirk Demeersman with Tymoon Caloo Meerchen, and Jos Lansink with Valentina van't Heike will be hoping to maintain their country's elevated position.
Drawn last, the host team from Germany has all the advantage going into tomorrow's competition and Christian Ahlmann with Coster, Marco Kutscher with Montender, Ludger Beerbaum with All Inclusive, and Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Shutterfly will be a formidable force. However, Germany had a faltering start in this Samsung Super League with FEI series and it has taken