The British Come Out on Top Over the Second-Placed Home Team in the Dublin Leg of the Samsung Super League with FEI
RELEASE: August 11, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Malina Gueorguiev
The penultimate leg of the 2008 Samsung Super League with FEI series in Dublin on August 8, 2008, was a thriller as old rivals, Ireland and Great Britain, locked horns in an epic battle at the end of which the visitors prevailed.
The afternoon was filled with emotion as Eddie Macken basked in the adoration of the many fans, so pleased to see him returning to the Dublin arena after a long absence, while Peter Charles was torn by his divided loyalties, having provided lynchpin performances for Ireland on this hallowed ground before deciding to return to ride under the British flag again two years ago.
"This was an amazing day," Charles said afterwards. "The crowd was brilliant and the atmosphere was wonderful. It was great to be back," he added.
But for Sweden it was not a day for celebration. Finishing second-last, just ahead of the Swiss who racked up an enormous 70 faults over their two rounds, they now seem destined to be relegated at the end of the season unless they can produce a miracle at the series final in Barcelona next month.Touch, Technical and Tight
Irish pathfinder Denis Lynch described Rob Janssen's track as "not the biggest, but tough and technical," while Charles pointed out, "The time was too tight, and that had an influence on a lot of the results." There were no double-clears on the day but, in the end, it was two single-time-fault performances from Charles and Nick Skelton that sealed victory while Germany recovered from a poor start to slot into third ahead of the USA in fourth and The Netherlands in fifth place.Already Ahead
By the end of the first round the British had already established the lead with just seven faults on the board as Robert Smith's nine faults with Vangelis was dropped when Tim Gredley's five with Omelli was added to Charles and Skelton's first single-fault result.
The Americans were just a single fault further in arrears at this stage—four faults each from Lauren Hough and Quick Study and Nicole Shahinian-Simpson with SRF Dragonfly added to Hillary Dobbs' clear with Quincy leaving Charlie Jayne's eight with Urbanus as the discard.
Lying third were the Dutch with 12 ahead of Ireland and Belgium sharing fourth with 16 faults apiece, and the Swedish team were just one fault further behind carrying 17 while Germany had already accumulated 21 to sit in second-last place. Both Marcus Ehning (Noltes Kuchengirl) and Thomas Voss (Leonardo B) had two fences down while Alois Pollmann-Schweckhorst and Lord Luis collected just five. Holger Wulschner brought up the rear with an expensive 12, so the previous scores all had to be counted.
Languishing in last place were the Swiss, already jeopardized by 13 faults from Theo Muff and Con Spirito R and 17 from Philippe Putallaz and Kolebo des Cabanes despite eight from Jane Richard and Jalia de Gaverie and just a single error from Markus Fuchs and La Toya.
Another 12 from Muff, 16 from Richard, and 17 more from Putallaz. Fuchs decided not return to the arena as the score-line was already too generous.Great Recoveries
The Irish really began to pull themselves together as the second round unfolded, Lynch again collecting just a single time fault while Eddie Macken recovered from a first-round score of 14 to pick up just two time faults at his second attempt. Then Jessica Kuerten and Castle Forbes Libertina, who had a single fence down first time out, produced a lovely clear to lift Irish spirits and this put the pressure on the British.
With five from Gredley and six from Smith the British now needed something special from their anchor partnership of Nick Skelton and Arko to ensure that only Charles' single time error would be added and Skelton came through in typical fashion, one time fault, putting the result beyond question. Ireland's Cian O'Connor retired with his relatively inexperienced gelding Rancorrad