Host Country Heads Leaderboard as Meydan FEI Nations Cup™ Comes to Switzerland
RELEASE: June 4, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Malina Gueorguiev
Swiss Chef d'Equipe Rolf Grass is taking no chances as the Meydan FEI Nations Cup™ arrives at his home venue of St Gallen this week. He has selected the best possible team in an effort to cement the lead his country has established after the first two legs of the series, and for Swiss show jumping fans there is an extra edge to the 2009 event.
They will be saying goodbye to one of the greatest riders their country has ever produced when Markus Fuchs officially retires at this year's prestigious fixture. Fuchs has been the backbone of many successful Swiss sides over his long and hugely successful career during which the five-time Olympian won the World Cup title in 2001, took Individual and Team silver at the European Championships in Hickstead in 1999 and European Team Silver in San Patrignano in 2005. Many of his major successes were recorded with the great Tinka's Boy with whom he forged a special relationship. For his final week in the limelight however the 53-year-old rider will bring Granie and La Toya from his home close to the Gruendenmoos Stadium in St Gallen.
Grass has chosen Daniel Etter, Steve Guerdat, last year's St Gallen Grand Prix champion Christina Liebherr and Pius Schwizer to join Fuchs on his squad on this important occasion.FEITv
All the action from the third leg of the Meydan FEI Nations Cup™ in St Gallen, Switzerland will be broadcast live and in high quality on the new official video website of the International Equestrian Federation, www.FEITV.org
The broadcast, presented by English commentator and horsesport specialist Philip Ghazala, will start at 13:25 CEST and cover both rounds. Additional features such as the draw, a virtual course walk and interviews will also be made available to users.
Simply register on www.FEITV.org
to witness all the passion and excitement as your favorites teams and riders battle for the ultimate honors. Audio
The Meydan FEI Nations Cup™ is now available on iTunes both to listen and download. The latest podcast features interviews with Ashlee Bond (USA), Michael Whitaker and Ben Maher (GBR), Malin Baryard-Johnsson and Maria Gretzer of Sweden. Lead
The Swiss have a 3.5-point lead over the American, who won last Friday's second leg of the series in Rome and U.S. team manager George Morris sends out the same side once again. The U.S. riders were really impressive at the Piazza di Siena, and 24-year-old rookie Ashlee Bond continues to amaze with Cadett who, for the second consecutive leg of the Meydan FEI Nations Cup™ series, produced an extraordinary double-clear performance. Richard Spooner picked up just four faults in the team competition, but he seemed the unluckiest man alive when just pipped for the Rome Puissance honors by Britain's Michael Whitaker last Saturday night and then squeezed into runner-up spot again in Sunday's grand prix by Brazil's Rodrigo Pessoa. Bond and Spooner line out alongside Lauren Hough, Laura Kraut and Christine McCrea.
The French are lying third on the leaderboard and Timothee Anciaume, Kevin Staut, Julien Epaillard, Michel Robert and Roger-Yves Bost will be hoping to hold that position. Otto Becker's German squad includes Marcus Ehning, Max Kuhner, Carsten-Otto Nagel, Franke Sloothaak and Philipp Weisthaupt and, currently fourth on the league table, the Germans will be hoping to stay ahead of the fifth-placed Dutch. New recruit, 43-year-old Nathalie Van der Mei, proved a very useful addition to Rob Ehrens' Dutch line-out with just one fence down last Friday, so she is called up again along with Angelique Hoorn, Marc Houtzager, Jur Vrieling and Albert Zoer. The Dutch are defending Nations Cup champions in St Gallen, and they could prove hard to beat once again.Contrast
The Swedish team suffered huge disappointment last time out when f