Barcelona, Oct 1 (EFE).- Germany put in a fine performance to win the Jumping Nations Cup with three clear rounds at the Real Club de Polo de Barcelona ahead of France and the reigning champions, Belgium.
Although the first German rider Jana Wargers and her mare ‘Dorette’ knocked down two fences, her eight faults were discarded after her compatriots Christian Kukuk with ‘Checker 47’, Hans-Dieter Dreher with ‘Elysium’ and Richard Vogel with ‘United Touch S’ crossed the line with zero points.
Vogel, the last of the German riders, confessed at the press conference afterwards that the advice of his teammate Wargers helped to prevent a knockdown in the triple jump, and he admitted in a relaxed tone that he had to take “an aspirin” to relax because his horse had trouble with combinations.
Team leader Otto Becker celebrated Germany’s weekend performance, especially after starting the final with a double knockdown and recovering to achieve three consecutive clear rounds. He said that “they deserved this victory,” their first since 2016.
Behind them, France finished second with eight faults and a cumulative time of 249.74 seconds and Belgium completed the podium also with eight points but with 251.25 seconds.
Brazil also notched up eight faults (253.82 seconds) to finish fourth and as a result they sealed a berth for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, which was in contention among the countries that had not yet qualified.
The Brazilians were led by rider Luciana Diniz and ‘Vertigo du Desert’, who completed a perfect ride and turned the knockdowns of riders Pedro Vennis and Rodrigo Pessoa into positives.
“The horse was fine. We had a penalty but then he flew through the rest of the course. The reality is that that knockdown took the pressure off me because I knew that if ‘Major Tom’ incurred a penalty like that, then he wouldn’t make any more. I tried to ride him as calmly as possible until the end and he responded very well,” Pessoa explained to Agencia EFE.
He also made it clear that Paris 2024 was the “maximum” objective of the team and they wanted to earn the Olympic spot in Barcelona and go calmly to the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago de Chile. “We had a mission and we accomplished it,” he said.
The United States finished in fifth place after their last rider to enter the arena, Laura Kraut and ‘Dorado 212’, had a clear round but exceeded the allowed time by 0.62 seconds, incurring one penalty point.
As a result, they failed to earn a spot for Paris 2024, so the US team must now qualify for the Olympics in Chile.
The course proposed by Santiago Varela was long (580 meters) and technically demanding (14 obstacles and 18 efforts), especially a triple combination in the second-last post that weighed down most of the participants and a narrow double, in which there were also many knockdowns.
The final classification of the Jumping Nations Cup final, organized by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) at the 111th CSIO in Barcelona, was Germany, France, Belgium, Brazil, United States, Switzerland, Great Britain – the team that had finished first on the opening day – and Ireland. EFE