Historic win for Italy in third leg of FEI Nations Cup
The third leg of the FEI Nations Cup Europe Division 1 saw a historic win, as Italy enjoyed a victory on home ground for the first time in 32 years.
The hosts hold the record for the most wins at Piazza di Siena in Rome, but their last success was way back in 1985.
It was a thrilling contest, as Italy and the Netherlands shared the lead at the halfway stage, with four faults each. It was the Italian team who held their nerve to produce an unbeatable performance in the second round.
Both Piergiorgio Bucci (Casallo Z) and Alberto Zorzi (Fair Light van T Heike) jumped clear second time out – with Alberto (pictured above) one of only two riders to jump a double clear. Lorenzo de Luca and Ensor de Litrange had a foot in the water and one time fault, but it was enough to keep them at the top of the leaderboard with a total of nine faults.
The Netherlands finished second on 13 faults. The retirement of Jeroen Dubbeldam and SFN Zenith, who had 26 faults in the first round, left them vulnerable as the second round got underway. The pressure was added when Gerco Schroder had one down with Glock’s Cognac Champblanc.
It looked like Jur Vrieling and VDL Glasgow vh Merelsnest would jump a double clear – to leave the Dutch in contention – but they knocked the last fence down which put the team behind Italy.
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Third place was shared by Ireland and Spain who collected 17 faults each, while France and Sweden finished equal fifth on 20.
The French maintain the lead in the Europe Division 1 rankings heading to the fourth round of the eight-leg series at St Gallen in Switzerland.
You can catch all the action from Rome on H&C. FEI Nations Cup 2017: Rome premieres on 31 May at 9pm on Sky 253 or you watch online by subscribing to H&C Play.