The Netherlands have won the Longines FEI Nations Cup Jumping 2017 Final in Barcelona, following a thrilling night of showjumping.
The action was delayed by two hours when the floodlights blew a fuse, but it didn’t stop the Dutch team from lighting up the arena. They finished with just a single time fault, to win in style.
Team USA were second on four faults, while Belgium – who also finished on a four – were third as their combined time was 1.15sec slower.
Great Britain failed to qualify for the final round on Saturday night, after finishing on a score of 16, which put them in 11th place out of 15 teams.
Ben Maher produced Team GB’s only clear round with Quilata. Pathfinders Scott Brash and Ursula XII had an uncharacteristic two down, as did Guy Williams and Rouge De Ravel. The drop score was provided by William Whitaker’s and Utamaro D’Ecaussines, who incurred 13 faults.
Michael Whitaker was the fifth member of the squad, but couldn’t compete due to an abscess in Calisto Blue’s foot.
Ireland also missed out on the final, after finishing on eight faults. Denis Lynch (All Star 5) produced a great clear while Shane Sweetnam (Chaqui Z), Bertram Allen (Molly Malone V) and Shane Breen (Laith) all finished on four faults.
The European gold medallists appealed Bertram’s faults at the water, but it was unsuccessful. This put them in joint sixth place with Switzerland, Belgium and Sweden, but as the slowest team they moved down to ninth, which was just outside the qualification zone.
Both teams went through to the consolation competition, the Challenge Cup, but Britain once again produced a disappointing performance. The best result came from William, who rode one of only five clear rounds, but incurred one time penalty. Scott had a change of horse and was riding Hello Forever, who had the penultimate fence down.
Guy Williams retired Rouge de Ravel, who was only just stepping up to this level, while Ben had three down, which once again put the team on a total of 16 faults, and in fifth place.
Ireland had a better night, to come second on nine faults, behind the United Arab Emirates who won with three time penalties.
The good news is that after completing two round at the Nations Cup Jumping Final, Britain has now been promoted back into to division one for 2018.
Further good news came to the British camp when William Whitaker won the Queen’s Cup – Segura Viudas Trophy riding Fandago. There were twenty-one clears out of a field of sixty starters, which meant it was a hard fought jump-off. William took a gamble when he cut a corner by jumping over some of the ornamental flowers.
“Michael had already spotted that I could jump the flowers when we’d looked at the course earlier,” said William. “I wasn’t sure, but when I heard that Tiffany Foster had jumped them, I knew I had to do it if we wanted to beat her. Fortunately, Fandango has plenty of experience and he just went in and did what he had to do and got the job done as they say!”