Germany has won the Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup in Aachen, beating Ireland into second place by just two faults.
Ireland were lying fifth at the halfway stage on five faults, following a clear round from Cameron Hanley (Quirex), a single time fault from Shane Sweetnam (Chaqui Z) and four faults from Cian O’Connor (Good Luck).
The second round saw Shane finish again with a single time fault, before Darragh Kenny boosted Irish hopes with a clear round on Babalou. A vital clear from the Irish anchorman Cian saw Ireland finish on a total of six faults – overtaking Belgium, Switzerland and Netherlands to take second place.
Victory went to Germany on eight faults, in front of a delighted home crowd, with the Netherlands in third on nine faults.
Hungry as ever
As the most experienced rider on the German team, Marcus Ehning played a key role for the team. He was last to go and when he entered the ring, Germany was lying in first place with a lead of one point.
If Marcus stayed clear, the team’s victory was safe. In the first round Marcus and Pret a Tout picked up four faults, but they managed to pull a clear out of the bag when it really mattered.
Marcus joked in the press conference that he is so old he couldn’t remember how many times he has ridden for Germany in Aachen, but he was still as hungry as ever for a win.
“Once you have won here once, you want to win every year,” he said. “Indeed, we have succeeded in doing so for the last three years. So we are simply happy!”
Germany’s victory was dedicated to Hans Günter Winkler, who passed away earlier this month. Hans is the only showjumper to have won five Olympic gold medals, and to compete and win medals in six different Olympic Games.
The four riders wore a black armband in remembrance of the show jumping legend.