Philipp Weishaupt and Zineday. (FEI/Leanjo de Koster)
Workforce Germany overtook Sweden to rise to the highest of the leaderboard on the second day of the FEI Leaping European Championship 2023 in Milan (ITA), however the distinction between the highest three sides is just fractional going into the crew medal decider.
A tally of 9.31 offers Germany simply 0.2 penalty factors of a bonus over Sweden with 9.51, whereas the defending champions from Switzerland lie third with 9.92, adopted carefully by Eire on a 10-point scoreline.
It may hardly be tighter, and it’s a recipe for a thriller proper to the top.
In the meantime, one other excellent efficiency from Sweden’s Jens Fredricson and Markan Cosmopolit has maintained their place on the high of the person leaderboard.
A expensive mistake on the final fence noticed Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs and Leone Jei drop from in a single day second spot to fifteenth place, so one other super-smooth efficiency from Germany’s Philipp Weishaupt and Zineday has moved them up from third as much as second, whereas Fuchs’ team-mate Steve Guerdat is now mendacity third with Dynamix de Belheme.
There are nonetheless 4 nations left within the race for one of many three qualifying spots on supply for the Paris 2024 Olympic Video games – Switzerland, Austria, Italy, and Spain. The Netherlands, France, and Nice Britain will full the line-up when solely the highest 10 nations will do battle within the closing spherical of the crew competitors together with the highest 50 people within the rankings up to now.
Misplaced their grip
The Swedes misplaced their grip on pole place when, regardless of excellent clears from each Fredricson and Henrik von Eckermann driving Iliana, they needed to rely one of many eight-fault outcomes posted by each Wilma Hellström and Cicci BJN and their anchor partnership of Rolf-Göran Bengtsson and Zuccero.
In distinction, Germany solely had so as to add the 4 picked up by pathfinders Marcus Ehning and Stargold when each Weishaupt and Jana Wargers have been foot-perfect over the significantly extra testing 14-fence observe. German anchor, Gerrit Nieberg, racked up 12 faults with Ben, however that might be their discard when the perfect three outcomes per crew have been counted.
Solely Guerdat jumped clear for Switzerland, so that they had so as to add each of the 4 faults picked up by Fuchs and Bryan Balsiger partnering Dubai du Bois Pinchet, whereas Edouard Schmitz’s double-error with Gamin van’t Naastveldhof was their drop-score.
After clears for each Michael Duffy with Cinca 3 and Shane Sweetnam with James Kann Cruz, the Irish appeared set to threaten the Swiss, however last-line rider Eoin McMahon and the mare Mila have been considered one of many partnerships to fall sufferer to the large oxer three from house that adopted the open water. These 4 faults needed to be counted, as a result of Trevor Breen and Highland President left two on the ground. However there may be solely a whisper between the highest 4.
A complete of 14 horse-and-rider mixtures jumped clear and so they have been all filled with reward for the tracks set for them up to now this week.
“The course was tremendous; all compliments to him (course designer Uliano Vezzani) additionally from yesterday,” stated world primary Henrik von Eckermann after ending his fault-free run.
“Right now there are some large jumps on the market, however they aren’t fully demanding on the horse. However you want to have the ability to journey precisely, to have all of the gears to go ahead, backwards for the final line, to the water, to the triple mixture,” he stated. “So it’s asking lots from the rider and I believe that’s the way it needs to be. Should you journey good you may have good probabilities, and never solely that it’s the final gap on the bounce.
“I felt a bit of little bit of strain after Germany’s clear and Steve’s clear, and I wished to present them (the remainder of the Swedish crew) a great feeling and I believe I did. We nonetheless have the drop rating in our pocket and I hope we don’t want to make use of it,” he stated after popping out of the ring. Sadly, nonetheless, they did.
Weishaupt’s rides with Zineday have been flawless, and he’s clearly already eyeing up not only a crew medal, however a person one as properly.
“Up to now, it’s solely two days of competitors however Zineday felt excellent within the warm-up. I had a tremendous feeling yesterday within the pace class; he was actually relaxed and centered. And at this time he continued what he confirmed yesterday, his nice efficiency, his nice expertise, and it was a pleasure to journey him and I hope we are able to preserve that type for the subsequent three rounds!” he stated.
Speaking in regards to the nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding, he stated his expectations have been all the time excessive coming to Milan. “He was third within the Grand Prix of Aachen, and in case you are chosen for the German crew, they count on you’re able to leaping that degree so I used to be anticipating this.”
He described Italy’s Uliano Vezzani as “a incredible course designer!
“We had a incredible pace class yesterday; it wasn’t the most important jumps however he confirmed all his expertise with the gorgeous manner he constructed. The footing was nice and at this time; it was a fantastic course once more, very difficult and lengthy; you wanted management and scope however he did a fantastic job!”
He described Zineday as “a bit particular; he has his personal head, so it’s important to depart him a bit of bit like he’s, however he has simply great qualities.”
Jana Wargers’ clear was additionally copybook. “I’m very pleased with my spherical and really glad that I used to be capable of bounce clear for the crew. Limbridge is simply incredible,” she stated of the 14-year-old gelding with which she completed ninth individually on the FEI Leaping World Championship 2022 final summer time.
“He makes it really easy, and he lets me shine in each spherical and he by no means offers up. Right now he confirmed once more how particular he’s, and I’m very happy with him!” she stated.
In the meantime, Jens Fredricson’s dream week continues. He’s on a zero rating, however Weishaupt is just 0.31 behind, adopted by Guerdat, the flying Frenchman Julien Epaillard with Dubai du Cedre, von Eckermann in fifth, and Italy’s Emanuele Camille in sixth with Odense Odeveld. Within the particular person standings, there may be lower than a fence between the highest 14, however there’s a lengthy solution to go earlier than the brand new particular person champion is topped.
It’s nonetheless fairly extraordinary to be main the posse with a horse that was initially purchased for the Swedish driving faculty in Strömsholm, however who proved too naughty to do his job there. So he ultimately discovered Jens within the saddle, and collectively they completed third on the Longines FEI Leaping World Cup™ Closing 2022 in Leipzig (GER) earlier than serving to to take the crew world title in Herning (DEN) just a few months later.
“I’m having fun with myself; it’s a incredible present and my horse is in nice type!” Fredricson stated. To search out himself in particular person competition at a championship is a first-time expertise, and he’s relishing it.
“I’ve been round, I’ve been in some finals, however I’ve by no means actually been up there. So to have a horse like this when you’re 55 is particular. He’s like a cat now; he can lengthen and shorten and he’s self-confident — he’s only a nice horse!” he identified.
He didn’t need to hearken to any rock music earlier than he went within the ring. “Yesterday I wanted to get in in a greater temper so I used to be listening to Iron Maiden, however not at this time as a result of I had nearly an excessive amount of vitality, I used to be nearly leaping round, so I believe Beethoven would have been higher!”
All Startlists and Outcomes right here.
by Louise Parkes