Articles: Press Release
Super Swiss Reign in Rotterdam in Round 4 of Samsung Super League Show
Belgium and Germany Tie For Close Second
U.S Has Tough Day but Holds On To Second in Overall League Standings
United States Equestrian Federation, Inc.
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Web site: www.usef.org
June 17, 2005
From: Louise Parkes/FIE
It would be difficult to imagine a more exciting conclusion to any show
jumping competition with last man in, Pius Schwizer, running into
trouble at the end of the course but still managing to snatch victory
from the jaws of defeat.
At the end of the day the scoreboard showed Switzerland with just a
one-point advantage over the joint-runners-up from Germany and Belgium
while the Irish at last scraped off the bottom of the leaderboard when
slotting into fourth with a much-improved performance, but the French
were struggling when having to settle for fifth while luck still evades
the Dutch who were sixth. The British finished a disappointing seventh
while the inexperience of the new rotation of American riders showed as
they wound up last. However, after the superb run from their
predecessors, the USA still lies only 0.5 points behind Switzerland at
the head of the league table and it is still all to play for.
There were four double-clear rounds during the day - two each from the
winning team and from Germany - and Switzerland's Markus Fuchs produced
one of these with La Toya. Fuchs described Linda Allen's track as "not
really tough but very, very clever and a little bit sharp because you
had to be 100% correct with your turns - if you got them wrong you had
big problems - it was a little bit different" he said.
He got his line just right all the way however and when Steve Guerdat
(Tijl Van Het Pallieterland) and Fabio Crotta (Mme Pompadour) did the
same then Pius Schwizer and the aptly-named Unique did not have to jump
as they could not improve on their side's zero score.
Germany lay second at the halfway stage following clears from both
Christian Ahlmann (Coster) and Marcus Ehning (Gitania) while both
Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (Checkmate) and Lars Nieberg (Lucie)
collected just four faults each. Joining them on a first-round
four-fault score were the surprising Irish who had a shaky start when
Billy Twomey and Anastasia arrived home with 10 faults on the board but
who rallied with clears from both Harry Marshall (Ado Annie) and Clem
McMahon (Gelvin Clover) while Jessica Kurten ensured Twomey's score
could be discounted when bringing Castle Forbes Maike home with just one
fence on the floor.
The French and Belgians were tied on eight faults after round one while
Great Britain carried nine and the Dutch and Americans had already
clocked up 12 faults apiece.
Another 24 faults in round two put paid to American chances however -
Aaron Vale's total of 20 faults proving expensive - while the British
were only marginally better when adding 21 to their tally as Ellen
Whitaker failed to maintain the good form she showed in the earlier
rounds of the series.
The Dutch were hampered by a second-round 16-fault result for Leon
Thijssen (Nairobi) while Frenchman Philippe Leoni (Cyrenaike FRH)
collected a colossal personal total of 36 faults to do his side no
favours so the real battle was waged in the closing stages between the
remaining four nations.
The Belgians were really impressive this time out. Dirk Demeersman
(Clinton) produced their only first-round clear but both Jean-Claude
Vangeenberghe (Osta Rugs Tresor) and Jos Lansink (Cavalor Cumano) left
the second-round course intact and with just a single mistake from Ludo
Philippaerts (Parco) they completed with 12 faults.
Ahlmann and Ehning went clear again for Germany but Lars Nieberg's mare
Lucie picked up a total of 19 faults over the two rounds and when
Meredith's Checkmate had a foot in the water in round one and then two
more fences down next time out they had to make do with a 12-fault total
The Irish waned a little in the second round with double-errors for both
Marshall and McMahon following a much-improved four-fault result for
Twomey but they relied heavily on their last rider Jessica Kurten who,
fortunately, managed to bring her mare home without incident to leave
her side on a 16-fault total.
Despite foot-perfect runs from both Fuchs and Guerdat, Swiss supremacy
was threatened when Crotta and Mme Pompadour came home with 16
second-round faults and that piled the pressure on their final
Going last for your side is never an easy thing and going last in a
nations cup competition with everything depending on your performance is
even more daunting - Pius Schwizer knows all about that after today.
Its difficult to work out if it's best to run a horse in the first round
even if he doesn't have to jump in order to ensure that he has seen the
fences before the second round commences, and perhaps this may have had
some bearing on the drama that ensued when Unique came into the ring to
decide the final result.
Clear all the way to the second-last fence he slammed on the brakes
there however but somehow Pius managed to maintain his composure, bring
the horse round again, clear the fence and continue to the final double
where he took out the first element but left the second element up. The
clock showed three time penalties, they had collected eight jumping
faults but their total of 11 faults still left Switzerland one fault
ahead of the Germans and Belgians and it was all over.
"I've been competing now for almost 35 years but I've never seen such a
funny finish to a nations cup class!" said a bemused Markus Fuchs
He believes his country has joined the Samsung Super League series at
just the right time "because until now we were not ready to compete at
this level - now we have several good horse and rider partnerships and
we are much stronger" he pointed out.
However he has no illusions about the place his team finds itself at the
halfway stage of the 2005 series - "the first five teams are grouped so
closely together, we may be ahead but only slightly" he said.
The narrowest of margins separates the Swiss from the Americans while
Germany, Great Britain and France are all close behind and the bottom of
the league table is as tightly-contested as the top end with the
Belgians holding a three-point lead over the Irish but the Dutch only
0.5 further adrift.
When the 2005 Samsung Super League resumes at Hickstead in six week's
time the competition will be hotter than ever.
1. Switzerland - 11 faults: La Toya (Markus Fuchs) 0/0, Tijl Van Het
Pallieterland (Steve Guerdat) 0/0, Mme Pompadour M (Fabio Crotta) 0/16,
Unique X CH (Pius Schwizer) DNS/11.
Equal 2. Germany - 12 faults: Checkmate (Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum)
4/8, Coster (Christian Ahlmann) 0/0, Gitania (Marcus Ehning) 0/0, Lucie
(Lars Nieberg) 4/15.
Equal 2. Belgium - 12 faults: Osta Rugs Tresor (Jean-Claude
Vangeenberghe) 4/0, Clinton (Dirk Demeersman) 0/8, Cavalor Cumano (Jos
Lansink) 4/0, Parco (Ludo Philippaerts) 8/4.
4. Ireland - 16 faults: Anastasia (Billy Twomey) 10/4, Ado Annie (Harry
Marshall) 0/8, Gelvin Clover (Clem McMahon) 0/8, Castle Forbes Maike
(Jessica Kurten) 4/0.
5. France - 24 faults: First de Launay (Florian Angot) 0/4, Cyrenaika
FRH (Philippe Leoni) 16/20, Hooligan de Rosyl (Bruno Broucqsault) 0/8,
Crocus Graverie (Gilles Bertran de Balanda) 8/4.
6. Netherlands - 28 faults: Audi's Jikke (Eric van der Vleuten) 4/4,
BMC Nassau (Jeroen Dubbeldam) 8/8, Nairobi (Leon Thijssen) 4/16,
Eurocommerce Monaco (Gerco Schroder) 4/4.
7. Great Britain - 30 faults: Exploit du Roulard (John Whitaker) 5/5,
AK Locarno (Ellen Whitaker) 12/9, Nicolette (Robert Whitaker) 0/8,
Cortaflex Mondriaan (William Funnell) 4/8.
8. USA - 36 faults: Artur (Aaron Vale) 8/12, Allison (Callan Solem)
0/12, Vegas (Christine Tribble) 4/4, Flier (Todd Minikus) 8/8.
SAMSUNG SUPER LEAGUE LEADERBOARD (after Round 4 in Rotterdam):
1. Switzerland 22
2. USA 21.5
3. Germany 21
4. Great Britain 20.5
5. France 20
6. Belgium 10.5
7. Ireland 7.5
8. Netherlands 7
ROUND 1 - La Baule (Fra) 5-8 May; ROUND 2 - Rome (Ita) 26-29 May; ROUND
3 - St Gallen (Sui) 02-05 June; ROUND 4 - Rotterdam (Ned) 16-19 June;
ROUND 5 - Hickstead (GBR) 28-31 July; ROUND 6 - Dublin (Irl) 03-07
August; ROUND 7 - Aachen (Ger) 23-28 August; ROUND 8 and FINAL -
Barcelona (Esp) 15-18 September.
You can access all the latest Samsung Super League news and information
on website www.samsungsuperleague.com
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on all riders competing in the series are available at
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