Sarah Carless reports …
Great Britain clinched the FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing series 2018 crown – the third time since the competition began in 2012.
Great Britain headed into the final leg at Boekelo trailing France by ten points so it was all to play for in the CCI*** long format competition. And with a second place Great Britain crept ahead of France, who finished in seventh place, to win on a total of 570 points. France finished in second place with 540 points and Germany third with 420 points having won the team competition at the Dutch leg of the series.
Great Britain contested seven out of the eight legs with wins in The Plains (USA) and Waregem (BEL) as well as runner-up spots in Strzegom (POL), Millstreet (IRE) and Boekolo (NED).
The team heading out to Boekolo consisted of Alexander Bragg (Shannondale Percy), Laura Collett (London 52), Pippa Funnell (Maybach) and Izzy Taylor (Direct Cassino). Collett finished as the best of the Brits putting in an outstanding performance across the phases to finish in second place behind Germany’s Julia Krajewski and Samurai du Thot.
Tim Lips, who was the leader following dressage and cross country, finished in third after two rails down in the show jumping with Bayro. However this was enough to crown Lips as the Dutch champion, reclaiming the title he also won last year.
Michael Jung scored a double of victories at Strzegom, an event dominated by German riders.
Jung took victory in the CCI*** with Lennox, and also finishing second woth Corazon. Jung had led with Lennox following the dressage but dropped to second after the cross country. It was so nearly a victory for British rider Gemma Tattersall and Chilli Knight but they settled for third after a rail down in the show jumping, which handed a one, two finish to the German rider.
Jung was also victorious in the CCI* Section B, winning with Go For S.
Tattersall was also in contention in the CIC*** with Quicklook V. Leading the competition after the dressage, the pair collected 10 penalties in the show jumping, and withdrew before cross country. The competition was won by Geman rider Andreas Dibowski and FRH Butts Avedon.
German riders were also victorious in other classes; Anna Lena Schaff topped the CIC** with Fairytale 39 whilst Kaya Thomsen won the CCI* Section with Horseware’s Barney.