A gritty performance saw Team France come out on top at the second leg of the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2017 Europe Division 1 series on home turf at La Baule today. With the same determination that saw them overcome several setbacks on the road to Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro last summer, Philippe Guerdat’s side stood firm after team-member Roger Yves Bost was eliminated for a spectacular first-round fall, and when it came down to a third-round jump-off against the clock then Kevin Staut clinched it.
“This was a great win in front of our own fans, our owners and our friends. There was so much emotion, and to win it after Bosty was in trouble, with just three of us in the second round – it was fantastic for all of us who love the Nations Cup, and I’m very proud of Reveur!” – Kevin Staut FRA
With seven of the eight competing nations all chasing qualifying points for the series Final in Barcelona, Spain in September it was always going to be a tough contest, and Sweden held sway after the first round with the only zero score, closely stalked by the Division 2 side from Belgium carrying just two faults. The French were next in line with four on the board, but closely followed by Switzerland on five and Ireland on six.
The Swedes stayed strong with a second-round clear from pathfinders Peder Fredricson and H&M Christian K, but when Malin Baryard-Johnsson (H&M Cue Channa) and Angelie van Essen (Newton Abbot) both had a fence down and anchorman Henrik von Eckermann (Copperhild) left two on the floor, their tally rose to eight. And that left them on level pegging with the French who added just the four collected by Cedric Angot (Saxo de la Cour), when both Staut (Reveur de Hurtebise HDC) and Leprevost (Flora de Mariposa) were foot-perfect once again with their Olympic rides, while the Belgians dropped out of contention.
Staut (36) led the way in the jump-off, posting a clear in 35.74 seconds despite “a lucky touch at the last”. And when Sweden’s Fredricson (45), individual silver medallist in Rio, hit the last two fences the home crowd erupted with excitement.
1. France : clear in jump-off 35.74 seconds
2. Sweden: 8 faults in jump-off in 38.92 seconds
3. Ireland: 14 faults
4. Switzerland: 18 faults
5. Belgium: 19 faults
6. Spain: 22 faults
7. Germany: 29 faults
8. Netherlands – 31 faults
Standings in Europe Division 1 after second leg at La Baule:
1. France – 190
2. Germany – 150
3. Sweden – 140
4. Spain – 100
5. Ireland – 80
6. Italy – 70
7. Switzerland – 70
8. Netherlands – 45
Facts and Figures:
France pipped Sweden in a thrilling third-round jump-off against the clock at the second leg of the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2017 Europe Division 1 series in La Baule, France today.
8 nations competed, with France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland all chasing qualifying points for the FEI Nations Cup™ 2017 Final in Barcelona, Spain in September.
Team Belgium finished 5th, but wasn’t eligible for points as they are competing in Europe Division 2.
Course designer was Frederic Cottier FRA.
3 horse-and-rider combinations jumped double-clear – Penelope Leprevost and Flora de Mariposa from France, Shane Breen and Golden Hawk for Ireland and Paul Estermann with Lord Pepsi from Switzerland.
Kevin Staut completed three clear rounds with Reveur de Hurtebise who clinched victory for France in a winning time of 35.74 seconds.
The next leg of the Europe Division 1 series will take place at Piazza di Siena in Rome, Italy on Friday 26 May.
Kevin Staut FRA: “I knew that to go first and do a fast clear would put pressure on Peder, and I’m proud of Reveur, he’s 16 years old now and it’s always great to get the win with a horse you jump for such a long time.”
Philippe Guerdat, Chef d’Equipe France: “Today was a tough task, and a long day. We had a few struggles in the first round in light of Bosty’s fall – Kevin and Penelope kept us in the game with both going double clear. We then learnt that Bosty couldn’t do the second round which was unfortunate.
A lot of people thought that Penelope would be the one chosen for the jump-off but it was the first time Kevin jumped double clear in La Baule and I had a feeling he would go clear again; I really felt it was going to be his day. All 4 riders fought like lions today.”
Press Release by Louise Parkes
image: The Olympic team gold medal winning partnership of Kevin Staut and the gallant 16-year-old Reveur de Hurtebise HDC clinched victory for the host nation at the second leg of the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2017 Europe Division 1 at La Baule, France today. (FEI/Richard Juilliart)