FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping: Dream win for determined Danes at home leg in Uggerhalne

It was Danish delight at Uggerhalne (DEN) this evening when the host nation won the fourth leg of the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2017 Europe Division 2 league with an impressive performance including a sensational double-clear from Søren Møller Rohde. There’s nothing quite like a victory on home ground, and this was the first for ten years so there were big celebrations when France and Sweden had to settle for joint runner-up spot ahead of Belgium in fourth place.

Success was sealed by second-round clears from Lars Bak Andersen (38) riding Carrasco, Søren Møller Rohde (43) with Velerne ASK and Thomas Sandgaard (42) partnering Amarone. Anchorman Thomas Velin (42) with Chopin van het Moleneind didn’t need to go again as the result was already secured.

"We have often had a stupid pole and then you slip down the rankings. There have to be some clear rounds, and today we got them - it was amazing!" Thomas Sandgaard (Team Denmark)

The course designed by Bo Bak Andersen really tested the less experienced horses and riders in the closing stages as nerves began to fray. Denmark was equal-third with France and Belgium going into the second round with eight faults on the board, while Sweden and Great Britain shared the lead with just four each. ”All of the distances were a little long, but later on the course, suddenly it's getting short. It was really well designed, Bo always does that” Sandgaard explained. However there were some superb performances from up-and-coming stars throughout the competition, and the talented French added just four faults to finish on a total of 12.

Philippe Le Jeune fielded yet another exciting young Belgian side, but adding eight to their scoreline their challenge faded, while the Swedish effort faltered when they had to count two single errors despite a brilliant double-clear from Alexander Zetterman (Cordalis).

It seemed the British might just hold on for the win if Keith Shore (Mystic Hurricane) could stay clear and discard Louise Saywell’s (Dassler) second-round 12 faults. But a foot in the influential open water, a pole off the last element of the Longines triple combination and a mistake at the final fence put paid to that, Matthew Sampson’s single mistake with the fabulous stallion Jaguar vd Berghoeve bringing their final tally to 20 despite the third double-clear of the day from William Funnell’s (Billy Buckingham).
Team Result - Uggerhalne:
1. Denmark - 8 faults
2. France/Sweden - 12 faults
4. Belgium - 16 faults

FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping - Division 2 standings:
1 Belgium - 350
2 Great Britain - 255
3 Denmark - 155
Facts & Figures:
11 nations competed in this leg of the Europe Division 2 League but only 4 - Belgium, Denmark, Finland and Norway - were chasing points towards the FEI Nations Cup™ 2017 Final in Barcelona (ESP) in September.

8 teams qualified for the second round, but The Netherlands was eliminated when Bart van der Maat (Dalton) retired in both rounds and last-line rider, Zoi Snels (Elton John) withdrew from round two. Finland, Ireland and Italy did not qualify for the second round.

8 clears from 43 starters in the first round, 9 clears from 30 starters in round 2, and 3 double-clear performances.

Soren Moeller Rohde works as chief rider at Stutteri Ask in Martofte, Denmark. The business is owned by Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, former President and CEO of the Lego Group.

The next leg of the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Europe Division 2 series will take place in Sopot, Poland on Friday 9 June. This will be the fifth round of the seven-leg qualifying league.
Søren Møller Rohde - Team Denmark (winners): Talking about Denmark's historic victory and his own double-clear performance:"It has been fantastic - today was just the day!"

Thomas Velin - Denmark: Talking about not having to compete in the second round: "I do not remember being in a team where I do not have to ride and I win anyway! It’s really unique to be in a team with such good riders"


Fei press release by L.Parkes

image:Søren Møller Rohde produced a superb double-clear from Velerne ASK to help secure the host nation's victory at the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2017 Europe Division 2 leg in Uggerhalne (DEN) today. (FEI/everhorsephoto.com/TBisgaard)