31 May -  The French team of Laurent Goffinet, Caroline Nicolas, Marie Demonte and Cedric Angot claimed victory in the third leg of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Europe Division 2 League at Lisbon in Portugal tonight.

The first round of the competition was jumped in daylight, with round two taking place under floodlights at the Lisbon showground, and the host nation almost made it to a jump-off against the eventual winners but, in the final analysis, had to settle for joint-runner-up spot with Brazil.  From a start-list of 10 nations, just eight qualified for the second round and it was the teams from Chile and Spain that were left on the sidelines when the action recommenced.  And it was tough on the Spanish as they only lost out due to a slower combined time when sharing a 16-fault total with the USA at the halfway stage.

Ireland finished fourth, Italy fifth and the USA slotted into sixth while Great Britain and Morocco, who shared the lead with Portugal at the halfway point, slotted into seventh and eight spots respectively when things fell apart for them second time out.

Only Portugal and Italy were chasing points at this leg of the series, and their second-place finish provided a good boost to the host nation’s position on the Europe Division 2 leaderboard at the end of the day.

French Chef d’Equipe and former senior team rider, Thierry Pomel, described his feelings after tonight’s exciting competition. “I like riders that fight and give their all – which is exactly what these four riders did today. As you know, the starting order of the team is extremely important and Laurent with his new horse – after an eight year absence from the Nations Cup – made it seem as though he never stopped at all. Our two female riders did not start well in the first round but made it up amazingly in the second round. At the end of the day we are a team, and we won together!” he said of what was truly a great team effort.

French Chef d’Equipe, Thierry Pomel, had plenty to be happy about tonight.

He praised the event, venue and organisers - “for me, Lisbon is a great show and I think it is the best second division show because it is of the standard of the best show in Division 1. The arena and the ring overall is super! I hope there will be even more teams competing in the competition next year” he said.

The French of course of defending series champions and compete for points only in Europe Division 1. Thierry Pomel continued “the show today was used as a means of preparing different horse/rider combinations with an eye towards the World Equestrian Games that are coming up”, and he talked about the concept of the Furusiyya series which encourages the growth of the sport and the constant development of both horses and riders.

“As far as the French Equestrian Federation is concerned, it is their mission to send riders to the second division who need to develop their relationship and combination with their horse in order to create the next generation. Our stance in this regard - Philippe Guerdat (Chef d’Equipe) and Sophie Dubourg (French Selector) in particular – is for them to decide on the riders selected. They want to give chances to riders that show glimpses of being able to qualify for the team. Competing at these types of show is a required step in order for that to happen, and today is proof of that great achievement” he pointed out.

He said he wasn’t too surprised with how things worked out for his team tonight. “After the first round I still had a lot of belief and trust in my riders that we would do well as I know them very well. These two (female) athletes are fighters and I knew they would bounce back!” he said.


1.    France 8 faults: Qantar des Etisses (Laurent Goffinet) 0/0, Mozart de Beny (Caroline Nicolas) 8/0, Rhune d'Euskadl (Marie Demonte) 8/0, Rubis de Preuilly (Cedric Angot) 0/DNS.

2.    Portugal 12 faults: Zurito do Belmonte (Mario Wilson Fernandes) 4/0, Virginia Dream (Joao Chuva) 8/4, Imperio Egipico Milton (Luis Sabino Goncalves) 0/4, Contaire Z (Marina Frutuose de Melo) 0/4.

2.    Brazil 12 faults: Clintash (Marlon Zanotelli)0/0, AD Jac'Potes (Stephan de Freitas Barcha) 4/34, Rissoa d'AG Bois Margot (Pedro Veniss) 4/0, Starling 7 (Bernardo Alves) 12/4.

4.    Ireland 21 faults: Caribo (Thomas Ryan) 8/0, Nicos de la Cense (Niall Talbot) Elim/18, WCE Cruco (Alex Duffy) 0/9, Ringwood Glen (Capt Michael Kelly) 4/0.

5.    Italy 28 faults: Quala (Massimo Grossato) 4/12, For Passion (Daniele A. Da Rios) 0/0, Adventure (Riccardo Pisani) 4/8, V (Natale Chiaudani) 4/12.

6.    USA 32 faults: Bonanza do Belmone (Catherine Pasmore) 0/8, Teirra (Alise Oken) 8/0, Cade (Abigail McArdle) 20/12, Lisona (Jessica Springsteen) 8/8.

7.    Great Britain 33 faults: Quincy (Jemma Kirk) 12/12, HHS Nektarina B (Emma O'Dwyer) 0/12, Kolibri Classic (Chloe Aston) 0/8, A Touch Imperious (Harriet Nuttall) 4/9.

8.    Morocco 36 faults: Ondeo de Pillere (Col Hassan Jabri) 0/0, New Man Rouge (Abdeslam BennaniSmires) 12/20, Quetam des Etisses (Leina Benkhraba) 4/26, Quebec Tame (Abdelkebir Ouaddar) 0/12.

Full result here 


Cedric Angot, FRA: “I come often to Portugal and I know what the courses are like here - I love it to be honest. The ring is perfect! I think the horses like to jump in this arena and these types of courses.”

Thierry Pomel, French Chef d’Equipe: “These athletes didn’t come here to get points, they came here to gain experience – a win is a win which is all that matters”.

Photo: FEI/Nuno Pragana. Marie Demonte and Rhune d’Euskadl produced a second-round clear to help France to victory at tonight’s Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Europe Division 2 qualifier in Lisbon, Portugal.