2 August - Team USA sensationally won their second Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2014 qualifier in 24 hours when adding the honours at the Europe Division 2 leg in Gijon, Spain today to yesterday’s Europe Division 1 victory at Hickstead (GBR).   “We all watched Hickstead yesterday and we were really proud of them, so we wanted to compete with them here today and show them we could do it too!” said American anchor Georgina Bloomberg this evening after producing one of just two double-clear performances in a competition filled with excitement.

There were 11 teams in action at the Spanish venue, but only two vying for Europe Division 2 qualifying points, and it was the fourth-placed Italians who clinched the maximum 100 while Norway claimed 90 when slotting into seventh place.

Once again the American victory was crisp and clear as their eight-fault final score left them well ahead of Switzerland in second with 13 while the British were close behind in third with 15 faults at the end of the day. The host nation posed a threat to the eventual winners at the halfway stage but had to settle for fourth place in the final analysis while Belgium slotted in between Italy and Norway in sixth place.

Only eight teams qualified for the second round, and despite doing so the French withdrew after picking up an unlikely 20 faults first time out.  It was an uneasy French outing that may leave Chef d’Equipe, Philippe Guerdat, scratching his head a little in the lead-up to his final selection for the forthcoming Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy (FRA).

Naturally delighted

American Chef d’Equipe, Diann Langer, was naturally delighted with today’s result. She said, “I think the climate this year has been excellent and I would love to thank the OC for the invitation, for having us over and the course designer for putting together this beautiful course, particularly his attention to detail.

We have one more competition in Dublin before choosing our team for the WEG. It was decided that Lucy Davis needed to save her horse and focus on Hickstead – she jumped beautifully over there and that is the only reason she didn’t come here. She was on a certain track and it wasn’t necessary to bring her here” the team manager explained.

She said the US Federation is very committed to developing young teams for the future. “They have sent out a lot of teams this year. Along with that, we are developing a lot of programmes for young riders – I will have another young team in Bratislava next week. We really believe the more events they can compete in, the better they will get.

We want our young riders – usually those that are 21 or under - to go to 3-Star competitions in order to start preparing for the future. Sometimes we will put a senior rider with them to try and anchor it. Our 5-Star events are all about having our already developed teams out to get more exposure together. You cannot excel in the Nations Cup without competing in it. The two-round formats are very different to what these riders are used to when competing back in the States” she pointed out.

Ashlee Bond is one of the many US riders who have benefited from the policy. “I think that when you compete on Nations Cups it’s all about how your team comes together – we fought for it and wanted it really bad, especially after the success our brothers and sisters enjoyed yesterday in Hickstead! We wanted to repeat that here in Gijon. We wanted it the most!” she said.

Today’s back-to-back US success is a reminder, if needed, of just how strong the US challenge is right now, just three weeks away from the World Championships.  Meanwhile today’s result sees Norway remain at the head of the Europe Division 2 leaderboard and look well-qualified for the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2014 Final.  There are two places available, and Italy has moved into second place, but there are two more events, at Bratislave (SVK) next Friday and Arezzo (ITA) in September, before the second qualification spot can be confirmed.

 1.    USA 8 faults: Chela LS (Ashley Bond) 4/0, Bonanza van Paemel (Catherine Pasmore) 0/4, HH Copin van de Broy (Quentin Judge) 4/4, Juvina (Georgina Bloomberg) 0/0.

2.    Switzerland 13 faults: Capuera ll (Nadja Peter-Steiner) 5/8, Cordel (Claudia Gisler) 4/0, Windsor XV (Niklaus Rutschi) 0/4, Admirable (Marie Etter-Pellegrin) 8/0.

3.    Great Britain 15 faults: Dougie Douglas (Holly Gillot) 1/1, Ashkari (Yasmin Pinchen) 8/1, Pebbles IV (Robert Bevis) 9/0, Bintang ll (Laura Renwick) 4/Ret.

4.    Spain 16 faults: Nuage Bleu (Pilar Lucrecia Cordon) 0/8, Rackel Chavannaise (Manuel Anon) 8/0, Fidux (Eduardo Alvarez Aznar) 13/4, Action Breaker (Sergio Alvarez Moya) 0/4.

5.    Italy 18 faults: Bonzai van de Warande (Juan Carlos Garcia) 0/0, Loro Piana Acamar (Massimiliano Ferrario) 9/5, Fixdesign Funke van'T Heike (Giulia Martinengo Marquet) 0/Elim, For Passion (Daniele Augusto da Rios) 9/4.

6.    Belgium 27 faults: STB Fleuri van de Koekelberg (Dirk Demeersman) 4/5, Breemeersen Adorado (Donaat Brondeel) 8/5, Whitney van de Dwerse Hagen (Patrick Spits) 16/16, Loro Piana Once de Kreisker (Philippe Le Jeune) 5/0.

7.    Norway 34 faults: CC Top (Ole Kristoffer Meland) 9/12, Valley Stream B (Morten Djupvik) 4/Elim, Dimaro vd Looise Heide (Dag Ove Kingsroed) 9/0, Edesa S Banjan (Geir Gulliksen) 9/0.

8.    France 20 faults IN FIRST ROUND: Flora de Mariposa (Penelope Leprevost) 0, Castle Forbes Myrtille Paulois (Roger Yves Bost) 18, Armitages Boy (Aymeric de Ponnat) 16, Qlassic Bois Margot (Simon Delestre) 4.


Georgina Bloomberg USA: “After Gijon I’ll be going home and taking some time with my son because once The Hamptons (horse show) comes around it gets really busy again.  Both my horses deserve a break now, it has been a great summer with four great shows!”

Georgina Bloomberg USA talking about her rider in the second round: “I was in a lucky position (going last), I knew we had already clinched the win so I was fortunate. I wanted to get a double clear regardless because I wanted to make our team proud!”

Catherine Pasmore USA: “I think the courses have been beautiful all week – I’ve never seen a show like this before. In that sense it has been great. Most of the faults came from jump 11 but I mastered it so I hope the obstacle pops up again for the Grand Prix!”

Alfred Boll (Foreign Judge) : “Congratulations to the US team and a thank you to the Organisers and to Avelino for his brilliant course. It was not an easy course and some of the riders thought after walking the course it would be easy, but it wasn’t – it was fair, and definitely a course for a 5 star event”.

Roberto Alvarez (Event Director): This is an important first class event for Gijon to organise, especially since it carries our city’s name across the sports world as well as from a tourism point of view”.

Standings after Round 6 of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Europe Division 2 League 2014 at Gijon (ESP):

1.    Norway            -        345

2.    Italy                -        270
3.    Denmark            -        240

4.    Poland                -        230

5.    Turkey                -        152.5

6.    Finland            -        150

6.    Austria                -        150

8.    Hungary            -        145

8.    Slovakia            -        145

10.    Portugal            -        100

10.    Czech Republic        -        100

12.    Russia                -          65

by Louise Parkes

Photo: FEI/Herve Bonnaud. Ashlee Bond and Chela LS helped Team USA secure a sensational back-to-back Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2014 victory at the sixth leg of the Europe Division 2 series in Gijon, Spain today.