Dutch Edge Nearer to Olympic Qualification with Eventing Nations Cup Win

Janneke Boonzaaijer (BEL) rides ACSI Chanp de Tailleur. FEI – Libby Legislation

A demanding cross-country take a look at shook up the order on the fourth leg of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ which occurred at Strzegom (POL). Robust performances on this part meant that The Netherlands walked away because the worthy winners. Regardless of having one rider eradicated on the cross-country, the Dutch completed on a remaining rating of 133.8 with their different three riders ending inside the highest ten riders. Staff USA have been runners-up on 142.8, while Belgium completed in third on 166.1 penalties. 9 groups got here ahead to compete together with host nation Poland who didn’t have such a cheerful time with none of their three riders finishing the competitors.

Dutch Chef d’Equipe Andrew Heffernen was delighted with the end result. “These guys carried out so effectively. It was a very robust competitors and it was actually refreshing to see such a robust and ahead pondering and demanding cross-country course. It additionally gave us good footage. There have been no nasty falls or moments and that was actually good for the game. These guys carried out improbable and that’s the reason we received. I’m very proud.”

The Germans led the primary part with the Dutch workforce in third after the dressage, however this would definitely not show to be a dressage competitors. Germany slipped to eighth after the cross-country course designed by Marcin Konarski took its toll on so many mixtures. Konarski has been designing worldwide programs at Strzegom for 20 years and his accolades embrace World Cup Finals and Senior European Championships. The venue is famed for its technicality and large daring leaping efforts and this yr was no exception. “This yr’s course has numerous technical questions. There are additionally a few very daring jumps the place the horses have to indicate numerous bravery,” he mentioned.

Skilled Dutch rider Merel Blom-Hulsman, who has been a mainstay of the Dutch workforce for over a decade, summed up the problem: “It was arduous to get this win. It was a troublesome course with numerous technical questions and large jumps in between so I believe all of us actually needed to push to the tip, so it was fairly a troublesome problem.”

The Dutch workforce misplaced their fourth member Stephen Hazeleger, who was one among 13 athletes to return to grief on the cross-country. Happily, their different three workforce members achieved quick and clear cross-country rounds to place them effectively forward of the remainder of the sphere going into the ultimate part. Though that they had a 25-penalty margin forward of USA in second, the strain was nonetheless on with all three athletes’ scores to rely within the leaping part, who held onto their nerves in addition to first place.

There was additional strain on the end result this yr, because the Collection takes on further significance because the final likelihood to earn a single Staff slot to Paris 2024 Olympic Video games. 5 of the nations competing are usually not but certified, together with The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Spain, and Austria. The FEI Eventing European Championship at Pin du Haras (FRA) this August and the 2023 Pan American Video games at Santiago (CHI) in October will present additional possibilities for nations to qualify.

Like many different nations who are usually not but certified, the Dutch chosen a extra skilled workforce on good horses. Their sole goal this season is Olympic Qualification, explains Blom-Hulsman. “There may be not a much bigger motivator than Paris. We arise each morning simply pushing for Paris and we are going to hold pushing till we’re there, for positive.”

Heffernen strengthened this notion: “We have now two Nations Cup competitions developing within the subsequent few weeks, one in France and one in Switzerland, and naturally there may be the European Championships, so we’re concentrating on these three competitions now, so hopefully we will repeat this efficiency.”

The FEI Eventing Nations Cup will now transfer to Haras de Jardy (FRA) which runs from 13-16 July. The Belgians lead the Collection at this midway stage, with a complete of 350 factors, while the Dutch now transfer as much as second with 285 factors. The Collection concludes in Boekelo (NED) from 4-8 October, the place the ultimate workforce place for the Paris Olympics might be allotted to the very best positioned nations not already certified.


by Eleanore Kelly

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