GREAT BRITAIN FINISH CLOSE 2ND IN THEIR FIRST NATIONS CUP OF 2014
Saturday 01 March 2014
It was Canada that managed to secure pole position in the 4* Furusiyya Nations Cup in Wellington, Florida last night just ahead of Great Britain.
Leading from the start with their zero score after the first round the Canadian team fended off a strong challenge from the British which saw them win on an eventual 1 penalty score lead. Third place was awarded to host nation USA with Brazil and Ireland sharing fourth place ahead of Venezuela, Columbia and Germany in 6th, 7th and 8th place respectively.
The competition was an intense one with twelve nations contesting the title and the eight available qualifying places for the second round. The first round course was enormous, which was proved by the elusive number of clear rounds achieved.
Ben Maher from Bishops Stortford led the team with the British Bred Diva II, a 9 year-old chestnut mare owned by Tatiana Korsokova and bred by Ted and Liz Edgar. This was Diva’s first Nations Cup competition and under the guidance of World Ranked No.2 rider Ben put in a brilliant performance that defied her experience returning home with just 4 penalties.
Next to go was Tim Gredley from Essex who is currently based in Florida with this own 13 year-old grey gelding Unex Chamberlain Z. Their exceptional clear bolstered GB’s chances of a solid first round finish as did Gemma Paternoster, third to go for the team, with her own 18 year-old Osiris when they returned home clear and with just 1 time penalty. Gemma who comes from surrey is also now based in the USA and held the European Young Rider Championships title in 2006 with Osiris.
Last to go was World No.1 Scott Brash from Peebleshire with Hello Annie, a 10 year-old bay mare owned by Lady Kirkham and Lady Harris whom was also contesting her first Nations cup competition. Two fences down and finishing just outside the time allowed saw the combination finish on 9 penalties and become the first round drop score with Great Britain finishing on 5 penalties.
Heading into the second round in 3rd place on 5 penalties, just 1 penalty behind the USA and 5 penalties behind the leading Canadian team the second round was going to be a tough one for all.
Coming back into the arena for the second time, Ben and Diva put in another solid performance despite returning with 4 penalties. But it was Tim Gredley who had the crowds on the edge of the their seats by putting in another clear, producing one of the only three back-to-back clears of the competition. Gemma, the third rider for the team whom had left all fences standing in the first round wasn’t as fortunate in this one and an unlucky two fences down and a time penalty saw them return with 9 penalties.
Scott, who has become known as the ‘ice man’ due to his ability to perform at his best under serious pressure showed once again why this is the case. Knowing that nothing other than a clear would do if he was to keep the Brits in the running, he brought Annie home and through the finish line with an impeccable clear and zero penalty score giving GB a second round score of only 4 penalties and an overall score of 9 penalties.
Rob Hoekstra, World Class Showjumping Peformance Manager for Great Britain, who is also in Florida with the team commented “I am really delighted with the teams performance today. Of course it is always nice to win, but the horses all went extremely well and we couldn’t have asked for more. Tim Gredley’s double clear with Chamberlain Z was exceptional and should be applauded. Gemma did very well in the first round and was unlucky in the second. Regarding Scott and Ben, they were both on horses that were competing in their first Nations Cup competitions and both horses went fantastically and look to be very exciting horses for the future”.
The British Showjumping Teams are strongly supported by the UK Sport Lottery funded BEF World Class programme.
1. Canada 8 faults: Showgirl (Yann Candele) 0/0, Victor (Tiffany Foster) 4/4, Dixson (Ian Millar) 0/4, Powerplay (Eric Lamaze) 0/DNS.
2. Great Britain 9 faults: Diva (Ben Maher) 4/4, Unex Chamberlain Z (Tim Gredley) 0/0, Osiris (Gemma Paternoster) 1/9, Hello Annie (Scott Brash) 9/0.
3. USA 12 faults: Rothchild (McLain Ward) 0/8, Nice de Prissey (Brianne Goutal) 4/4, Cedric (Laura Kraut) 0/4, Simon (Beezie Madden) 4/0.
4. Ireland 17 faults: Eregas van't Kieselhoft (Shane Sweetnam) 4/4, Carrabis Z (Richie Moloney) 8/0, Lilli (Paul O'Shea) 5/4, Quidam's Cherie (Cian O'Connor) 0/8.
4. Brazil 17 faults: AD Uutje (Alvaro de Miranda) 0/0, First Division (Yuri Mansur) 5/4, Quintol (Eduardo Menezes) 4/4, Status (Rodrigo Pessoa) 5/4.
6. Venezuela 24 faults: Caballito (Andres Rodriguez) 8/0, G&C Quitador Rochelais (Gustavo Arroyo) 4/4, G&C Flash (Luis Larrazabal) 16/8, Zara Leandra (Pablo Barrios) 0/Ret.
7. Columbia 31 faults: Woklahoma (Roberto Teran) 0/5, Zipo CG (Manuel Espinosa) 10/8, Lagran (Mark Bluman) 12/Ret, Sancha LS (Daniel Bluman) 8/0.
8. Germany 39 faults: Conthendrix (Andre Thieme) 9/17, Mic Mac du Tillard (David Will) 0/4, Quintana Roo (Johannes Ehning) 18/5, Evita dan de Veldbalie (Daniel Deusser) 4/Ret.