Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup: Belgium win close contest in Hickstead.

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Pieter Devos on Dylano Belgium 0

Hickstead was the location of the closest Nations Cup leg seen so far this season which ended with the Belgians leaving their mark on British soil and claiming victory.
Belgium were however pushed all the way by Switzerland and USA, with victory only decided via a jump-off after all three nations tied on 4 penalties apiece in the first two rounds.
At the jump-off, Pieter Devos with Dylano (Cento Lano) was the chosen rider for Belgium and he went up against Swiss horsewoman Janika Sprunger with Bonne Chance CW (Baloubet du Rouet) and USA’s lady-rider Beezie Madden and Cortes ‘C.
The close nature seen in the first two rounds repeated itself in the jump-off and the first two aforementioned riders both cleared the course. Nonetheless, it was the Belgian that stopped the clock in a quicker time with a lightning fast time of 42.60 seconds to Sprunger’s 44.17. US horsewoman Beezie Madden wasn’t as precise around the course and ended up with 8 penalties.
For Devos, it was a redemption of sorts seeing as he ended the first and second rounds with 4 and 12 penalties respectively, the last of which was discarded by the coach.
It was a different story altogether for his team-mates and there were fantastic performances from lady-rider Judy-Ann Melchior with As Cold As Ice Z and Olivier Philippaerts with H&M Armstrong van de Kapel. Both riders in fact scored double clears, while the other member of the team Gudrun Patteet on Sea Coast Pebles Z ended the second round with 4 penalties.
So, the decision of head coach Dirk Demeersman to send Pieter Devos forwards to the jump-off paid dividends. While it may have raised a few eyebrows, seeing the Belgian rider’s first two scores, Devos came good when it mattered most and Belgium earned 100 precious points in the process for the overall standings.
Second placed Switzerland on the other hand, led by coach Andy Kistler, scored as follows:
Paul Estermann with Castlefield Eclipse (0/0)
Martin Fuchs with Clooney 51 (0/4)
Janika Sprunger with Bonne Chance CW (0/0)
Pius Schwizer with Giovanni van het Scheefkasteel (NS/15)
USA in third and coached by Robert Ridland scored as follows:
Laura Kraut with Nouvelle (1/0)
Charlie Jayne with Chill RZ (0/0)
Todd Minikus with Babalou 41 (0/0)
Elizabeth Madden with Cortes ‘C (0/0)
The rest of the nations finished as follows at the British leg of the Nations Cup:
4th France with 5 penalties (over 2 rounds)
5th Germany with 9 penalties
6th Great Britain with 11 penalties
7th Holland with 17 penalties
8th Italy with 37 penalties
It was a bad day at the office for Italy and to make matters worse for their lowly result, Giulia Martinengo Marquet with Fixdesign Funke van’T Heike was eliminated. See here for more: http://www.longinestiming.com/File/Download?id=00020A0100070C03FFFFFFFFFFFFFF04
In the overall standings, Belgium now take the lead with 350 points, former leaders France slip down into second on 310 whereas chasing behind in joint third on 295 points we find Holland, Sweden and Germany.
6th Great Britain – 260
7th Switzerland – 250
8th Ireland – 205
9th ITALY – 205  
10th Spain – 195
www.fei.org
Photo: Nations Cup Hickstead 2015
Pieter Devos on Dylano Belgium
Pic Trevor Meeks

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