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 happened at Strzegom (POL). Sturdy 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 had 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 consequence. “These guys carried out so effectively. It was a extremely robust competitors and it was actually refreshing to see such a robust and ahead considering 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 will surely 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 combos. 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 massive daring leaping efforts and this 12 months was no exception. “This 12 months’s course has a whole lot of technical questions. There are additionally a few very daring jumps the place the horses have to indicate a whole lot of 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 a whole lot of technical questions and massive jumps in between so I feel all of us actually needed to push to the top, so it was fairly a troublesome problem.”

The Dutch workforce misplaced their fourth member Stephen Hazeleger, who was one in all 13 athletes to return to grief on the cross-country. Fortuitously, 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 they’d a 25-penalty margin forward of USA in second, the strain was nonetheless on with all three athletes’ scores to depend within the leaping part, who held onto their nerves in addition to first place.

There was additional strain on the consequence this 12 months, because the Sequence 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 aren’t 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 aren’t but certified, the Dutch chosen a extra skilled workforce on good horses. Their sole goal this season is Olympic Qualification, explains Blom-Hulsman. “There’s not a much bigger motivator than Paris. We get up each morning simply pushing for Paris and we are going to preserve pushing till we’re there, for certain.”

Heffernen bolstered this notion: “We’ve two Nations Cup competitions arising 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 are able to 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 Sequence at this midway stage, with a complete of 350 factors, while the Dutch now transfer as much as second with 285 factors. The Sequence concludes in Boekelo (NED) from 4-8 October, the place the ultimate workforce place for the Paris Olympics will likely be allotted to the very best positioned nations not already certified.


by Eleanore Kelly

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