The riders from Ireland are said to be canny but everyone also knows how good their riders are. And with Rodrigo Pessoa the Irish team has an experienced coach who knows what is going on and who already had announced before the EC that the Irish would fight for gold. And now the Irish team did it even though they went into the second team round a bit weakened: Bertram Allen had decided not to compete with Hectore van d’Abdijhoeve after his disqualification in the first competition. So the Irish did not have a discarded score. But true to the slogan: “Now more than ever” Shane Sweetnam and 11-year-old Zangersheide sallion Chaqui Z by Chacco Blue-Quinar Z, Denis Lynch with 14-year-old Hanoverian stallion All STar by Argentinus-Alme and Cian O’Connor with 11-year-old BWP stallion Good Luck by Canturo-Furioso III delivered three clear rounds.
Therefore the result was clear in the end: 12,11 points ahead of the Swedish (18,21 points) and Switzerland with 20,15 points. The Swedish who had started into the last round leading the competition started with a time penalty point for Henrik von Eckermann with Mary Lou, but then Malin Baryard-Johnsson with H&M Cue Channa fell out – the 11-year-old mare seemed to be irritated by the flood lights and made mistakes at two oxers. Then the rider decided to give up. Deouglas Lindelöw and Zacramento finished the round with 9 points and therefore Peder Fredericson and 11-year-old H&M All In felt the pressure. But the exceptional rider showed his nerves of steel and stayed clear. In the individual rating he is currently in rank 1 ahead of Swiss Martin Fuchs with Clooney and Shane Sweetnam with Chaqui Z.
The Irish, who whon their last title in Arnhem in 2001 were extremely happy. Team coach Rodrigo Pessoa said: ” Today they showed their power and will.” Bertram Allen, who could not support the team said: “It was unbelievable. One was better than the other. For myself I can only say that It hasn’t been my week.” The Irish fighting spirit was impressive. Shane Sweetnam said that they had talked during their dinner yesterday and said: “We will make it”. Cian Connor added: “We thought that the flood lights could help us in the end and that this could be an advantage. We have three brave stallions and so we did it.”
The German team finished in fifth place. Marcus Ehning and Pret A Tout by Hiram Chambertin were not able to stay in the top three because they had a mistake at the third fence. “He reacted too sensitive,” Ehning analysed. “I was too far away from the fence. That is really annoying, but I cannot blame him.” Ehning is in rank 8 of the individual rating. Laura Klaphake and only 9-year-old Catch Me If You Can finished the second team round with five penalty points. It happened at the last narrow upright. “I came a bit too close.” The student made it to the final – she is currently placed 25th.
Maurice Tebbel and Chacco’s Son by Chacco Blue-Lancer have finished their first EC of the seniors. After the two first competitions did not go that well another two fences were down today – one at the first fence of the triple combination and one at the covered water. “Today I had a better feeling,” Tebbel said, disappointed. “He jumped better. Such a mistake at the first fence can happen and at the water he was too ambitious again. I have a mixed feeling – it was great to be here but the many mistakes were disappointing. The whole year long he did not make as many mistakes as he made here. Now I have to forget it and then look forward.”
Philipp Weishaupt and Holsteiner stallion LB Convall by Colman-Cascavelle had their first clear round of this championship.
The rider said: “Today he jumped like he always does. The team result is mediocre- something between good and shitty. We would have hoped and dreamed for more. But we have already seen at the last championships that it is not an automatic thing. And with only three people it is almost impossible to get a medal. But now I’m looking forward to the final of the individual rating.
National coach Otto Becker drew his conclusion: “Fifth place is o.k. We have to stay realistic. We didn’t exactly know where we stand but we have reason to be satisfied. Maurice’s horse didn’t jump like it did over the last weeks but Maurice has fought. That’s something that can happen and has happened to all of us. He did not make any severe rider mistakes and he rides a horse that has a great will to go forward and a strong character. For the individual rating: Unfortunately Marcus has lost his great starting position while Philip was able to move up some places. I’m pleased that Laura will be able to get more experience on Sunday. It will be hard to get a medal, but we will keep on fighting.”