A gritty performance saw Team France come out on top at the second leg of the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2017 Europe Division 1 series on home turf at La Baule today.
With the same determination that saw them overcome several setbacks on the road to Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro last summer, Philippe Guerdat’s side stood firm after team-member Roger Yves Bost was eliminated for a spectacular first-round fall, and when it came down to a third-round jump-off against the clock then Kevin Staut clinched it.
“This was a great win in front of our own fans, our owners and our friends. There was so much emotion, and to win it after Bosty was in trouble, with just three of us in the second round – it was fantastic for all of us who love the Nations Cup, and I’m very proud of Reveur!” –
Kevin Staut (Team France)
With seven of the eight competing nations all chasing qualifying points for the series Final in Barcelona, Spain in September it was always going to be a tough contest, and Sweden held sway after the first round with the only zero score, closely stalked by the Division 2 side from Belgium carrying just two faults. The French were next in line with four on the board, but closely followed by Switzerland on five and Ireland on six.
The Swedes stayed strong with a second-round clear from pathfinders Peder Fredricson and H&M Christian K, but when Malin Baryard-Johnsson (H&M Cue Channa) and Angelie van Essen (Newton Abbot) both had a fence down and anchorman Henrik von Eckermann (Copperhild) left two on the floor, their tally rose to eight. And that left them on level pegging with the French who added just the four collected by Cedric Angot (Saxo de la Cour), when both Staut (Reveur de Hurtebise HDC) and Leprevost (Flora de Mariposa) were foot-perfect once again with their Olympic rides, while the Belgians dropped out of contention.
Staut (36) led the way in the jump-off, posting a clear in 35.74 seconds despite “a lucky touch at the last”. And when Sweden’s Fredricson (45), individual silver medallist in Rio, hit the last two fences the home crowd erupted with excitement.
Photos: FEI/Richard Juilliart