NetJet’s US Jumping Team won the Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup CSIO5 * at the World Equestrian Festival CHIO Aachen (Germany), voted the 2019 champion in Sweden on Thursday and barely avoided a repeat of the two countries’ Olympic jumps.
It was the first time since 2005 that the United States has won the Nations Cup in Aachen’s iconic stadium and finished on a team with a total of four errors in front of an audience of 18,000 maximum stadium capacity according to Germany’s COVID-19 rules. Sweden, which took gold over the American silver in team competition at the Olympics in Tokyo and won this event in 2019 – the last year it was held due to its covid-19-related cancellation in 2020 – had to settle for second place after hacking eight errors in the event of two rounds. France finished third on 12 errors.
Brian Moggre, Flower Mound, Texas and Balou Du Reventon, a 15-year-old stallion in Oldenburg owned by Ann Thompson – a pair that had been listed for the Olympics in Tokyo – became the only double clearance for Team USA. Olympic list member Lucy Deslauriers, New York City, ended up with four errors with Hester, a 16-year-old Belgian warm-blooded gelding owned by Lisa Deslauriers. Tokyo team silver medalists Laura Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Florida) and Baloutinue, an 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by St. Brides Farm, and Jessica Springsteen (Colts Neck, New Jersey) and Don Juan Van De Donkhoeve, a 12-year-old Belgian warmblood stallion owned by Stone Hill Farm, each in a round – with four and eight errors respectively – which were the team’s losing results. and a clear round. Kraut’s finish came under high pressure, as the last ride of the night, and won the victory for the American team.
“Winning in Aachen is great. It’s as simple as that, “said American chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland after the team’s historic performance. “These were four of our last six riders for Tokyo, so this was pretty easy; we just went down the list. We had our Olympic quarantine here, so it gave a good idea of what to expect a few weeks later. ”
Springsteen and Don Juan Van De Donkhoeve led the team as the first combination to jump the 1.60 meter long course set by Frank Rothenberger from Germany. The pair jumped clean and ended up with a time error that was later removed when the allowed time was adjusted by the ground jury.
Deslauriers and her longtime partner, Hester, finished second and turned in a quick and clean round to keep the team zero. Next up for the United States, Balou Du Reventon, led by Moggre, showed his accuracy and athleticism, noting the third consecutive clear effort in the first round.
Kraut and Baloutinue anchored the team in the first round and finished with a total of four errors, which served as the team’s points for the team, which put the USA in first place with a zero result in round 2.
In the second round, Rothenberger raised some fences and widened others. The USA, as the top team, moved to the final position in the rotation.
As the first to go to the United States, Springsteen picked up eight errors, which ultimately became the team’s second-round drop point. Deslauriers and Hester had only one rail down during their second trip around the track and rolled the top rail on the middle ox in the triple combination.
Moggre then turned in a second flawless round aboard the Balou Du Reventon, pushing the team closer to the top of the podium and marking the only double clear achievement for the four team combinations.
The pressure to keep her team on top for the goal was on the anchor combination Kraut – who was also a member of the last American team to win the Aachen Nations Cup in 2005 with Miss Independent – and Baloutinue. They would be the last combination in the ring, and they needed to cross the timer flawlessly to ensure that the United States beat Sweden.
The Swedish team of Petronella Andersson on Castres Van De Begijnakker Z, Jens Fredricson on Markan Cosmopolit, Annika Axelsson driving Cleo Z and Angelie von Essen with Alcapone des Carmille had four errors in both rounds, so they ended up with a total score of eight errors .
For Kraut, this meant that if she jumped, the United States would win; if she had a rail down, it would be a jump; and if she had two or more, Sweden would claim the victory.
“When Brian told me that if I did not finish, it would be a jump against Sweden, I could not stomach it, so I made sure I did not knock a pole,” says Kraut, who was part of a team in Tokyo that jumped off against Sweden.
With her many years of experience navigating difficult tracks in Aachen and Baloutinue still felt fresh after the first round – “I do not think he has ever been in such a situation with so many spectators before”, she told the press later – couple ended up flawless to win the team victory. After jumping off the last fence, her teammates hugged each other and cried with joy at the rider’s position.
See Kraut’s final round and the American team’s reactions to their win:
“Aachen is something I’ve been dreaming of since I was little, so being here with a great horse and great teammates just can’t get any better,” said Moggre. “I have never had a horse before that has gone and jumped on amazing things. I only had young horses and my junior jumpers moving up, so there was a lot of pressure on myself to step on the plate, but he is so reliable and so kind; I could not ask for more. I just love him so much. ”
Some of the evening’s biggest drama, which affected the German host team’s chances, took place outside the main stadium. Marcus Ehning, who would go second for Germany, fell in the warm-up ring with his horse À La Carte NRW.
“It was a serious case, but paramedics were immediately on hand,” according to a press release from CHIO Aachen. Ehning went to the hospital for a check-up, but returned to the stadium shortly afterwards. He and his stallion are both good, just a little shaken. ”
Rider for Germany, Daniel Deusser and Killer Queen VDM turned in two clear rounds while Christian Ahlmann with Clintrexo Z and David Will with C-Vier 2 collected several errors in the second round. The German team eventually finished in sixth place.
“It really was a roller coaster night,” said German team coach Otto Becker. “It was a special situation tonight, and I do not blame the team at all. We will simply try to do better next time. ”
See complete results here.
On Friday, the attention in Aachen shifts to dressage and events. The first day of competition in CHIO Aachen CDIO5 * Nations Cup and Aachen CCIO4 * -S both started at 08:30 local time (02:30 Eastern Daylight Time).
In the race, Tamie Smith and Mai Baum, owned by Alex Ahern, Ellen Ahern and Eric Markell, early took the lead for the Land Rover US Eventing Team. The jumping part of the competition starts at 17:45 local time (23:45 EDT). See livescore here. Cross-country will take place on Saturday.
The dressage Nations Cup ends at 14:40 local time (08:40 EDT) today (see livescore here) and continues until Sunday.
For more information about the competitions and a complete schedule for events, visit World Equestrian Festival CHIO Aachen.