Barcelona welcomes the Nations Cup Final
With fifteen nations ready to battle for the Longines FEI Nations Cup title, the sport will be beautiful in Spain this weekend. Germany will try to reiterate their performance of last year but the task might be tough as it is an annual goal for every country to lift that trophy. Saturday night will be the final round and all the riders will try their best.
Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates and United States of America will compete from Thursday in this four-day event. However, only eight nations will reach the final stage on Saturday evening.
This year the final will not have any repercussion on the League 1 as all the participants will have their ticket for it in 2018. Series champions in 2015, the Belgians were relegated last year but, with determination and talent, they fought brilliantly this season to top Europe Division 2, earning their place at this week’s Final and a return to Division 1 in 2018.
The Italian team will also try to confirm all the good things that they shown this season after several years of medal shortage on this Nations Cup tournament. Winning on their home soil in Rome they are coming to Barcelona with a grim determination to succeed.
Champions last year, the German riders will defend their title with a strong but young team made by Simone Blum, Laura Klaphake, Andreas Kreuzer and the talented Marcus Ehning.
A couple of teams will be some serious competitors as the Swedish one that includes the newly-crowned individual European Champion Peder Fredricson. Rodigro pessoa and his musketeers, the Irish, are able to create the surprise once again after their gold medal at the Europeans.
Watch out the Americans and the Canadians who are coming in Europe full of expectations and determination. They made clear all year long that the Nations Cup Final is a very major target and will not be missed. McLain Ward, World Cup champion in 2017 or Beezie Madden, bronze medallist at the World Equestrian Games in 2014, are in a good shape to represent their nation.
This will be a major event for the British as their national coach, Di Lampard, choose not to send a team to the Europeans in order to focus on the Nations Cup Final. Scott Brash, Guy Williams, William Whitaker and Ben Maher will have a lot of pressure on their shoulders if they want to make their country shine again in the showjumping world.