The Dutch at the top in Barcelona
Same scenario as in 2014. Saturday evening, in Barcelona, the Dutch took a wonderful win in the Longines Nations Cup Final after a chaotic start due to nearly two hours of delay for a technical problem. United States and Belgium stood on the podium being second and third.
The first suspense of the night has not really been the future winner of this Longines Nations Cup Final but rather the running of this competition as a huge spotlights broke down and dived one part of the Real Polo Club Arena in the dark. After nearly two hours of waiting, the riders were finally able to perform. However, some of them took their horses back to the stables as they did not now the outcome of this issue.
Apparently, the Oranje did not suffer at all from this endless wait as the four Dutch produced good rounds. Opening the dance, Marc Houtzager and Sterrehof’s Calimero crossed the finish line with one fault but their score has been directly erased by Michel Hendrix’s round. Riding Baileys, the Dutch rider did not touch any fence and ended just with one time fault. Jur Vrieling and Harries Smolders, on VDL Glasgow van’t Merelsnest and Don VHP Z, confirmed that they are, indeed, the real leaders of the squad producing two clear rounds.
United States missed the victory for one fault too many
Big favourite of this Finale, the Americans were unfortunate as they conceded one fault too many. Lauren Hough and Mclain Ward did not quake in Spain as they produced two clear rounds on their amazing Ohlala and HH Azur but Laura Kraut and Beezie Madden made respectively mistake on the oxer number 6 and the vertical, fifth position of the course, on Confu and Darry Lou.
The bronze medal went to the Belgium squad. Jérôme Guéry and Grégory Wathelet showed one again that they are the pillars of this national team as they produced two clear rounds helped by Grand Prix van de Rozenberg and Coree. Pieter Devos and Espoir pushed down the very first and very last fences when Niels Bruynseels and Cas de Liberté faulted on the number eight.
The British nightmare
Not qualified for the big Finale, the Great Britain squad went through a nightmarish Friday night in the Challenge Cup. They did not even manage to finish on the podium and finished fifth out of seven nations. Guy Williams withdrew with Rouge de Ravel, Ben Maher did three faults and Scott Brash one. However, worth noticing the clear round of William Whitaker and Utamaro d’Ecaussines who finished with just one time fault.
The Irish team, Europeans Champions one month ago, finished second of this little finale six points behind the winners, the United Arab Emirates.