The German team proved too good for its rivals in today’s Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup of Great Britain, the feature class at the Longines Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead.
The quartet of Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (Fibonacci 17), Janne Friederike Meyer (Goja 27 – pictured below), Patrick Stühlmeyer (Lacan 2) and Ludger Beerbaum (Chiara 222) finished on a score of just four faults, ahead of Ireland and Belgium, who shared second place with eight each.
Germany has a superb record at Hickstead, winning the Prince of Wales Trophy five times in the past decade, and once again proved to be a class above the rest. Such was the strength of the team’s performance, anchorman Ludger Beerbaum did not have to start in either round.
“We had a great team – it’s not often the last rider doesn’t have to jump in both rounds,” said Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum.
Chef d’equipe Otto Becker added: “It was a great performance and all these guys here deserve the victory – I’m very happy with that.”
Today was a crucial competition for Great Britain, who started well, finishing on four faults in round one, but 16 faults in round two dropped them to sixth overall. This means they will be relegated from European Division One in next year’s Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup series.
Bunn Leisure International Stakes
Nicole Pavitt clocked up another win in the International Arena, this time riding Virginia Quine’s 14-year-old gelding, Victor Blue. Despite an ankle injury earlier in the week, she topped the field of 34 in the Bunn Leisure International Stakes, recording the fastest clear round by 1.7sec and qualifying for Saturday’s British Speed Classic.
“He’s naturally quick and likes to think he’s in control, so this type of class suits him,” she said of Victor Blue. “You know nine out of ten times he’ll be clear and fast. He’s brilliant, my horse of a lifetime really. We’ll see what tomorrow brings in the Speed Classic.”
In the showing classes, Katrina Braithwaite defended her crown in the Supreme Working Hunter Championship with Killderry Rupert. Katrina has owned the nine-year-old gelding for just over four years. “Before I bought him he hunted, so the tracks here suit him,” she said. “He’s so rideable and always tries to please. It’s magical to win after producing him myself.”
Allister Hood won the Supreme Riding Horse championship with Diamonds Are Forever. Owner Annabel Jenks bred the seven-year-old, who went out only a couple of times as a four-year-old. Allister said: “It’s lucky Annabel was so patient as he hasn’t been out over the past couple of years. He’s really grown into himself and our patience has paid off because he’s unbeaten this season.”