The Nations Cup was definitely the high point of this weekend of competition in Dar Es Salam. Despite the rainy weather, the crowd was present to support their favourite riders, while Switzerland imposed itself for the second time in this class in front of full grandstands.
Eight teams made the trip to this leg of the Moroccan Tour to compete in this Nations Cup: The Netherlands, Belgium, United-Kingdom, Italy, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, France and of course, Morocco. The first round was a two-stages class, as it presented difficulties for some teams, such as the British or the Dutch team, both composed by young and unexperienced riders, while three strong nations of showjumping, France, Belgium and Switzerland, stood out, respectively finishing this first course with tight scores: 4, 0 and 4 points.
The second round kept its promises and the fight for the win between those three teams was breath taking until the last rider. On the French side, Pierre-Alain Mortier confirmed his position with a second clear round, Emeric George corrected himself on the same river that caused him difficulties in the beginning of the class and Nicolas Dezeuses stayed consistent with a second four points round. Only Olivier Perreau stepped down, moving from a clear score to eight faults. The Belgian riders were slightly less brilliant in comparison to their first round. Dominique Hendrickx, Virginie Thonon and Stéphanie Andries all collected points on their course whereas Jérôme Guery was one the few riders of the class to realize a double clear round. On their side, the Swiss team were outstanding with three clear courses realized by Yannick Jorand, Elian Baumann and Pius Schwizer – only the young Pauline Zoller encountered some difficulties on the second round – that led the team to the win of this Nations cup with only a four penalties total. Belgium and France finished ex-aequo on the second position with eight faults.
Podium: Pius Schwizer (SUI), Elian Baumann (SUI), Chef d’Equipe Andy Kistler, Pauline Zoller (SUI) and Yannick Jorand (SUI)
“Rabat is a wonderful competition and we are always well welcomed. I could compose a team mixed with young riders in need for experience and others, more accomplished. The scores were tight after the first round and I asked my team members to focus on their riding, I really wanted them to enjoy their time in the arena. We could count on Pius, the backbone of this Swiss team, to deal with pressure and to sign the last clear round we needed for victory,” confesses the team leader Andy Kistler.
In this Nations Cup, many chef d’équipes from great show jumping nations made the trip to Morocco. They decided to play along and to let some couples still in training, a chance to reveal themselves in these great facilities of the Moroccan Royal Federation of Equestrian Sports.
For full results, please click here.
Source: Press release by Agence R&B Presse for Morocco Royal Tour
Photos: © Agence R&B Presse / Solenn Rispail
Categories: CSIO 4*