The Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team once again finished in the second place position in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup, this time in St. Gallen, Switzerland. Led by Chef d'Equipe Robert Ridland, the team of Lucy Davis, Margie Engle, Lauren Hough, and Todd Minikus put in great rounds, battling against the stormy weather to finish on twelve faults. The Irish Held onto the win finishing with just eight faults, with USA, Sweden, France, and Germany all sharing the runner-up position.
Swiss course designer, Gerard Lachat, set them a strong 12-fence track that only six horse-and-rider combinations, including USA’s Lauren Hough and Ohlala, managed to leave intact first time out. The Germans held the lead on a four-fault tally at the halfway stage, but the Americans, the Irish and the Swiss were in hot pursuit, just a fence behind, while France and Sweden were next in line, tied on 12 faults.
Plenty of tall verticals, an open water measuring 4.1m wide, and a difficult penultimate oxer where the front plank regularly hit the floor ensured plenty to think about, and there were multiple errors at the 1.60m that followed the water as well as at the next water-tray oxer at fence six.
In the deciding second round, America’s Lauren Hough aboard Ohlala and Lucy Davis aboard Barron left all the poles in place. But when Margie Engle’s Royce kicked out the oxer at fence eight and Todd Minikus fell victim to the penultimate white oxer, with a thunderstorm crashing overhead, they had to add one of those four faults to join Sweden and France on a final tally of 12. Adding 8 faults to their first round score, Germany too fell into the runner-up position with 12 faults, while an impressive fault-free second round secured the victory for Ireland.
Lauren’s double clear proved pivotal to the USA’s second place finish; out of a field of 32 riders, Hough and Oh La La were amongst only four combinations who were able to master both rounds to finish with a clean sheet.
The next leg of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Europe Division 1 League will take place in Rotterdam (NED) on Friday 24 June.
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