Jur Vrieling snatches victory in thrilling three-way jump-off; Spanish now bottom of Division 1 league ahead of penultimate leg at Hickstead

Podium Team

Podium Team IRLVRIELING Jur,HENDRIX Michel,POELS Aniek,ROMP Ruben and chef d’équipe EHRENS RobPhoto FEI/Richard Juilliart

It always seemed that things would come right for The Netherlands sooner or later this season, and today was the day when the 2014 series champions claimed maximum points in the sixth leg of the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2017 Europe Division 1 League in sunny Falsterbo, Sweden. It was no walk-in-the-park however, the result only decided by a super-charged jump-off against Germany who lined up second and Ireland who finished third.

Double-Olympian and World and European team gold medallist Jur Vrieling (47) clinched it when last to go against the clock with his impressive stallion VDL Glasgow V. Merelsnest. He wasn’t short of advice as he headed back into the arena for the third and final time.

“I was hardly five metres outside the ring after the second round when I was already being told I was in the jump-off and how to ride it! Ben Schroder said to go inside the wall to the double (third fence), so I just had to listen and work it out as well as I could.”

Jur Vrieling (Team Netherlands)

Having dominated the early classes at the Swedish fixture it was the Irish who were hot favourites to head the line-up this time out, and after the first round the boys in green shared the lead on a zero score with the eventual winners. Both sides added four faults in round two however, and this left them on level pegging with the German foursome that included husband-and-wife Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (Daisy) and Markus Beerbaum (Comanche 28) who have not competed in a team together for 13 years.

Beerbaum was first to go against the clock, posting his third great clear of the day in 47.80 seconds when taking the longer route around the Derby course stone wall before tackling the remaining two elements of the triple combination. Next out, Ireland’s Denis Lynch (All Star) cut inside the wall only to clip the first element for four faults in 46.65 seconds, so when Vrieling got the shortcut exactly right he galloped home clear in the winning time of 46.35 seconds.

Dutch Chef d’Equipe, Rob Ehrens, was delighted with the performances of all of his team-members including 26-year-old Ruben Romp (Audi’s Teavanta ll) and 30-year-olds Aniek Poels (Athene) and Michel Hendrix (Baileys) who each posted just four faults today. “Besides Jur, I had three young and talented riders in the team – it’s looking really good for the future”, he said.

Today’s result has moved the Dutch and Irish off the bottom of the Europe Division 1 leaderboard and it is the Spanish who are now lying last going into the penultimate leg at Hickstead (GBR) in two weeks’ time.

Team Result – Falsterbo:
1. Netherlands      – 4 faults/0 in 46.35 seconds in third-round jump-off
2. Germany          – 4 faults/0 in 47.80 seconds in third-round jump-off
3. Ireland             – 4 faults/4 faults in 46.65 seconds in third-round jump-off
FEI Nations Cup Jumping – Division 1 standings:
1 Italy 345
2 Germany 325
3 Sweden 307.5
4 France 302.5
5 Switzerland 300
6 Netherlands 290
7 Ireland 290
8 Spain 250
Facts & Figures:
8 teams – Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, USA, Sweden and Switzerland – competed in today’s sixth leg of the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2017 Europe Division 1 League at Falsterbo in Sweden.

14 clears in the first round and 6 double-clear rounds – from The Netherlands’ Jur Vrieling (VDL Glasgow V. Merelsnest), Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (Daisy) and Markus Beerbaum (Comanche 28), Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam (Chaqui Z), USA’s Chloe Reid (Codarco) and Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann (Mary Lou).

Both Jur Vrieling’s VDL Glasgow V. Merelsnest and Markus Beerbaum’s Comanche 28 also jumped clear in the third-round jump-off against the clock over the shortened course.

Course designer was Germany’s Frank Rothenberger.

Team Italy, fourth-placed finishers today on 9 faults, continue to lead the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2017 Europe Division 1 league table.

Two legs of the Europe Division 1 series remain – at Hickstead (GBR) on Friday 28 July and Dublin (IRL) on Friday 11 August.

All 8 nations competing in the 2017 Europe Division 1 series will qualify for next year’s series in which the number of teams in Division 1 will increase to 10. The extra two places will go to the top two teams in the 2017 Europe Division 2 series provided those teams compete and complete the relevant competitions at the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2017 Final which takes place in Barcelona, Spain from 28 September to 1 October. Only the top 7 of the 8 teams in Europe Division 1 will qualify for the 2017 Final.

Rob Ehrens – Chef d’Equipe NED (winners)

When asked why he chose Jur Vrieling for the jump-off today:

“He’s the most experienced rider in the team and his horse was already warmed up and ready to go as they were the last pair out in round two. And I know he is very fast!”

Jur Vrieling – Netherlands

Talking about his brilliant stallion, VDL Glasgow:

“He has an unbelievably top character, he’s the nicest horse in the stable, not just because of the results he gets but because of the way he behaves. I adore him!”

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About FEI Nations Cup Jumping
The FEI Nations Cup Jumping is equestrian sport’s oldest and most prestigious team challenge, with national teams from around the world competing for one of the most coveted prizes in the Olympic discipline.

Celebrating 108 years of team competition in 2017, a record number of 50 nations will compete to win their ticket to the Final in the beautiful city of Barcelona, Spain, at the Real Club de Polo on 29 September to 1 October 2017.

Only the best 18 nations will qualify at 19 events in 19 countries for the Final, and when they get there defending champions Team Germany will be doing everything in their power to hold the FEI Nations Cup Jumping trophy high again!

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