It was a victory for the Brazilian team this afternoon at Hickstead whose spirits weren’t dampened by the British wet weather that they had to endure through the afternoon. Posting a final score of just 4 penalties they took the lead ahead of The Netherlands who finished on just 14 penalties.
Switzerland took 3rd place with their final score of 16 penalties whilst Ireland sat in 4th place just one time penalty behind them. For Great Britain, who finished 5th on 20 penalties, it was the final team competition before the selection announcement for the 2017 European Championships in Gothenburg next month. The French team despite delivering three clears finished 6th with a 21 penalty score and it was a last minute demotion for Germany who having initially been annouced in joint 3rd with Switzerland slid down the line following Marcus Ehning's who had taken the role of anchor being disqualified. Spain took the final spot in 8th place on 51 penalties.
The British team, competing under the title sponsor of Team NAF, saw Will Whitaker and Utamaro d’Ecaussines take the role of pathfinder. Utamaro, owned by Ludwig Criel, looked in superb form leaving all fences untouched across both rounds with just a time penalty being accrued in the first. Robert Whitaker with Mandy Hall and Clare Whitaker’s bay gelding Catwalk IV were next to go for the team however a 15 penalty first round and 8 penalty second saw them become the drop score.
Joe Clayton with Sarah Billington’s Con Man JX picked up 10 penalties in the first round but came forward in the second much stronger to finish on just 5 penalties when a pole lowered towards the latter end of the course just outside the time allowed.
For Michael Whitaker, who took the role of anchor of the team, it was an outstanding foot-perfect clear that saw him return inside the time for a penalty free score. The second round saw them pick up 4 penalties when they touched the front pole of an oxer on the turn back towards the final few fences.
Talking afterwards Di Lampard, World Class Performance Manager commented “I couldn’t be happier with the way that Utamaro and Will have come together. Their performance today was outstanding. Michael and Viking were also incredibly strong in what were quite difficult conditions today bearing in mind the weather and them being one of the last to go.”
For full results, visit www.hickstead.co.uk.
Article Source: British Showjumping News
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