Britain's leading ladies dominate 2013 Nations Cup standings in Boekelo

Britain's leading ladies dominate 2013 Nations Cup standings in Boekelo

Despite tough going and wet weather at Boekelo in The Netherlands over the weekend, Britain’s quartet of ladies and their talented rides put in resilient performances to clinch this year’s FEI Nations Cup Eventing series.

Of the thirteen nations that fielded teams at Boekelo, Germany won the team standings with GB a very close second. Britain’s CICO team took the 2013 Nations Cup series title ahead of Germany on the merit of the team’s combined performances throughout the series this year. Britain had lead the rankings going into the final competition by just one point following their three wins (Houghton Hall, Montilebretti and Waregem) and one second place at Aachen this season. Second place at Boekelo gave them a total of 51 points with their five best team placings from the season tallying up to give them the overall win.

The four riders who were chosen to contest the final Nations Cup event were:
- Laura Collett (Wiltshire) with Allora 3 owned by Mr Philip Walker
- Izzy Taylor (Oxfordshire) with KBIS Starlet owned by KBIS and Mrs Jo Meyer
- Kitty King (Wiltshire) with Persimmon owned by Ms Jane Murfett and Mr Frank Inns
- Gemma Tattersall (W. Sussex) with Chico Bella P owned by Mr Christopher Stone

Team manager Philip Surl commented on each of the riders. Observing the recent Waregem winner Izzy Taylor he said: “First up for our team was Izzy Taylor who unfortunately didn’t have luck on her side being drawn so early in the running order; her dressage was early on the Thursday morning and wasn’t helped by the heavy mist and fog, causing her horse to spook a little resulting in her normally strong dressage performance faltering. Izzy rode a great clear inside the time, one of only four in the day to do so.

“She had two poles down in the showjumping on ground that was very sticky and holding in places.” The combination finished in 21st position with a score of 64.0 penalties.

Talking about Laura Collett who had helped the team to victory at Waregem with Allora 3, Philip said: “Laura and this promising mare put in a great effort with a strong test and then went very well across country, although they accrued a few time penalties.

“They also unfortunately rolled a pole on Sunday but again the ground conditions had been getting worse as the day went on and the weather dried out causing the ground to become heavier. This horse has now put in two consistent CICO team performances to really consolidate her position at the end of the season.” Laura finished in 17th place on a score of 60.0.

New to the CICO squad for Boekelo was Kitty King’s ride Persimmon, the combination finished best of the Brits overall in fifth place on a score of 48.0. Philip spoke of the young gelding’s result: “As ever Kitty’s horses are lovely on the flat and they started the competition well. They then went clear across country just picking up a few time faults. He is a young horse that has performed well in the build-up to this level; this was a good box to tick at CCI3* level.”

Gemma Tattersall started the competition strongly in the dressage phase and had begun the cross country stage with a very positive round until they sadly had a fall on the latter part of the course at the influential second water complex; both horse and rider were unhurt. Philip commented: “It was so disappointing for Gemma, they were having a great round until their fall. Up to that point they were right on the minute markers we had planned.

“Despite this unfortunate result for Gemma, Britain and Germany were still the only two teams that had three riders per team to complete the cross country phase with clear rounds, so we were in good company!”

Discussing the importance of the series, Philip stated: “Through this series we have been able to expose 19 of our horses and 14 riders to the atmosphere and team pressure you come to expect from a Championship competition environment. It has been very useful to give future talent this experience and it is a fantastic boost to the squad that we have been able to support them through UK Sport and National Lottery funding.

“I think the series adds a great new dimension to the international calendar and it is starting to become a valid and desirable challenge for riders; I hope it continues to grow in success.”

Britain's Nations Cup team is supported by the UK Sport funded World Class Programme. The Equestrian World Class Programme has been funded through Exchequer and National Lottery funds, via UK Sport since 1998.