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Federation Equestre Internationale News

British Brilliant on Home Ground at Hickstead!

The British stormed to victory on their home ground in Hickstead today, catapulting themselves into third position on the Samsung Super League leaderboard and firmly underlining their return to the top level of international show jumping.

Their hunger for a win had been clear since early in the season and, despite a disappointing result in Aachen, they looked to be ever-improving in recent months but today they were simply the best, although they were almost forced into a jump-off with France.

The French were unlucky when a mistake from Michel Robert and Galet D’Auzay at the very last fence denied them a two-way jump-off with the eventual winners and it was a close-fought thing right to the end.

As has happened so many times over the years, the derby-style Hickstead fences produced plenty of surprises and Belgium’s chances were shattered when Dirk Demeersman’s Clinton simply refused to take on the water-jump and then Jean Claude Vangeenberghe also suffered elimination as Richebourg appeared to become anxious after clearing the water and jammed on the brakes at the following double.

Unaware that his team were now out of the competition, Stanny Van Paesschen arrived into the ring with O de Pomme but was asked to leave and Jos Lansink also found himself out of work for the day.

The Irish kicked off the action and were looking good with two early clears from Kevin Babington and Carling King and Cian O’Connor riding Waterford Crystal but anchorman Peter Charles had two fences down with Corrada so Billy Twomey’s four faults with Luidam had to be counted at the end of the first round.

This left them on level pegging with the French as both Reynald Angot and Tlaloc M and Michel Robert went clear but Michel Hecart (Quilano de Kalvarie) and Edouard Couperie (For de la Hardiere) had a pole down.

Helena Weinberg and Kasting Horses Gavi produced Germany’s only clear in the early stages but with eight faults they were still well in contention at the end of Round 1 which Holland completed with 16 faults on the board while Sweden and Italy brought up the rear with 20 faults apiece.

The Dutch rallied strongly in Round 2 with clears from Jan Tops (Grande Dame), Wim Schroder (Eurocommerce Berlin) and Gert Jan Bruggink (Joel) to finish fourth but, despite a very promising performance from new recruits Emanuelle Fiorelli and Western Union Equinoxe du Morin, who made just a single mistake over two excellent rounds of the 12-fence track, Italy had to settle for seventh behind Germany and Sweden who shared fifth position.

German chances were not enhanced by a fall at the final oxer for Mylene Diederichsmeier and the colossal Countess G who simply jumped so big at this one that her jockey became unseated, and when Helena lowered two fences second time out, Pia Luise Aufrecht added 12 more to eight first-round faults and Toni Hassmann and Collin faulted once in each round they completed with 32 on the board.

Sweden matched that tally although Maria Sundberg was eliminated when the big-jumping Carlot refused twice at the double in Round 2.

It was still very much hanging in the balance as the second round evolved.

Cian O’Connor repeated the double-clear performance he had produced at this fixture in 2002 when making it all look very easy once more but all three remaining Irish riders faulted once, Peter Charles being particularly unlucky as he cleared the treble which is usually Corrada’s weak-point only to hit the second-last as the mare began struggling for her head and lost her concentration.

Edouard Couperie picked up 16 faults at his second attempt but Reynald Angot was clear and with just one mistake for Michel Hecart the French would force a tie-break with the British if Michel Robert could leave all the fences standing.

There was a gasp of disbelief however as the foot-perfect Galet D’Auzay tipped the last to leave them on level score with the Irish, but for Britain, it was a clear-cut and well-deserved victory.

Nick Skelton has made a remarkable recovery from the career-threatening neck injury he suffered two years ago and his double-clear rounds with Arko were absolutely classic.

Scott Smith and Cabri d’Elle had a fence down in each round but Richard Davenport and Luc almost matched Skelton’s perfection as they floated around the ring first time out and only the middle element of the double caught them out at their second attempt.

Robert Smith and Mr Springfield sealed the early advantage when fault-free in round one and with just eight faults on the board after three riders had completed their score could not be improved and the Yorkshireman did not have to return to the ring as the result was already confirmed.

"This was a tremendous morale booster" said British Chef d’Equipe afterwards.

"Our main objective for this year is to qualify for the Olympic Games and then to stay in the Samsung Super League for next season but we always wanted to win this one – its special to us" he said.

"I only got nervous when I thought we really had a chance – I would have been happy if we had been within the top three so I’m really delighted – this is a good feeling and great for British show jumping" he added.

After Hickstead France still heads the Samsung Super League leaderboard with only a half-point advantage over the Irish while the British have rocketed to third ahead of Germany in fourth, Belgium in fifth and Holland, Sweden and Italy further down the order.


Great Britain - 8 faults: Nick Skelton/Arko 0+0, Scott Smith/Cabri d’Elle 4+4, Richard Davenport/Luc 0+4, Robert Smith/Mr Springfield 0+DNS.
Equal 2. Ireland - 12 faults: Kevin Babington/Carling King 0+4, Cian O’Connor/Waterford Crystal 0+0, Billy Twomey/Luidam 4+4, Peter Charles/Corrada 8+4.

France - 12 faults: Michel Hecart/Quilano de Kalvarie 4+4, Edouard Couperie/For de la Hardiere 4+16, Reynald Angot/Tlaloc M 0+0, Michel Robert/Galet d’Auzay 0+4.

4. Holland – 16 faults: Gerco Schroder/Eurocommerce Geneve 8+8, Jan Tops/Grande Damme 4+0, Wim Schroder/Eurocommerce Berlin 4+0, Gert Jan Bruggink/Joel 8+0.

Equal 5. Germany - 32 faults: Toni Hassmann/Collin 4+4, Mylene Diedreichsmeier/Countess G 4+29, Pia-Luise Aufrecht/Hofgut Liederbach’s Ingmar 8+12, Helena Weinberg/Kasting Horses Gavi 0+8.

Sweden - 32 faults: Peter Eriksson/VDL Cardento 8+4, Helena Persson/Classic H 8+0, Maria Sundberg/Carlot 4+Elim, Maria Gretzer/Cinderella 8+8.

7. Italy – 36 faults: Roberto Arioldi/Loro Piana Dime de la Cour 4+12, Emanuele Fiorelli/Western Union Equinoxe du Morin 4+0, Luca Carini/D’Artagnan 12+4, Cristian Pitzianti/Gsarset 12+12.

8. Belgium - Eliminated: Dirk Demeersman/Clinton Elim, Jean Claude Vangeenberghe/Richebourg Elim, Stanny Van Paesschen/O de Pomme DNS, Jos Lansink/ AK Caridor Z DNS.

Keep up to date with the latest news from Hickstead at website


1. France - 37 points
2. Ireland - 36.5 points
3. Great Britain- 26 points
4. Germany – 21 points
5. Belgium – 13.5 points
6. Holland – 10.5 points
7. Sweden - 10 points
8. Italy - 8 points.


The current standings in the normal Samsung Nations Cup Series for 2003 are as follows:

1. Switzerland - 28 points
2. Spain - 21 points
3. USA - 19 points
4. Denmark - 14.5 points
5. Norway - 13.5 points
6. Austria - 12 points
7. Brazil - 10 points
8. Finland - 7 points
9. Portugal - 5 points
10. Hungary - 5 points
11. Poland - 4 points
12. Japan - 3 points
13. Canada - 2 points
14. Russia - 2 points
15. New Zealand - 2 points.

So far, 7 legs of the series have been completed. There is a total of 19 competitions in the 2003 Samsung Nations Cup series so there are another 12 rounds to go. For more details see FEI website


You can access all the latest Samsung Super League news and information on website and don’t forget that Biographies on all Riders competing in the series are available at

Want to know more? You can check the full rules for the Samsung Super League Series on the FEI website, section reference – rules

The Samsung Super League consists of the eight most prestigious horse shows at which the world’s eight best national teams compare their merit. The Super League is connected to the Samsung Nations Cup Series through a promotion/relegation system at the end of each season.

Samsung Electronics, one of the world’s largest electronics companies, is committed to supporting international sporting events thereby returning corporate profits to the public and working towards a more harmonious and equitable society.


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