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Federation Equestre Internationale News

Samsung Super League News: Tight At The Top At The Halfway Stage.....

Less than three points separate France, at the top of the table, from The Netherlands in second spot after four of the eight legs of the Samsung Super League which has more than lived up to expectations in its second season.<ep>

The French looked really confident at the last round in Rotterdam where the home side had a terrible day, failing to find anything like the form they displayed when winning the previous two legs in Rome and Lucerne, but one bad result will not decide the series and the Dutch are so far ahead of the teams at the bottom of the order that only their pride should have been damaged by the experience.<ep>

Despite finishing last in Rotterdam the Germans, winners of the opening leg in La Baule, are currently in third position on the leaderboard and can be expected to come out with all guns blazing when hosting the next round in Aachen in two weeks time.<ep>

Aachen promises a star-studded line-up as so many of the top nations are taking a final look at their Olympic contenders there, so it should be an epic battle and team selectors will need to be aware that any weakness in their side is likely to be severely punished this time out.<ep>

The Belgians came dangerously close to victory themselves in Rotterdam when challenging for the honours in a two-way jump-off against the clock and, lying fourth, are showing a strength we have not seen from them for some time but they have only a one-point advantage over the British who are holding firm in fifth spot.<ep>

British team morale has been bruised however by the row which has broken out over their Olympic selection.<ep>

Despite a double-clear performance from Michael Whitaker at the Dutch fixture, Chef d’Equipe Derek Ricketts selected Robert Smith for the second of the two individual places available, the first already well-secured by Nick Skelton and Arko who had only a single pole down in their three Super League appearances this year.<ep>

Whitaker has now declared that he will not compete on Nations Cup teams as long as Ricketts is at the helm so, with a such a small pool of top-class riders available to them even before this incident, the British could find themselves struggling in his absence.<ep>

The Americans have been absolutely consistent when picking up three points at each of the four Super League shows so far to leave them in sixth spot and they are 3.5 points ahead of the Irish in seventh who, despite a good result when third last time out, are definitely still in hot water.<ep>

The Irish are just 0.5 points ahead of the Italians who are struggling once again at the bottom of the order just as they did in last season’s long, hard battle to avoid relegation. Instead of contesting the Swedes this time around however it looks like Italy will be tussling with the Irish who will be under new management in Aachen.<ep>

Tommy Wade has been forced to stand aside as Chef d’Equipe in the wake of the uproar over the dismissal of Eddie Macken as Olympic Team Trainer which led to the intervention of the Olympic Council of Ireland and the subsequent imposition of a new management structure.<ep>

Macken seems likely to take on the training role again once he withdraws his legal action against the Show Jumping Association of Ireland while Col Ned Campion takes over the job of Chef d’Equipe assisted by former rider Capt John Ledingham.<ep>

Whether this trio can conjure up the same kind of magic that Wade can produce is as yet unknown and the wisdom of imposing such a dramatic change so close to the Games and halfway through the Samsung Super League is open to question.<ep>

Perhaps the answer will lie in the result achieved at the next round in Aachen where, in 2003, the Irish scored their second victory in the inaugural Samsung Super League series.<ep>

For all information about the next round of the Samsung Super League 2004 series in Aachen, Germany on Friday, 16 July contact Press Officer Niels Knippertz – You can also email or consult the website


France – 25.3
The Netherlands – 22.5
Germany 18.8
Belgium 17.8
Great Britain – 17
USA – 12
Ireland – 8.5
Italy – 8.


ROUND 1, La Baule (Fra) 6-9 May; ROUND 2, Rome (Ita) 27-30 May; ROUND 3, Lucerne (Sui) 3-6 June: ROUND 4, Rotterdam (Ned) 17-20 June; ROUND 5, Aachen (Ger) 13-18 July; ROUND 6, Hickstead (GBR) 21-25 July; ROUND 7, Dublin (Irl) 4-8 August; ROUND 8 and FINAL, Barcelona (Esp) 16-19 September.


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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