Equestre Internationale News
Samsung Super League News : "If you can meet with Triumph
and Disaster, And treat those two imposters just the same
Chef dEquipe, Jean-Maurice Bonneau, quoted this line from
Rudyard Kiplings poem "If" in the aftermath of
the drama-filled Samsung Super League series final in Barcelona
last Sunday when his side emerged victorious in the League but
heavily defeated on the day.
that extraordinary afternoon the formbook was completely upturned
in the second round. The Frenchman commented that he would have
been very happy if his side was on the podium having taken one
of the top-three final-leg placings but instead, he said "we
felt like the actors in a horror movie" when it all went
seriously wrong and they finished bottom of the pile.
were no begrudgers however as he held the League trophy aloft
"the results we produced earlier in the season paid
off today" Bonneau said as he reflected on the eight rounds
of the series dominated by his teams which recorded a hat-trick
of wins in La Baule, Rome and Dublin.
had taken a firm hold at the top of the leaderboard from the start
and when the second-placed Irish failed to capitalise on their
moment of weakness last Sunday it was a "fait accompli".
the Swedes also it was a "fait accompli" of another
kind as they had to accept relegation to ordinary Nations Cup
level for 2004. They had a confidence-boost when joint-second
in Rotterdam but joint-fifth position in Barcelona was not good
enough to keep them in the frame. Perhaps after this year of turmoil
within their National Federation the reigning World Silver medallists
will return with greater resolve and energy but, right now, its
time to re-group, re-organise and re-think future strategy.
it comes to strategy, there is no nation quite like the Germans.
They arrived in Spain with all guns blazing and simply outclassed
all the rest. Earlier in the season they had fielded some relatively
unknown horse-and-rider combinations but this time it was super-stars
all the way Christian Ahlmann and Coster producing one
of the most spectacular double-clear performances of the entire
add insult to injury they did all that without having to call
out their fourth team member, Ludger Beerbaum, who could be seen
impersonating Michael Schumacher as he played with the brand new
Lexus car which he won with Champion du Lys in Saturdays
provided a heart-warming result for the Spanish who slotted into
runner-up spot. They have been involved in the battle for promotion
to Super League status next year but, despite adding seven more
points to their Samsung Nations Cup tally they are still 10 points
behind the two main protagonists USA and Switzerland
who are currently playing a game of cat-and-mouse.
countries have a score of 43 but the Swiss hold the advantage
due to better overall placings throughout the series so now it
depends on Swiss results from Zagreb this weekend and Athens next
month. If Switzerland does well at both fixtures then the USA
is out of luck but, should the Swiss falter and only pick up a
few points, then the Americans might be able to outstrip them
by competing in Buenos Aires in November that is all still
hanging in the balance.
Italians, so dangerously close to falling out of the Super League
family, saved themselves by producing a truly spirited performance
in Barcelona where they finished equal-third.
their backs against the wall they fought like a group of Gladiators
determined to survive and, against all the odds, they achieved
their objective much to the delight of Chef dEquipe, Duccio
Bartalucci, who spurred them on relentlessly.
the final rankings, Great Britain slotted into fourth place behind
Germany in third, Ireland in second and France at the top of the
order. Having failed to earn Olympic qualification, the British
might well decide to make the Samsung Super League their priority
in 2004 and, with so many of the other nations under pressure
ahead of Athens, they would be in a very strong position indeed.
finished fifth on the league table, well-assisted by the seven
clear rounds produced by Jos Lansink. These included double-clears
in Aachen, Dublin and Rotterdam which, at Super League level,
are quite an achievement and leave Jos with the best individual
performance record throughout the series.
completed in sixth position ahead of Italy in seventh and Sweden
in eighth the Dutch really rescued by success at their
home event in Rotterdam which was full of surprises and which,
like Barcelona, came as a reminder that the sport of show jumping
can be very unpredicatable indeed.
very first Samsung Super League season has been memorable for
many things but particularly for the early brilliance of the French.
However their Chef dEquipe might well have been referring
to the Italians when he cited Kipling:
you can meet with Triumph and Disaster,
treat those two imposters just the same;......
you can make one heap of all your winnings,
risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
lose, and start again at your beginnings,
never breathe a word about your loss;
you can force your heart and nerve and sinew,
serve you long after they are gone,
so hold on when there is nothing in you
the will which says to them: "Hold On!".
the end, the series was as much about Italian determination and
courage as it was about pure French flair.
SUPER LEAGUE 2003 FINAL STANDINGS
FRANCE - 53.33
2. IRELAND - 43.75
GERMANY - 43.75
GREAT BRITAIN - 43.00
BELGIUM - 30.50
NETHERLANDS - 29.00
ITALY - 25.83
SWEDEN - 23.33.
SUPER LEAGUE NATIONAL PRIDE, INTERNATIONAL PASSION!
SUPER TEAMS, EIGHT SUPER VENUES BUT ONLY ONE SAMSUNG SUPER LEAGUE
can access all the latest Samsung Super League news and information
on website www.samsungsuperleague.com and dont forget that
Biographies on all Riders competing in the series are available
to know more? You can check the full rules for the Samsung Super
League Series on the FEI website, section reference rules
Samsung Super League consists of the eight most prestigious horse
shows at which the worlds 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
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is committed to supporting international sporting events thereby
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