The New Zealand team made its first appearance in the FEI Nations Cup™ 2014 a winning one, with an emphatic victory in the beautiful setting of Houghton International in Norfolk (GBR), the third leg of the series.
The Kiwis, all four of whom are based in Britain, established an 11-penalty lead over the second-placed German team after the Dressage phase and were never headed.
Sir Mark Todd (NZL) led from the start to finish as the individual winner on NZB Campino, having re-routed the horse after an early mishap on the Cross Country at Badminton (GBR) a fortnight earlier. Compatriot Lizzie Brown, who finished second on her 2013 Boekelo (NED) winner, Henton Attorney General, was the only rider to achieve the optimum Cross Country time.
The other two New Zealand team members, squad debutant Craig Nicolai riding Just Ironic, and Tim Price (Haddon Trump Card) finished 21st and 22nd, just 0.1 penalty apart.
“It was great to be part of such a cool team,” said Brown. “This is our first FEI Nations Cup win and Houghton is such a lovely event to do it at. The series is a really fun concept that brings a different competitive aspect to the event. We love it and kept the pressure on each other all weekend.”
Todd added: “It was a good competition. The course wasn’t that big but it caused a few problems here and there and the time wasn’t easy because of the heavy rain. It was a good feeling to have the Germans and Brits below us on the podium. Let’s hope it stays that way this summer!”
The Germans, who finished second, nearly 20 penalties in arrears, were also making their first appearance in the FEI Nations Cup™ 2014 series.
Andreas Ostholt (GER) was third on So Is Et and 21-year-old Claas Hermann Romeike (GER), son of the 2008 Olympic Eventing champion, Hinrich Romeike, had a great debut on British soil, rising from 23rd place after Dressage to finish fifth on Cato 60.
Romeike senior was on hand to watch his son’s success and commented: “I’m so proud that Claas is part of a German team. I hope there will be plenty more championships for him.”
Great Britain, who have won their home leg for the past two years, could only manage third this time, five penalties behind Germany. Emily Llewellyn (GBR), a regular member of the FEI Nations Cup™ squad, was the highest placed of the quartet, in sixth place on Junior ll.
The French team who, like Great Britain, have contested every leg of the FEI Nations Cup™ 2014 so far, finished fourth.
France and Great Britain are now on equal points with 27 apiece. New Zealand is third on 16, with Germany and The Netherlands both on 9.
Next month, the action in this nine-leg series, moves to Poland, to the popular site of Strzegom, on 26-29 June.
Results from Houghton International
1 New Zealand 138.6 penalties
Mark Todd/NZB Campino, 35.9; Lizzie Brown/Henton Attorney General, 40.8; Craig Nicolai/Just Ironic, 61.9 (Tim Price/Haddon Trump Card, 62.0)
2 Germany, 156.4
Andreas Ostholt/So Is Et, 47.0; Claas Hermann Romeike/Cato 60, 49.9; Bettina Hoy/Designer 10, 59.5 (Elmar Lesch/Lanzelot, 79.4)
3 Great Britain, 161.2
Emily Llewellyn/Junior ll, 51.1; Rosalind Canter/Zenshera, 54.1; Dani Evans/Smart Time 56.0 (David Doel/Koyuna Sun Magic, 76.0)
4 France, 176.4
Francois Lemiere/Ogustin du Terroir, 54.5; Alexis Gomez/Quartz du Lerchenberg, 60.4; Gilles Bordes/Orion de Cavalhac, 61.5; (Alix De Herce/Minx du Mane Roz, Eliminated Cross Country)
FEI Photo Catalogue: Free images for editorial purposes are available from the FEI Photo Catalogue.
Notes to Editors:
The FEI’s team Eventing series, the FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing, is open to all nations fielding one team composed of 3 or 4 riders at each leg, and runs under FEI Eventing rules at CICO and CCIO 3* level with riders accumulating points under a dedicated system detailed here.
Visit the FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing series hub here for rules, results and Organiser details.
FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing 2014 calendar
1 Fontainebleau (FRA) 19-23 March
2 Ballindenisk (IRE) 11-14 April
3 Houghton Hall (GBR) 22-25 May
4 Strzegom (POL) 26-29 June
5 Aachen (GER) 15-20 July
6 Malmö (SWE) 1-3 August
7 Montelibretti (ITA) 19-21 September
8 Waregem (BEL) 25-28 September
9 Boekelo (NED) 9-12 October