The FEI Nations Cup held at EQ Life FEI Houghton International Horse Trials on the grounds of Houghton Hall, in Norfolk, England produced a convincing win for the New Zealand team when Mark Todd topped the individual leaderboard riding NZB Campino. Team mate, Lizzie Brown took second place on Henton Attorney General who is owned by Tessa Grant and the rider. This combination were the only ones in the class to beat the cross country optimum time.
Lizzie declared herself thrilled with the result. “It was great to be part of such a cool team. The Nations Cup is a really fun concept and we kept the pressure on each other all weekend.
Andreas Ostholt led the German challenge, finishing 3rd on So Is Et. He was ably supported by Claas Hermann Romeike, the son of 2008 double Olympic gold medal winner Hinrich. Claas filled 5th place riding Cato 60 in what was his first appearance in the German Nations Cup team, giving the Germans second place on the podium. His father admitted: “I’m so proud that Claas is part of the team here – I hope there will be plenty of Championships to come for him.”
The British team were unable to defend their unbeaten record at Houghton, finishing in 3rd place, ahead of the French.
In the CCI2* Lara de Liedekerke held her nerve to triumph, regaining the top spot that she had occupied after the dressage. Riding the eight-year-old stallion Averouge des Quatre Chênes she jumped a faultless show jumping round, and moved up to 1st place when leaders Willa Newton and Chance Remark brought down a rail.
“Competing in the UK against riders like Andrew Nicholson and Tim Price you can never expect a win,” said 26-year-old Lara. “He did a super dressage, but he jumps so high over fences and we went cross country in the worst of the weather yesterday, so we were slower than usual – losing our lead. This was his last two star before he goes three star at Wiesbaden and he really deserved a win; he’s always there when I need him.”
Just 0.1 of a penalty behind Lara, Matthew Wright and Shannondale Shinawil were the runners up, with Andrew Nicholson 3rd on Paul Ridgeon’s exciting young horse Urma BK. Chance Remark finished 4th, with Willa’s second ride Fernhill La Di Da 5th. The overnight leaders, Canada’s Rebecca Howard and Xavier Faer, withdrew from the holding box at the final Vet Inspection.