Brazil has never won the FEI Nations Cup™ of Great Britain presented by Longines, but today they were the clear winners of this historic two-round showjumping class, winning by an impressive margin of 10 faults.
The winning team got off to a strong start in round one, with Marlon Modolo Zanotelli (Sirene de La Motte) and Pedro Veniss (For Felicila) producing clears while Pedro Junqueira Muylaert (Prince Royal Z Mfs) knocked just one fence down. After discounting Yuri Mansur’s 12-faults in round one, Brazil posted a team total of four faults to lie second behind Germany on zero faults.
At the end of round one, Switzerland were third with eight faults, while less than two fences separated Great Britain, Ireland, The Netherlands and France. Spain had a day to forget, clocking up 23 faults in round one and a further 28 faults in round two, leaving them in eighth place.
Nor did things go to plan in the second round for the reigning champions, with last year’s victors Germany dropping right out of contention to finish an eventual seventh. But Brazil – who impressed in the showjumping competition at their home Olympic Games last summer – were even stronger in round two, producing three clear rounds so that their final rider didn’t even have to jump for the team to win.
“I think everybody did a great job. To win at Hickstead is something special,” said Pedro Veniss.
His teammate Marlon Modolo Zanotelli added: “It’s a pleasure to ride with those guys, we’ve know each other for so long.”
Yuri Mansur, who was the discount score in round one but went clear in round two on Babylotte, is having a good week at Hickstead, having already won yesterday’s Bunn Leisure Vase on Inferno.
“I feel like in the first round something was wrong because Babylotte didn’t jump so well, but then in the second round she did well. I could really feel the difference, and she was feeling much better,” he said.
Three clears from the Dutch riders saw them shoot up the leaderboard to second place with 14 faults, ahead of the Swiss riders on 16 faults and Ireland on 17 faults. Great Britain, who haven’t won their home Nations Cup leg since 2010, were fifth on 20 faults just ahead of France on 21.
William Whitaker was the strongest performer out of the British quartet today, collecting just one time fault in round one but leaving all fences standing with the 13-year-old stallion Utamaro D Ecaussines; while his uncle Michael Whitaker also produced two masterful rounds on Viking, ending with an unlucky four faults from round two.
A British rider did collect a win earlier in the day, with Guy Williams winning the Old Lodge 7&8 Year Old Championship with Vindalo.
Ireland’s Daniel Coyle won the Bunn Leisure International Stakes with the 11-year-old Simba De La Roque. Originally from Derry, he is now based in Toronto.
“I’ve always loved Hickstead and I always come to the Al Shira’aa Derby meeting, but this is my first time at the five-star Longines Royal International Horse Show,” he said.
For the second consecutive year, Allister Hood and Diamonds Are Forever won the Saracen Horse Feeds Supreme Riding Horse Championship. Diamonds Are Forever has remained unbeaten this season.
“He’s the epitome. He’s got quality, he’s got substance and he’s the most beautiful riding horse. The judge even said what a privilege it was to sit on a horse like him,” said Allister.
In the Charles Owen Supreme Working Hunter Championships, Cheshire-based Daniel Carroll and Red Why Salute took the honours. It was the heavyweight gelding’s first appearance at Hickstead.
Tomorrow’s feature class in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup, a national championship open to the highest-ranked riders in the UK, while the international stars will be back in action against the clock for the British Speed Classic.