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Federation Equestre Internationale News

Samsung Super League 2004 : Can The French Do It Again?.......

In two days time La Baule plays host to the first leg of the 2004 Samsung Super League and, in this Olympic year, the new series promises to provide some early pointers on the road to Athens.

In the inaugural 2003 season the Samsung Super League brought the sport of Nations Cup jumping to a whole new level. Here only the best compete against the best and it was tough battle to maintain a good position amongst the top eight show jumping nations in the world.

The Swedes suffered bitter disappointment when, despite a gallant struggle, they finished last and were relegated to normal Nations Cup competition while the inclusion of the United States of America, who gained promotion in their place, adds a whole new dimension to the Super League this time around.

So the big question in everyone’s minds is – can the French do it again?

They proved almost invincible in 2003, establishing the early lead when winning the first two rounds at La Baule and then in Rome two weeks later and, with the recent addition of the FEI World Cup title to their list of honours, French spirits are flying high.

Bruno Broucqsault became the first of his countrymen to hold the World Cup aloft when storming to victory with Dileme de Cephe in Milan 10 days ago, but the French are now well-accustomed to success having been on a roll since taking team gold at the World Equestrian Games in Jerez two years ago.

Their second placing at last summer’s European Championships in Donaueschingen together with their supremacy, despite a blip in the very last leg, throughout the 2003 Samsung Super League has ensured that they are now one of the most feared and best-respected forces in the sport and on Friday afternoon next they send out a strong squad as they begin the defence of their Samsung Super League title.

La Baule has undergone major refurbishment which has cost in the region of six million euros and tomorrow, Thursday, will see the official launch of the new stadium which includes a brand new stand and renovations to the arena surface and surrounding areas. The Francois Andre stadium has seen many changes since it first opened its gates to show jumping back in 1963 and has been the French CSIO venue since 1993, also staging the World Championships in 1970, the Womens World Championships in 1974 and the European Championships in 1991.

What better place then for the reigning Samsung Super League champions to set the pace once more? Florian and Reynald Angot, Michel Hecart, Christian Hermon and Michel Robert have been named on Jean-Maurice Bonneau’s squad and they will be acutely aware of the high expectations that surround them, but they will not have an easy ride in Friday’s opening leg.

It is clear that many countries are using this round of the Samsung Super League series to test their Olympic contenders and the Germans are no exception, fielding a formidable line-up which includes 2003 European individual and team gold medallist Christian Ahlmann, Ludger Beerbaum, Johannes and Marcus Ehning and Marco Kutscher.

The Irish too will be closely watching the performances of Peter Charles, Marion Hughes, Jessica Kurten and Cian O’Connor who will be joined by anchor-man Kevin Babington while the Belgian squad includes Jos Lansink who produced an astonishing seven clear rounds for the best individual performance in last year’s series, along with Philippe Le Jeune, Ludo Philippaerts, Jean-Claude Vangeenberghe and Gregory Wathelet.

The British, who finished last season in fourth position just ahead of the Belgians, send Mark Armstrong, Nick Skelton, Robert and Scott Smith and Michael Whitaker while the Italians, who battled with all of their might to stay ahead of the Swedes and thus avoid relegation, have selected Roberto Arioldi, Bruno Chimirri, Luca Carini, Emanuel Fiorelli and Massimo Grossato.

The Dutch, sixth last season and rescued by an unexpected victory on their home turf in Rotterdam, have nominated Gert-Jan Bruggink, Wim Schroder, Jan Tops, Leopold Van Asten and Albert Zoer while the USA selection, making their Samsung Super League debut, includes Kimberly Frey, Judy Garofalo, Candice King, Laura Kraut and Aaron Vale.

All teams can nominate five riders but only four take part in the competition which runs over two rounds followed by a jump-off between one representative from each team if there is an equality of points at the end of the second round.

The points system for the Samsung Super League is as follows:

Placing Points Last Event Double Points

1st 10 20

2nd 7 14

3rd 5 10

4th 4 8

5th 3 6

6th 2 4

7th 1 2

8th 0.5 1.

So the stage is set for the Samsung Super League 2004. All venues will run the competition on the Friday of their fixture with the exceptions of Lucerne and Barcelona where the class will take place on Sunday afternoon. The Samsung Super League dates are therefore – 1, La Baule - Friday 7 May; 2, Rome - Friday 28 May; 3, Lucerne - Sunday 6 June; 4, Rotterdam - Friday 18 June; 5, Aachen - Friday 16 July; 6, Hickstead - Friday 23 July; 7, Dublin - Friday 6 August; 8, Barcelona - Sunday 19 September.

In this year of Olympic ambitions the first leg of the Samsung Super League could hardly be more important. The eight best teams in the world will all want to show their strength while individual performances will be crucial ahead of selection for Athens. Regardless of the air temperature it will be like a pressure-cooker in the ring at La Baule on Friday afternoon – let the battle begin…..

For full details and results from La Baule see website or email


Equidia (France) Live/Delayed Live 7 May 18.00 hrs, Repeat 9 May 22.30/16 May 22.00

Eurosport (Pan Europe) Highlights 12 May 22.30, Repeat 20 May 09.00

CNBC Europe Highlights 5 June

ESPN Star Sports (Asia) Highlights 19 May 18.00 hrs

M-Net (Pan Africa) Highlights 28 May 20.00 hrs, Repeat 29 May/1 June

RTE (Ireland) Live/Delayed Live

TVE (Spain) Live/Delayed Live

RAI (Italy) Live/?Delayed Live

Finnish Sport TV Company (Finland) Highlights

Sport TV (Portugal) Highlights

XXP (Germany) Highlights

CNBC Europe Highlights

Horse TV (USA) Highlights


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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