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Federation Equestre Internationale News

Samsung Super League 2004 - All Set For Aachen.............

The fifth leg of the Samsung Super League 2004 takes place in Aachen, Germany this Friday and looks set to be a real thriller.

Aachen has long been one of the most prestigious shows in the entire equestrian calendar and with reconstruction of the venue underway ahead of the World Equestrian Games which will take place there in September 2006 the facilities just keep improving.

Nations Cup jumping was first staged in Aachen in 1929 when a team from Sweden reigned supreme and over the following years the World Jumping Championships have been held there twice – in 1956 and 1986 – while it was also the venue for the European Jumping Championships in 1958, 1965 and 1971.

Aachen was voted Worlds Best Outdoor Event by the international show jumping riders in 1990, 1994 and 1996 and in 2001 had a record-breaking attendance of 299,000 spectators. A big attendance is expected this year too because so many of the participating nations are using this leg of the Samsung Super League to take one more look at their riders before making a final decision about teams for the Athens Olympic Games.

As a result, the line-up is top-class and the result may well give some indication of what we can expect to see happening in Greece in six weeks time.

The Irish, struggling to stay off the bottom of the leaderboard this time around, were victorious at Aachen in 2003 and two members of that squad – Billy Twomey and Kevin Babington – are in action again this year.

The atmosphere in the Irish camp has been more than a little strained in the aftermath of the sacking and subsequent reinstatement of Eddie Macken as trainer and new Chef d’Equipe, Colonel Ned Campion, is under enormous pressure as he attempts to follow in the footsteps of Tommy Wade who has been demoted to Chef for the Irish teams competing in the ordinary Samsung Nations Cup series.

Cian O’Connor, who scored a hat-trick of wins in Falsterbo over the weekend while also helping Ireland to slot into runner-up spot in the Nations Cup, lines out alongside Marion Hughes, Jessica Kurten and Billy Twomey. The latter is expected to make his very first Nations Cup appearance of 2004 with his top ride Luidam.

Dirk Demeersman, Ludo Philippaerts and Jos Lansink were on the Belgian team which placed second at Aachen in 2003 and these three are this year joined by Philippe Lejeune and Marc van Djick. The Belgians are looking strong, confident and focused and it took a third-round jump-off between Ludo and French rider Eugenie Angot to decide the result in Rotterdam last month. On current form the Belgians may just be in a position to go one better this time around.

An American team competed in the German leg of the series last summer by invitation but, having now achieved Super League status, will be battling it out for points on Friday. They slotted into third position in 2003 and a repeat of that result will ensure that they continue to hold their own as the series progresses.

Peter Wylde and Chris Kappler were on the 2003 squad and are joined this time by Beezie Madden, Alison Firestone and McLain Ward.

The home side finished fourth 12 months ago when Ludger Beerbaum, Marcus Ehning, Christian Ahlmann and Otto Becker flew the flag. Ehning, Beerbaum and Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum look set for Athens already but Ahlmann, Otto Becker and Marco Kutscher are still looking for a place and will be hoping to make the right impression this week. A good Nations Cup performance from any rider on any team could be very significant indeed.

The French should be very interesting to watch. Chef d’Equipe Jean Maurice Bonneau fields a completely different team to the one that finished fifth at Aachen last year and there appears to be a wealth of talent in his selection which includes newly-crowned FEI World Cup champion Bruno Broucqsault, Christian Hermon, Eric Navet, Florian Angot and Eugenie Angot.

Eugenie has created a real buzz since winning the Vigo leg of the World Cup series and finishing fourth at the final in Milan in April, and she showed tremendous professionalism along with a really cool nerve when securing the French victory in Rotterdam last month in a third-round head-to-head with Ludo Philippaerts.

The Dutch had a disappointing time at their home leg of the series last time out but are lying less than three points behind the French who top the leaderboard at present. Gert-Jan Bruggink and Wim Schroder were on the Dutch team that slotted into sixth at Aachen in 2003 but, joined by Leopold Van Asten, Eric Van der Vleuten and Gerco Schroder they will be hoping to do a great deal better than that this week.

The Italians finished seventh a year ago and they really need to get their act together if they want to remain in the Super League again next year. They are sitting at the bottom of the league table, just 0.5 points behind the Irish, and look set for another nerve-wracking battle for survival but a convincing performance from the squad of Roberto Arioldi, Piergiorgio Bucci, Luca Carini, Bruno Chimirri and Emanuele Fiorelli could change all that.

Great Britain finished eighth ahead of Sweden in ninth spot at last year’s CHIO in Aachen and both Scott Smith and Robert Smith who lined out then are back in harness again this time. Chef d’Equipe Derek Ricketts has travelled with just a four-man squad so Nick Skelton and John Whitaker complete the line-up and the British, currently lying fifth, will be hoping to put the controversy which ensued following the announcement of their Olympic selections behind them so that they can reinforce their mid-field position on the league table.

Aachen is always a supremely important fixture on the international show jumping calendar but with selections for Athens in the final stages it has even greater significance this year. Individual results will count for a great deal during the week but on Friday afternoon Olympic ambitions will be realised or lost while the teams struggling to stay alive in the 2004 Samsung Super League series will be under even greater pressure than the rest.

For all information about Friday’s leg of the Samsung Super League 2004 series in Aachen contact Press Officer Niels Knippertz – You can also email or consult the website


France – 25.3
The Netherlands – 22.5
Germany 18.8
Belgium 17.8
Great Britain – 17
USA – 12
Ireland – 8.5
Italy – 8.

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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