SAMSUNG NATIONS CUP FINAL IN MADRID
The Netherlands came out on top in a thrilling finish to the 2000/2001 Samsung Nations Cup Series which went right down to the wire as the last rider into the ring decided the result.
And it was the hot-favourites from Germany, joint-leaders with the Dutch after the first round, who lost out as only a clear from Heinrich Hermann Engemann would clinch the title for his side but, last to go, he returned with four fences down to drop his side to fourth behind the host team from Spain in third.
Belgium finished a very close with Ludo Philippaerts and Parco, who claimed the Leading Horse and Rider titles in the year-long Samsung Nations Cup league, putting in yet another superb double-clear performance.
Against all the odds and after a week of intense negotiations the United States of America were able to field a team for the Samsung Nations Cup World Final.
It took a co-ordinated effort from the Samsung and Madrid organisers and bloodstock agents Pedens along with the co-operation and determination of the riders themselves, supported by USA Equestrian, to make it happen, but the Stars and Stripes finally flew over the showgrounds at the Club de Campo Villa de Madrid which lies just 20 minutes outside the centre of Spain's capital city.
The three-strong American squad were last of the seven participating nations having put up a gallant performance against all the odds. "We know we are the underdogs" New Yorker Alice Debany-Clero had said during the draw the previous day, "but the terrorists tried to paralyse our country last week and by coming here to compete we want to show them that we will not lie down because of what they did" and, standing in as Chef d'Equipe, she kicked off the American attack with a foot-perfect round from CEO in the first round.
The Spanish, who have had little exposure at Nations Cup level this year, put in a truly impressive performance on their home turf to the delight of Madrids spectators among whom Her Majesty Queen Sofia and FEI President the Infanta Doña Pilar de Borbón.
As yet there is no venue confirmed for the Samsung Nations Cup World Final in 2002 but the 2000/2001 series has produced some superb sporting moments - none perhaps more touching than the minutes silence and the powerful ripple of applause which rippled around the stadium in Madrid as the United States team paraded before the competition began.
1, Holland - 8 faults in 220.31 seconds (Gert Jan Bruggink/Joel 0+0, Rob Eras/Collezione Cesaro la Perla 0+4, Piet Raymakers/Van Schijndels Patrick 8+0, Leon Thijssen/Hot Shot 4+6);
2, Belgium - 9 faults in 226.92 seconds (Gilbert de Roock/Nero de la Tourelle 4+0, Stanny Van Paesschen/O De Pomme 1+4, Marc Van Dijck/Verelst Goliath 8+4, Ludo Philippaerts/Parco 0+0);
3, Spain - 12 faults in 228.91 seconds (Ricardo Jurado/Falcon Internet Gysmo 0+4, Rutherford Latham/Frimousset 2+1, Cristino Torres/Danceur de Laverie 7+0, Fernando Sarasola/Nikita de Laubry 5+9);
4, Germany - 12 faults in 217.71 seconds (Toni Hassmann/mobilcom Goldika 0+0, Lutz Gripshover/Warren NRW 0+4, Marcus Renzel 4+8, Heinrich Hermann Engemann/Iris 8+16);
5, France - 16 faults in 225.11 seconds (Olivier Jouanneteau/Euleme 4+0, Edouard Couperie/Pro Pilot 4+4, Nicolas Delmotte/Discrette IV 12+4, Hubert Bourdy/Helios 0+4);
6, Italy - 16 faults in 226.89 seconds (Roberto Arioldi/Dime de la Cour 8+0, Massimo Grossato/Elkintot 4+0, Enrico Maria Frana/Dohitzun Guernica 13+0, Gianni Govoni/Loro Piana Las Vegas 4+4);
7, USA - 19 faults in 226.12 seconds (Alice Debany-Clero/CEO, Claire Bronfman/Charlton 5+0, Richard Spooner/Robinson 2+4).
has supported sports marketing activities world-wide with a strong initiative
in equestrian sports since 1988. In 1996 Samsung took the world-wide sponsorship
of the Nations Cup in co-operation with the Federation Equestre Internationale
(FEI), the ruling body of the world-wide equestrian SPORT. The fifth Nations
Cup Series season 2000/2001 started in September 2000 and will end with
the World Final on 23 September 2001 in Madrid, Spain. The current season
consists of 27 Nations Cups in 24 countries.