Meydan FEI Nations Cup 2010 – Falsterbo Preview

FRENCH STILL IN FRONT AS SERIES ARRIVES IN FALSTERBO

Falsterbo (SWE), 6 July 2010 – The defending champions from France still hold the whip hand as the 2010 Meydan FEI Nations Cup series moves to Falsterbo in Sweden this Friday.  Full of flair and confidence they blazed a trail through the first-half of the season with a spectacular hat-trick of wins, and they hold an eight-point lead over Great Britain in second place going into the last four rounds of the eight-leg series.

After a superb victory from the all-girl team in Rotterdam three weeks ago the USA has improved to third with just 3.5 points separating them from the British, while Germany lies fourth, just 0.5 points further adrift.  The Spanish team, newcomers to this top level of team jumping, have shown themselves more than equal to the task and in fifth place hold a single-point advantage over the Irish in sixth.  But neither of these nations can afford to rest on their laurels.

VITALLY IMPORTANT
The last four teams on the league table at season’s end will be relegated to the Promotional League for 2011, so it is vitally important to stay ahead of the Swiss in seventh and the Dutch in eighth place.  For Sweden however the moment of reckoning has very definitely arrived.  This week’s host nation has picked up only two points so far and new Chef d’Equipe, Gosta Asker, will be asking his side to dig deep in order to rescue the situation.  A win, or at the very least a top-three finish, is required to breathe some life into the Swedish effort and he has already assigned the task to four of his key players – Olympic silver medallist Rolf-Goran Bengtsson, Peder Fredriksson, Erika Lickhammer and Svante Johansson – while keeping his options open about who will fill the role of fifth-man, or woman, until later in the week.

Still holding on to last place on the leaderboard is the team from Poland who, guided by Chef d’Equipe Rudiger Wassibauer, have put up such a spirited fight from the outset but who have failed to pick up a single point so far.  The goodwill they have engendered through their courageous and sportsmanship however is something money cannot buy. They have flown their national flag with dignity and distinction, sometimes missing out on the closing stages by the smallest of margins, and there would be few begrudgers if Jacek Bobik, Dawid Kubiak, Dawid Rakoczy and Piotr Sawicki were to steal some of the limelight this week.

EARNED HIS STRIPES
US team manager, George Morris, has a line-up that includes McLain Ward, Rich Fellers, Robert Kraut, Todd Minikus and Cara Raether.  Kraut is new to the European scene and earned his stripes with some strong results in the US selection trials.  Britain sends out Tina Fletcher who was just pipped in a two-way jump-off for the Hickstead Derby Trophy two weeks ago, and she is joined by Mark Armstrong, William Funnell, Gemma Paternoster and Tim Stockdale.

There is a family feel to the German selection as 28 year old Johannes Ehning is listed alongside older brother Marcus, Philipp Weishaupt, Alois Pollmann-Schweckhorst and Jorg Naeve, while the French look ferociously competitive with Nicolas Delmotte, Stephan Lafouge, Eric Navet, Kevin Staut and Marie Etter Pellegrin on call. Marie is married to Swiss team rider Daniel Etter but there is no danger of any family rivalry this week as Danny is not amongst Switzerland’s selection of Arthur da Silva, Claudia Gisler, Pius Schwizer and Hansueli and Janika Sprunger.

For further information on the fixture at Falsterbo go to website www.falsterbohorseshow.com or email Press Officer Malin Fredriksson at press@falsterbohorseshow.se or secretaryoffice@falsterbohorseshow.se – Telephone +46 40 473463.

2010 MEYDAN FEI NATIONS CUP – STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 4 IN ROTTERDAM:
1.       France                            –         33.5
2.       Great Britain                   –         25.5
3.       USA                       –                  22.0
4.       Germany                         –        21.5
5.       Spain                    –                  16.0
6.       Ireland                            –         15.0
7.       Switzerland           –                    9.5
8.       The Netherlands    –                   7.0
9.       Sweden                          –          2.0
10.     Poland                            –          0.0

Facts and Figures:
Falsterbo Horse Show presents the fifth leg of the 2010 Meydan FEI Nations Cup.
The Irish team were the winners at the Swedish fixture in 2009.
Falsterbo is located at the south-western tip of Sweden.
Its lovely beaches and friendly atmosphere combine to make it a popular holiday destination for Swedish families.
The Falsterbo Peninsula is also popular with bird-watchers who come to view the many migrating flocks that stop over en route to varying destinations.
Show Director at Falsterbo Horse Show is former Swedish international show jumping star Jan Olaf Wannius.

MEYDAN FEI NATIONS CUP
A Meydan FEI Nations Cup event is organised as a five-star Nations Cup, i.e. a competition in which official teams representing nations compare their merit. At each event the teams gain points according to their placing. At the end of the 2010 season the team with the highest points wins the Meydan FEI Nations Cup and the four teams with the lowest points are relegated to the FEI Nations Cup series (Promotional League). Two teams from the Promotional League will join the Top League in 2011.

The complete rules, latest news, results, standings and photos are on www.meydanfeinationscup.org.

The World’s Top 10 Teams: France, the USA, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, The Netherlands, Sweden, Great Britain, Spain and Poland.

The World’s Best Eight Venues:
La Baule (FRA), Friday 14 May; Rome (ITA), Friday 28 May; St. Gallen (SUI), Friday 4 June; Rotterdam (Ned), Friday 18 June; Falsterbo (SWE), Friday 9 July; Aachen (GER), Thursday 15 July; Hickstead (GBR), Friday 30 July; Dublin (IRL), Friday 6 August.

To learn more about the FEI go to www.fei.org.

To learn more about Meydan, the title sponsor of the Meydan FEI Nations Cup, go to www.meydan.ae.

Media Contacts:
Falsterbo Press Officer, Malin Fredriksson
Tel: +46 40 473463
Email: press@falsterbohorseshow.se OR secretaryoffice@falsterboshorseshow.se

Grania Willis
FEI Director Press Relations
Tel: +41 787 506 142
Email: grania.willis@fei.org

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