Brazilians Pip French in Jump-Off and Czechs Clinch Division 2 Title

Marlon Modolo Zanotelli and Valetto led Brazil to victory at the last qualifying leg of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2015 Europe Division 2 League at CSIO San Marino Arezzo in Italy. (FEI/Stefano Secchi)

Arezzo (ITA), 4 September 2015 – Marlon Modolo Zanotelli led the Brazilian team to victory in the last leg of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2015 Europe Division 2 League at CSIO San Marino Arezzo in Italy today. The competition came down to a two-way jump-off between Brazil and France, and the 27-year-old Belgian-based rider clinched it with a fast four-fault result.

Tensions were high from the outset with a great deal hanging in the balance, and there will be great celebrations in the Czech and Polish camps tonight. Because these two countries leap-frogged the Ukraine and Finland at the top of the Division 2 leaderboard and have earned their places at the much-anticipated Furusiyya 2015 Final which kicks off in Barcelona, Spain in just over two weeks’ time while, as 2015 league champions, the Czech Republic has earned promotion to the prestigious Europe Division 1 series in 2016.

It was a hard-fought affair in which the Czechs finished third ahead of Germany in fourth, Italy in fifth and Poland and Sweden in joint-sixth place ahead of Belgium. Only eight of the 12 starting nations returned for the second round, leaving Denmark, Ireland, Norway and Turkey on the sidelines. Slovenia, drawn second-last to go, didn’t even get to start, because their three-strong side dissolved when team-member, Pato Muente, broke his leg yesterday.

Already neck-and-neck

The Brazilians and French were already neck-and-neck at the halfway stage when sharing an eight-fault scoreline. Poland was next in line with 12 while Germany, Belgium, Sweden and Czech Republic were all bunched together with 16 on the scoreboard followed by the host nation’s 17-fault tally, and these were the eight teams to return in the second round.

Clear rounds were hard to get, only four horse-and-rider combinations coming up with a zero score first time out as Uliano Vezzani’s course took its toll. “It was a difficult one to jump although not a high one – a track that was more based on the technical aspects,” explained the course designer afterwards. The bogey line was the run from the water-tray vertical at fence nine to the Longines triple combination at 10, but there were plenty of other places where mistakes could be made.

Modolo Zanotelli said the water-tray vertical was very cleverly placed. “You had to gallop to the oxer before it and take a sort of 90 degree turn, so horses were losing their momentum and they often arrived flat at the vertical,” he explained. “You had to know your horse to get around, and a lot of the riders were feeling the pressure. Uliano did a good job; the course was delicate and the riders had to stay calm and keep thinking all the way,” said the only rider to jump double-clear on the day.

Two different scenarios

As the second round progressed, the gap between the leaders and the rest widened, and two different scenarios began to play themselves out. The Brazilians and French battled for the win on the day, while the Poles and Czechs played cat-and-mouse in the race for the Division 2 title, promotion to Division 1, and those coveted Furusiyya Final placings. And the latter situation was the first to be resolved, but it came right down to the wire.

Zuzana Zelinkova increased the tempo with a pathfinding second-round clear with Caleri ll but Emma Augier de Moussac (Charly Brown) racked up nine faults and Ondrej Zvara (Cento Lano) produced the round two discount of 12 before Ales Opatrny (Acovaro) clipped the first element of the double at six for four faults. The additional 13 penalties brought Czech Republic’s final tally to 29, and as last-line Polish rider, Krzysztof Ludwiczak, set off with Zoweja there was a huge weight on his shoulders.

If one of the eight-fault results picked up by team-mates Jaroslaw Skrzcycznski (Crazy Quick), Msciwoj Kiecon (Urbane) and Maksymilian Wechta (London) could be discounted then Poland would finish on a score of 28 and edge out the Czechs. But anchorman, Krzysztof Ludwiczak (Zoweja) left the tricky vertical at fence seven and the last element of the triple combination on the floor to drop Poland down to joint-sixth place in the final analysis.

Slogged it out

Meanwhile, the Brazilians and French slogged it out, each adding just four faults to their tallies to finish round two on a total of 12 and creating a third-round showdown. Both Modolo Zanotelli and Karina Johannpeter (Casper) were clear for Brazil who could discount Bernardo Alves’ (Vatson Sitte) 13 faults wen Yuri Mansur Guerios (Cornetto K) made only a single second-round error. And both Bernard Briand Chevalier (Qadillac de Heup) and Alexandra Paillot (Polias de Blondel) were foot-perfect for France whose discount score was the eight collected by Edouard Coral (Quokin du Moulin Vent) when Emeric George (Rocker d’Ysieux) lowered only the final element of the combination.

With one rider to go for each side, Modolo Zanotelli was first into the jump-off and, hitting the first of the two remaining elements of the triple combination in his fast round that broke the beam in 34.66 seconds it seemed he might have left the door open. But Frenchman, Chevalier, hit the same fence and then the new vertical that followed to settle the matter.


Brazilian Chef d’Equipe, Jean Maurice Bonneau, was well-pleased with his team’s performance. “It’s impossible not to be happy today!” he said. And he was delighted to have Karina Johannpeter in his side, “because we don’t have many top females in Brazil.

“We have new horses that we need to test through competing in these competitions. I have to say thank you to Marlon as it is important to have one top rider to carry the team, and credit to him. Either way, all the riders did fantastic over the two rounds,” he said. And he’s now looking ahead to the Furusiyya Final in a few weeks’ time. “Rodrigo (Pessoa), Pedro Veniss, Marlon and Doda (de Miranda) will be with us in Barcelona. I still haven’t decided on the fifth rider yet,” said the man who has created a real team spirit in the Brazilian side in recent years.

Newly-wed Marlon Modolo Zanotelli was particularly delighted because he partnered the horse owned and often competed by his boss, Irishman Enda Carroll from Ashford Stables, where Zanotelli’s wife, Swedish rider Angelica Augustsson, also works. “It was a last-minute call up for the team and I didn’t have a ride because we already had plans for the other horses, but Enda said, ‘Take Valetto; he’ll surely do the job!’” the Brazilian rider said.

For further details of the last qualifying leg of the 2015 Europe Division 2 League in Arezzo, Italy today, visit or contact Press Officer Caterina Vagnozzi, Email, Tel +39 335 6107070.

Full result here.

Facts and Figures:

Arezzo Equestrian Centre in Tuscany, Italy presented the eighth and final leg of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Europe Division 2 qualifying series.

A total of 12 teams lined out, with Turkey fielding a three-man side.

8 teams returned in the second round, and Denmark, Ireland, Norway and Turkey missed the cut.

The competition was won by Brazil in a jump-off again France.

The third-placed team from Czech Republic earned the maximum 100 points on offer and, as a result, have won the Europe Division 2 League and have earned promotion to Europe Division 1 for 2016.

As the top two teams at the end of the Europe Division 2 series, both Czech Republic and Poland have earned a place at the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final 2015 which takes place at the Real Club de Polo in Barcelona from 23 to 27 September.

Poland also has the possibility of qualifying for Europe Division 1 next season if the team can finish in the top eight at the forthcoming Furusiyya 2015 Final.

Only one horse-and-rider combination jumped double-clear today – Brazil’s Marlon Modolo Zanotelli and Valetto.

Only four clears in the first round, 7 clears in second round.


Marlon Modolo Zanotelli BRA: “I thought it wasn’t a bad course for me in the jump-off because Valetto has a big stride and I tried not to go crazy-fast but I wanted to put on some pressure. I was a bit too close at the double and he hit it with a hind leg but it was ok because the other boy had two down!”

Uliano Vezzani (Course Designer): “I’m happy with the course today. Jean-Maurice is doing a great job with his team and the horses were good. The team that won today is the one that was the most consistent – congratulations to them. The French brought some youngsters and performed very well which is great for them. I’m happy with everything except for the Italian team’s performance, but these things can happen.”

Jean Maurice Bonneau BRA: “With this very team we have tried to do a number of 3-Star shows in order to develop the number of riders that can actually compete at this level. For now, this is the only way for me to prepare the Olympic Games and the next generation. Despite not having Rodrigo (Pessoa) or Doda (de Miranda) here with us today, we are able to bring teams that are strong and powerful.”

Bernardo Alves BRA: “I like coming to Arezzo a lot; I always have good results here. I’m particularly happy as well because it’s my first Nations Cup win in Europe!”

Karina Johannpeter BRA: “This arena is amazing; I think it is one of the best arenas we have on the European continent.”

Yuri Mansur Guerios BRA: “For sure the competition today was difficult. Uliano is simply an amazing course designer. The Nations Cup is always quite an intense and pressurising competition in that you need to jump twice. Fortunately, the dedication from the team was there and everything was set up for us to do well. The arena and the footing were great.”

Carlo Bernardini (Event Director): “Arezzo Equestrian Centre has hosted this wonderful competition since 2013, and every year we gain more valuable experience on organising such events on an international level. This is an organisation that works very well together and it works well because we do it as a team. CSIO Arezzo is like our baby, so we are always working very hard to make sure it getting better. In 2016, Jean Maurice will want to come again most probably as he has won here already twice!”

Full standings here.

For further information on the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping series, check out this link.

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

At Arezzo:

Caterina Vagnozzi
Press officer
Tel: +39 335 6107070


Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
+41 78 750 61 42

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Tel: +41 787 506 145

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