Strong performance by Australia in Nations Cup
Australia performed fantastically to finish in a very creditable 7th position out of 20 countries in a Nations Cup competition in Spain overnight at the Sunshine Tour – Circuito Hipico del Sol. It was an excellent performance by the Australians, who overcame the odds to be the only team of three starters to make it through to the second round. Of the 20 teams involved, 16 of them had four combinations entered with only the best three scores within the team counting towards the team total. Australia, along with the other three countries that entered a team of three, did not have the luxury of a drop score meaning each team member’s score would have to count.
In the first round, our first combination was Amy Graham and Coleraine Des Bergeries who had an excellent round, leaving all the rails up, but incurring just a solitary time fault. Our second combination, Jake Hunter and Global Jativia, like Graham before them, also incurred a single time penalty finishing in 74.56 seconds, however a rail down as well left them on five faults and the team total on six.
Amy Graham and Coleraine Des Bergeries. Photo Credit: Moises Bassalotte
Jake Hunter and Global Jativia. Photo Credit: Moises Bassalotte
We had to wait anxiously for the 59th place in the draw when Hilary Scott and her wonderful grey mare Oaks Milky Way took to the course. They had a brilliant round recording just one of 14 clear rounds out of the 76 entrants in a time of 73.64 seconds. The Australian total of 6 faults placed them in an excellent position to qualify for the second round, with only the top eight placed teams after round one being invited to do so. It was a nervous wait as the following 17 combinations hit the course, however, one by one many of the teams posted total scores higher than Australia, which left us in fifth place and safely into round 2.
Below are the scores of the top eight countries which qualified for the second round.
With both Spain and Great Britain starting Round 2 on zero points and Australia without a drop score, to win from here was going to take some faultless riding from our team and a slip up or two by those teams heading into the second round with less faults than the Australians. However, Spain and Great Britain recorded four and nine faults respectively with their first riders in round 2, which left the door slightly open for Australia to snatch an improbable victory. Following in the same order as Round One, Amy Graham and Coleraine Des Bergeries had another great round, but unfortunately, just as they had done earlier, there were a tiny bit slower than they would have liked and collected a single time penalty to advance the Australians’ score to 7 faults.
Soon after, our second combination of Jake Hunter and Global Jativia were called into action and unfortunately things did not go their way. A pair of rails and a time fault saw then accrue nine faults taking the Australian total to 16, which dropped them back to seventh place.
All the pressure was on Hilary Scott and Oaks Milky Way as our last combination, however as Graham and Hunter had done before them, they took a single time penalty to put our total on 17 and end up in seventh place.
Hilary Scott and Oaks Milky Way . Photo Credit: Moises Bassalotte
The win went to Great Britain who finished on a total of just 2 faults, (which was achieved by them being able to drop a score of 9) while Brazil finished second on 4 faults. Both Switzerland and Sweden finished equal in third place by virtue of each of them recording three clear rides in round 2 and thereby not adding to their Round 1 total.
The top eight placings in the Nations Cup were as follows:
Well done to the Australians for finishing ahead of many highly ranked teams of four riders.