The Swedish team swept to a definitive victory in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Great Britain, winning the Edward Prince of Wales Trophy for the first time.
With team members Fredrik Jonsson (Cold Play), Angelie von Essen (Luikan Q) and Peder Fredricon (Zacramento) producing three clear rounds in the first round, fourth team member Rolf-Goran Bengtsson didn’t even have to jump on Oak’s Grove Carlyle.
In the second round, Fredrik had just one fence down, while Angelie and Peder produced double clears to secure victory for the Swedes.
Reigning champions Ireland had been hoping to retain the trophy they won 12 months ago, but they had to settle for runner-up spot with a team total of eight faults. Italy claimed third with 10 faults, ahead of Belgium in fourth (16) and the USA in fifth (20), while Brazil and Germany shared sixth equal on 20 faults.
Swedish chef d’equipe Henrik Ancarcrona reflected on the current strength and depth of his nation. “We’ve got super-strong jockeys here – Rolf-Goran Bengtsson is one of the best riders in the world and we didn’t even have to put him in,” he said. “A lot of my work is about planning for Tokyo already, so of course I’m always planning for that – the more combinations I can build up, the more I’ll have to choose from next year.”
Angelie von Essen was one of seven riders to share the €50,000 bonus for jumping double clear. “The horse is absolutely amazing. I wanted it so badly for the horse to do a double clear, because he’s been so close so many times, and it worked. I love to come to Hickstead and it feels a little bit like home,” said the rider, who is based in Cheshire.
Olympic silver medallist Peder Fredricson added: “I really enjoy coming here; it’s always an extra-nice feeling to ride in an big grass arena. In a place like this that’s so historical, and to see this trophy with the Swedish name on it, makes me really proud,” he said. “You always feel pressure riding a Nations Cup, but that’s why it’s such a great feeling,” added the current world number two.
British hopes of a first home victory since 2010 were dashed from the outset, when pathfinder Amanda Derbyshire and Roulette BH had a fall at the water. Both were taken off for assessment.
Olympic gold medallist Ben Maher was the best of the Brits, producing a double clear with the consistent Tic Tac.
Amanda has otherwise been having a superb show at Hickstead, having clocked up her second win in as many days with the talented Oasis Dream, who took the top prize in the Bunn Leisure International Stakes.
Guy Williams claimed the second qualifier for Sunday’s Old Lodge International 7&8 Year Old championship, riding Chilli.