Rome – May 28, 2021 – Friday afternoon was filled with top show jumping competition at the 88th CSIO5* of Rome at Piazza di Siena for the Intesa Sanpaolo Nations Cup. In the end, it was Belgium that claimed the top spot on the podium after a jump-off against Germany. German rider Kendra Claricia Brinkop, on her mount Kastelle Memo, tallied their third clear round of the day in the jump-off, finishing in 36.63 seconds, but it was Belgium rider Gregory Wathelet on Nevados S who’s fault free round stopped the timers in 36.01 seconds to secure Belgium’s win. Both Belgium and Germany finished on a total of 0 faults and France rounded out the top three.
The rest of the winning Belgium team was made up of Olivier Philippaerts on H&M Extra, Yves Vanderhasselt on Jeunesse and Jerome Guery on Quel Homme des Hus. The win marked Belgium’s second time winning this Nations Cup class, with the first being back in 2014 with a team that included Ludo and Nicole, Olivier’s father and twin brother.
In the last 40 years, this is only the fifth time that the team competition turned to a jump-off to declare the winners, most recently in 2013 with Ukraine beating Germany and France, as well previously in 1994, 1995 and 2008.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t the performance the Italians were hoping for in Rome’s Nations Cup CSIO5*. Team Italy sat in second-to-last place after the first round with a total of 20 penalties (4 faults for Riccardo Pisani on Chaclot, 8 faults for Luca Marziani on Lightning and Emanuele Gaudiano on Chalou and 12 faults for Giulia Martinengo Marquet on Elzas), which did not allow them to move on to the second round of competition.
Germany’s Kendra Claricia Brinkop spoke about her jump-off against Belgium’s Gregory Wathelet: “It was fantastic to be part of this team. I would like to thank the Young Riders Academy, sponsored by Rolex, for all the support I am given in my riding practice. It has allowed me to grow a lot, helping me to mature. Rome is a wonderful show, and it was thrilling to ride in the jump-off in the place of a great rider like Marcus Ehning. My horse jumped so well in the two heats that my team leader Otto Becker said ‘It’s your turn!’ I’m happy to have repaid his trust”.
This Nations Cup forced a little more pressure on riders as this was an observation event for the upcoming 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. Countries and teams such as the U.S. Show Jumping Team are looking ahead to see who will earn the coveted spots on this summer’s Olympic team.