Robin Godel rides Grandeur de Lully CH in Pratoni

Sweet Swiss Victory at Pratoni

15 May 2022

All the action from the series opener in Italy...

Team Switzerland, under the direction of Chef d’Equipe Dominik Burger, won first place at the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ opener at Pratoni del Vivaro on Sunday, pipping Team France, who went home with the silver.


The team from Sweden held onto their Day 2 third-place position to join Switzerland and France on the podium at the prize giving.


In Individual competition, Switzerland’s Robin Godel and Grandeur du Lully CH went home with the spoils. They ended their campaign in Italy on 26.4 points, only 0.4 points above their Day 1 dressage score, clinching the Team victory for the Swiss.


Germany’s Ingrid Klimke and EQUISTRO’s Siena Just Do It took Individual second place with 27.9 points. Nicolas Touzaint of France moved up in the jumping segment to snag third place with Absolut Gold HDC, happy with their 29.4 points that helped France take a top three spot.



Test Event

The weekend’s competition at Pratoni was a test event for the FEI World Championships in Eventing to be held there in September. The stunning bucolic venue outside Rome was picture perfect for the May event and is sure to be amazing for the WEG as well.


Phase 1 of the Pratoni competition saw 63 athletes line up to take a turn around the dressage arena, 35 of whom represented nine Nations Cup teams. At the end of the dressage segment, Team Germany were in the lead on 78.7 total points, followed by France on 82.3 points and New Zealand on 87.5.


Teams from Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, Sweden, and Italy rounded out the field, in that order.



Huge Role

Olympic medalist and former European Champion Ingrid Klimke played a huge role in Germany’s early success, finishing second on SAP Hale Bob OLD with 24.8 dressage points. Teammates Andreas Dibowski (FRH Corrida), Sophie Leube (Jadore Moi), and Anna Siemer (FRH Butts Avondale) performed well too, Siemer being the discard score for the team with a very respectable 31.8 points in 17th place.


Klimke led the Individual standings too, taking first place aboard EQUISTRO’s Siena just do it on 77.30 percent, or 22.7 points. Maxime Livio and Api du Libaire, competing for the French team, were nipping at Klimke’s heels in third on 25.4 points.



Day of Reckoning

Saturday’s cross country was a day of reckoning, however, for both teams and individual athletes. Thirteen riders failed to cross the finish line, due to refusals, missed flags, falls, and retirements.


Germany tumbled to last place, out of the running, after Klimke retired Hale Bob on the 15th obstacle of Giuseppe Della Chiesa’s gruelling course and after Sieme had a fall resulting in her elimination.


That bumped France to the top of the leaderboard on 87.1 points, in spite of a retirement by Karim Florent Laghouag and Triton Fontaine.


Switzerland moved up into second place on 87.2 points – just one-tenth of a point behind the leaders. The Swiss team had Robin Godel’s ride with Grandeur du Lully CH to thank for their new slot with the podium in their grasp. The duo picked up no penalties on the cross country course, to end the day on their dressage score of 26.0 points, which also put them in first place individually.


Team Sweden took over the bronze medal position on 113.6 points. The Kiwis moved down to fourth, chased by Italy, Belgium, Austria, and Spain.


Behind Godel in the Individual category, Livio finished the cross country day in second place on 27.4 points. Klimke picked up 5.2 penalty points on EQUISTRO’s Siena, moving her down to third place on 27.9 points.


The Final Day

Sunday’s jumping phase had combos assemble one last time under brilliant sunny skies to see who would take home the metal. Steady Sweden saw three team members finish in the top 13 to guarantee them their bronze medal position.


It came down to a battle between France and Switzerland at the sharp end of the competition to see which team would finish on top. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be Livio’s day, as he was saddled with 8 penalty points after two rails down, giving him a total of 35.4 points and opening the door for both Switzerland and Klimke.


The Swiss riders grabbed the chance, with Nadja Minder and Toblerone picking up just 4 points to finish in fifth place overall on 33.1 points. Melody Johner and Toubleu de Rueire had a beautiful clear round to end on their dressage score of 35.4, leaving them in eighth place.


Beat Sax and Secret IV helped Switzerland clean up, scoring 44.1 points, after some trouble on the jumping course, but with fantastic dressage and cross country scores to see them through.



Good for Godel

Klimke’s clean jumping ride on EQUISTRO’s Siena moved her up to at least second individually, left to see how Godel would fare before she could know if she had victory or a consolation prize.


Lucky for Godel, all the fences stayed up, as even one rail down would hand Klimke the victory. With just 0.4 seconds for time, the Swiss Olympian held onto his lead from the previous day to go home with the glory in dual categories.


New Zealand finished their run in fourth place, followed by Italy, Austria, Spain, Belgium, and Germany, respectively.


In Individual competition, Tim Price of New Zealand took fourth place aboard Falco, with Minder, Lea Siegl of Austria (van Helsing P), France’s Christopher Six (Totem de Brecey), Johner, Livio, and Carlos Diaz Fernandez of Spain (Taraje CP 21.10) rounding out the top 10.


Eager to catch more thrilling Eventing and other hot equestrian competition this summer? FEI TV is the place to watch, with plenty of Nations Cup action to come, as well as the FEI World Championships this Summer. Stay tuned for all the excitement and be sure to keep an eye on for news, athlete interviews, and more.


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