Countdown to the event


Dutch dominate in Mannheim for the second year running!

5 May 2024

The Netherlands were in imperious form at the Longines EEF Series Central Regional qualifier in Mannheim, retaining the title they won last year at the same venue. Hosts Germany were second, while France occupied third.

Double clears for Willem Greve riding the 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood Minute Man and Kevin Jochems aboard the experienced KWPN mare Flying Jackie, a first-round clear for Lars Kersten on the lovely nine-year-old grey gelding Chuck Marienshof Z, and just two time penalties in the second round for Michael Greeve with Foxpit Grim, a nine-year-old Selle Francais gelding, who didn’t start in the first round, gave the Dutch team an unbeatable score of two and 100 qualifying points for the Series.

Just two penalties in arrears were crowd favourites Germany, who fielded some well-known names in their quartet of Christian Kukuk (Just Be Gentle), Teike Carstensen (Greece), Katrin Eckermann (Chao Lee) and Richard Vogel (Cydello). The team kept the pressure on the Dutch by producing three clears in the second round but a costly four faults in the opening round meant they had to settle for the runner-up position and 90 qualifying points.

Two fault free rounds from Marie Pellegrin and the 11-year-old Selle Francais mare Deuxcatsix d’Eglefin helped France to third on a total of 12, just one point ahead of Slovakia.

The Slovakians produced a strong performance in the second round to add just four faults to their first-round total of nine and leave them just off the podium. Stars of the show for Slovakia were Bronislav Chudyba and the 10-year-old Hannoverian mare Statis Conti who produced a stylish double clear on what was an overcast afternoon in the German city. The result puts them as third best of the central teams and an important 80 points towards semi-final qualification.

Switzerland were contesting the lead after completing the first round on zero but retirement for Anthony Bourquard and Ecuador de la Cense and an uncharacteristic refusal at the first fence and several knocked poles for Sasha Barthe aboard Broceliande du Lac, who jumped a clear in the first round, in the second sent them tumbling down the leaderboard and into eventual sixth. Portugal were fifth.

Reining champions Austria, Czech Republic and Slovenia all picked up valuable qualifying points after they finished seventh, eighth and tenth respectively. Colestus Cambridge, the nine-year-old grey Westphallian gelding, who was ridden by Austria’s Katharina Rhomberg and Kapsones W, who was the mount of Czech Republic’s Ales Opatrny, both produced impressive double clears and look like being ones to watch this year.

The Series offers two qualifiers for each of the four regions- South, North, Central and West, with the semi finals held in Budapest (HUN) and Deauville (FRA) and the final held in the Polish capital Warsaw on 8 September. The Series will now continue to Stutteri Ask, Denmark, for the region north qualifier and Peelbergen, Netherlands, for the region west – both on Friday 17 May.

Full results HERE

Photo: Stefan Lafrentz