Germany wins the Longines EEF Series Budapest
Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and the Czech Republic are the five nations that in Budapest, Hungary, qualified for the finals of the Longines EEF Series 2021 which will be hosted in Warsaw, Poland, from July 22nd to July 25th.
The Longines EEF Nations Cup Budapest held today at the National Riding Hall was the semi-final of the series with ten nations competing. Germany won the day after riding two rounds over a track built by the German chef de piste Werner Deeg, assisted by the Hungarian course designer Laszlo Karadi. The team which consisted of Cedric Wolf /DSP Chicitito (0/4), Jana Wargers/Limbridge (4/0), Sophie Hinners/Vittorio (0/0) and Philipp Schulze Topphoff /Concordess NRV (0/0) finished the two rounds with no faults at all. Italy came second with 4 faults with Switzerland third on 8 faults.
The German team was the youngest competing, although the riders all had international experience, among them 23-year-old Phillip Schulze Topphof riding Concordess NRV, individual gold medallist and team bronze at the 2019 Junior Championships, and 24-year-old Sophie Hinners who together with her horse Vittorio already has an extremely respectable CV.
Philipp Schulze Tophoff, you and Concordess NRW were the second combination who rode two clear rounds. What does it feel like to ride a double clear in the Nations Cup?
“A double clear in the Nations Cup is always a really great feeling. I was the last rider in both rounds and had felt a little under pressure but that makes me even happier that it worked out.
I was the last to go, perhaps my round counted but the result of the others counted too, it makes no difference. We all needed to do well.”
Sophie Hinners, you rode a double clear. How did you find the track?
“It was of course a really wonderful feeling. I was super happy after the two rounds and I have to say that Vittorio improved even more in the second round. I think he also really enjoyed it. This was our first Nations Cup, and to ride a double clear is really a great feeling.
I really like the place. I was here two years ago and I loved. The atmosphere is great and there are lovely people here.”
Cedric Wolf, You were the first to go for your team, how did that feel?
“It was quite good, at the beginning I was keeping an eye on the time trying not to a time fault, but in the end I can say I am very happy.
This is an amazing show and I loved being here. I am also really happy with my team, they all jumped really well.”
Jana Wargers, in the first round you had 4 penalties and in the second round you were clear, so if you were to compare the first and the second round, what would you say?
“First of all, I am very happy, my horse jumped really well. I have to say, I do not know him all that well as I have not had him for long. So maybe I overrode the wall a bit but I did better in the second round. He jumped very well and I am very happy.
The course was very well-built and fair, but also tough, but super nice to ride and a great track.
My horse felt great and I tried to keep him happy, and of course it was nice to ride a double clear.”
Chef d’Equipe Ralf Runge, how do you feel after such a great success?
“I am delighted and unbelievably proud of this team, they all delivered a top performance today. They are quite young, but all talented, so that made my job easy.”
Will the team remain the same for the finals in Warsaw?
“We planned all this before with Otto Becker, I am replacing him because he is preparing for Tokyo, and our plan was that this team should stay together. Wolfgang Puschak, who is the fifth rider, was also here to help if something happened and we are really looking forward to Warsaw.”
The overall quality of horses and riders was excellent and also included some famous names, such as Max Kühner, who was riding the youngest horse there, 8-year-old EIC Cooley Jump The Q., competing for Austria, and the Swiss rider Romain Duguet.
There were many clear rounds jumped, with 17 faultless rounds out of the 38 starters (Bulgaria in fact only fielded three combinations while the fourth of the Italian riders did not compete after the first three riders had gone clear) during the first round, with a course that allowed horses to lengthen their stride and difficulties distributed in a balanced manner. There were 14 clears in the second round over the same track and the fence that caused most trouble was the water jump. Nine combinations rode double clear rounds.
Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and the Czech Republic will join Ireland, Great Britain, Spain, Denmark and Norway, completing the teams riding in the Longines EEF Series Final in Warsaw and will be joined by the host team, Poland, bringing the total to eleven teams.