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Italy dominates the Longines EEF Series Final

11 September 2022

The grand Longines EEF Series Final ended up with the second-year-in-a-row triumph of the Italian team. A superbly emotional European Nations Cup team competition was the very last item in the agenda of this year’s Warsaw Jumping CSIO4*.

The victory remained uncertain until the very last course ride, though the establisment of the winner came clear without a jump-off. At the end of the day, it has been Italy that won, with Ireland finishing second and Austria taking third place.

Two rounds in the final competition, the same parkour in each. 12 obstacles up to 150 cm that required 15 jumps. Most of the hardness occured around obstacle no. 2 – the wall and no. 11 – topped with a white plank, barely respected by many horses.

The final opened its way with a fabulous clear round by Poland’s Jarosław Skrzyczyński with Intruido. The performance won genuine enthusiasm from the audience, who crowded the stands quite despite the slightly unconducive weather. The set of two rounds clearly turned out full of twists and turns. Quite astonishingly, the first one saw the Netherlands (previously forecast as favourites) placing last, but one. The first six on the list were: Ireland, Italy, Austria, Germany, Spain and Portugal.

The Italian line-up of: Ricardo Pisani (Charlemagne JT Z) Lorenzo Ricardo Pisani, Lorenzo de Luca (Scuderia 1918 Highlight W), Emanuele Camilli (Chadellano PS) and Piergorgio Bucci (Carpe Diem J&F Champblanc), made it to the top of the Nations Cup. Lorenzo de Luca came out as the only one of his team with double clear. Worth mentioning is the fact that his horse is a grandson of mare Rockella, which was once the mount of Poland’s Klara Kostrzewa at 150 cm. The mother of Highlight W has stayed in Poland in the active breeding run by Małgorzata and Tomasz Siegiej.

Italy’s chef d’equipe did not conceal his joy. It has been a great day for us. I wanna thank my riders and their horses. We won last year and we have done it again today. – he said.

Lorenzo de Luca, spiced the boast up even more, by referring to Italy’s first round as incredible and their jumps as absolutely perfect.

The second place was taken by the Irish, represented by: Thomas Ryan with Springfield 21, Kevin Gallagher with Ballypatrick Flamenco, Trevor Breen with Germaine W and Eoin McMahon with Chakra, incurring all together as few as 8 penalty points.

The last spot on the podium went to Austria, quite like last year. The team consisted of Christoph Obernauer (Kleons Renegade), Katharina Rhomberg (Cuma 5), Bianca Babanitz (Caipidor) and Gerfried Puck (Equitron Naxcel V. Dr). The brightest act was Katharina Rhomberg, the only one to deliver double clear.

Poles placed 7th after the first round with 8 penalties, but thanks to Przemysław Konopacki’s impressive performance in the second round finally made it to 6th. Bearing the young age and relative inexperience of our riders’ horses, the result could be regarded as a good omen for the future.

We could have landed better than that and we had frankly counted for more. The horses are still young though, in progress of learning, which is going to take one or two more seasons. And then, hopefully, we match each other completely and meet the target of better results. – Konopacki admitted.

The grand finale set off with eleven national equipes on the starting list. Ten of them had won their participation through the all-season qualifiers, which took place at Mannheim, Aalborg, Bratislava, Lisbon, Madrid, Athens, Drammen, Gorla Minore, plus two semi-finals in Deauville and Budapest. Poland joined the band as the host country.

The victory of Italians secures their promotion into Europe Division 1 of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup 2023.

During the four days of Warsaw Jumping there have been four other competitions that counted towards the Longines Ranking.

The Thursday Grand Prix CSIO4* was won by Belgium’s Wilm Vermeir with Hotspot.

The most prestigious one – the Friday’s Grand Prix with a jump-off for the prize of PKN Orlen under the patronage of Polska Press Group concluded in the victory of Jörne Sprehe with the 10-year-old mare Hot Easy. The runner-up was Wilm Vermeir with Joyride S, and right after him – another Belgian – Thierry Goffinett with Carequika 5.

Poland’s Andrzej Opłatek took home the win at he first of Saturday’s ranking competitions. The other one, the CSI2* Grand Prix, was topped by Darragh Kenny of Ireland with Cicomein VDL.