LONGINES EEF SERIES Final participants
We already know the line-up of the 11 teams that will take part in the finals of the European Nations Cup EEF Series in Warsaw. Let’s recall that after the qualifiers, which took place all over Europe since April, the following teams earned their place in the team competition during Warsaw Jumping: Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Spain and Switzerland. The Polish team will participate as the host.
Italy looks to be the strongest team. The team will be represented, amongst others, by two very experienced riders: European team vice-champion from 2009 Piergiorgio Bucci and Giulia Martinengo Marquet. Both of them hold numerous victories in Grand Prix competitions and, more importantly, many successes in Nations Cups contests. In recent years, Bucci has contributed to the Italian team’s victories in Rome, Dublin and Falsterbo thanks to his clear rides. Martinengo Marquet was a member of the winning team at Piazza di Siena in 2018.
When it comes to the Irish team, Alexander Butler, who won the CSI3*Grand Prix in Villamoura in 2019, and less than a month ago shared the first place in an LR qualifying event with Jarosław Skrzyczynski at the CSIO5* in Sopot, will be their strongest asset. At CSIO in Kronenberg, with a double zero ride with Athene, he contributed to the promotion of Ireland to the final of the EEF Series.
Georgia Tame, the team silver medalist at the 2018 European Young Riders Championships, who has won world ranked competitions at five-star events in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the last three years, seems to be the leader of the British team. William Whitaker, a competitor at the World Championships in Tryon, also can support this team with his experience.
One of the biggest stars of the Warsaw event will be Niklaus Schurtenberger, a team bronze medalist of the Olympic Games in Beijing, who represents Switzerland. He demonstrated excellent form a month ago, winning the CSI Grand Prix in Lier.
The Spanish team will have, amongst others, Manuel Fernandez Saro, the participant of the last Olympic Games and World Championship. He came second in the four-star Grand Prix event in St Tropez two weeks ago.
As previously declared, Germany put up a young team that won the semi-final of the EEF Series in Budapest. As a reminder, this team will consist of the current individual European champion of young riders Philipp Schulze Topphoff, Cedric Wolf, double gold medalist of the European junior championships of 2018 and bronze medalist of this event in the category of young riders of 2019, Jana Wargers and Sophie Hinners.
The Austrians have their strongest line-up, out of whom Christoph Obernauer has recently been achieving the best results. In June, he came second in the Grand Prix of the 4-star 4Foulee competition in Poznań riding Kleons Cocario. The only one missing from the Danish team is Andreas Schou, who is preparing for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Due to the fact that Poland is the host country, in addition to the team, Poles can put up a larger group of individual competitors. The following competitors ranked in the top ten of the Polish ranking will fight for the right to start in the Grand Prix, the second most important competition: Kamil Grzelczyk, Michał Kaźmierczak, Dawid Kubiak and Maksymilian Wechta.
We have been impatiently looking forward to seeing what lineup Jan Vinckier, the new coach of the Polish National Team, will choose for these most important competitions. In the end his team will consist of very experienced Polish champions of the last few years, competitors who are the only Poles to have won four-star Grand Prix competitions including Wojciech Wojcianiec and Jarosław Skrzyczyński. Alongside them, we will see Przemysław Konopacki and Natalia Czernik who will be able to gain experience in the team competition. For them it will be just the third and second performance in the Nations Cup in their careers, respectively. Since the EEF rules stipulate that the fifth member of the team must be a U25 competitor, Aleksandra Kierznowska, who has already won six competitions included in the world ranking, will take this place for the white and red. Will this young and talented female rider make it to the top four in the Nations Cup competition on Sunday? We shall find out during the competition.