Longines EEF Nations Cup Gorla: and the winner is… France
Off to an almost flawless start into the Series … by Susanna Cottica
Saturday 24 April: a beautiful spring day in Italy provided the perfect setting for the first Event of the new circuit of the Longines EEF Nations Cup Series, at the tree-fringed arena of the Equieffe Equestrian Centre in Gorla.
Despite the difficult context, caused by the overlapping misfortunes of Covid-19 and Herpes Virus EHV-1, the Equieffe Equestrian Centre in Gorla Minore kept its head held high during the first important European competition this year. Riders and staff helped to ensure a successful start in full respect of the restrictions imposed by the FEI norms.
Forty-four pairs from eleven teams competed in wonderful ‘Equinoxe arena’. The innovative formation, which asks each five-strong team to include one expert rider and one young rider at the beginning of their international career, allows this far-sighted circuit to train upcoming riders ‘in the field’ – and looks to the future from a solid starting point.
France is the winner of the Longines EEF Nations Cup Gorla — the first leg on the new Longines EEF Nations Cup Series, initiated by the European Equestrian Federation (EEF).
The French quartet closed the event with an overall total of 4 faults, thanks to compelling performances from Marie Demonte / Vega de la Roche (4-0), Aurelien Leroy / Croqsel de Blaignac (0-0), Sebastien Duplant / Alpha de Preuilly (0-4) and Olivier Robert / Ilena de Mariposa (4-0).
Joining them on the podium were Great Britain, in second place with 6 faults, and the Czech Republic with 11 faults.
The first leg of the Longines EEF Nations Cup Gorla (two rounds over the same course by Chef d’Equipe Andrea Colombo; prize money of EUR 75,000) closed with Switzerland and Italy in equal position (0 penalties), followed by Great Britain (1), the Czech Republic (2) and France (4). The French team claimed the final victory thanks to a flawless second round (0 penalties).
The day was marred only by the absence of the public, which, it is hoped, will soon return to Gorla to cheer the horses and riders on.