At the end of a very spectacular event with a jump-off involving three teams, Brazil won the Barrière Nations Cup, the main event on the second day of the Jumping International de la Baule – Officiel de France. Despite a double round without a fault by Julien Épaillard, France had to settle for fourth place. On Saturday, the spectators will enjoy a particularly intense day with several high points.
On the beach at La Baule near the François André arena, some people might have thought they were on the sand at Copacabana when the Brazilian national anthem confirmed the success of the Auriverde. After a superb and controlled jump-off Marlon Modolo Zanotelli, riding his stallion Grand Slam VDL, gave a stunning win to his team-mates: Yuri Mansur on Miss Blue-Saint-Blue Farm, Stephan de Freitas Barcha on Chevaux Primavera Montana Imperio Egipcio and Rodrigo Pessoa on Major Tom.
The setting for this Barrière Nations Cup is one that all showjumping enthusiasts dream about. It is an event full of exploits, and above all surprises… right until the end. Olympic and Team World Champion Sweden seemed to be on course for its first win in La Baule, but world number one Henrik von Eckermann (on Iliana) struck the plank on the last but one fence on the course designed by Grégory Bodo. The Swedes then found themselves obliged to compete in a jump-off against defending champion Belgium and Brazil (one pair per team). Belgian’s Wilm Vermeir (on the gelding lq van het Steentje) was the first to have a clear round. His time was soon beaten by 69 hundredths, however, by world number 10 Marlon Modolo Zanotelli. Starting last again, Henrik von Eckermann made a mistake once more. His time was faster but the four penalty points proved too much of a burden.