Team Ireland completed in the last competition two very exciting rounds to come from behind and take victory with accumulated 12.11 fouls. Sweden second and Switzerland third. (Photo © Claes Jakobsson)
Team Ireland made a formidable comeback to take a historic victory at the 2017 Gothenburg European Championships.
After reaching the final day with the third best average of 8.11 faults, Ireland knew how to measure their good results in the two rounds, surprising several of the favorites especially to the Teams of Sweden and Switzerland.
When it seemed at the beginning of the day that Switzerland and France were consolidating as potential winners, things began to change in each of the rounds for each rider, where the fight was closed between Switzerland, France, Sweden, Spain and Ireland.
After completing the first round, France and Spain complicated their scenario while the hosts Sweden went on to command the competition with accumulated of 1 foul and totaling 8.21 fouls with clear rounds by Malin Baryard-Johnsson and Peder Fredricson. Switzerland moved up to second place with their 6-foul round to accumulate 11.15 fouls, with Martin Fuchs standing out. For other hand in third was tied with a total of 12.11 fouls, Ireland who completed the first round in 4 fouls, has good performance by Shane Sweetnam and Cian O’Connor, but the big revelation was Belgium by achieving the only perfect round with Pieter Devos, Niels Bruynseels, Jerome Guery and Gregory Wathelet.
Now each result had a decisive value, but Ireland’s response was overwhelming, although they only had three riders after the big fall and thus elimination in the first round of his best piece Bertram Allen with the 10-year-old stallion Hector van d’Abdijhoeve (Cabrio van de Heffinck), not returning for second round.
That being the stage for Ireland, they had to be very goods on each course and got the first double clear round Shane Sweetnam with the 11-year-old stallion Chaqui Z (Chacco-Blue), followed by Denys Lynch (4/0) next to the 14-year-old stallion All Star 5 (Argentinus) and closed Olympic bronze medalist Cian O’Connor (0/0) with the 11-year-old stallion Good Luck (Canturo), securing victory by totaling 12.11 fouls.
Things were very complicated for the rest of the participating teams, Sweden finished the second round with 10 fouls for a large total of 18.21 fouls taking second place led by Peder Fredricson and his 11-year-old gelding H&M All In (Kashmir Van Schuttershof), making it the third double clear round of the night, while Switzerland was third with 20.15 faults in second round of 9 fouls standing out Martin Fuchs next to 11-year-old gelding Clooney 51 (Cornet Obolensky) as fourth double clear round.
Belgium wasted their first-round reaction and accumulated 9 fouls in their second round for 21.11 fouls highlighting Pieter Devos with the 13-year-old gelding Espoir (Revel’s Surcouf) being the fifth double clear round and Germany escorting them in fifth place with 24.52 fouls in rounds of 4 and 9 fouls.
Followed in the final order The Netherlands in sixth place with 30.53 fouls, France fell to the seventh with 31.78 fouls in a first round for oblivion, eighth Italy with 34.25 fouls emphasizing Alberto Zorzi and his 11-year-old gelding Cornetto K (Cornet Obolensky), being the sixth and last double clear round. Spain ranked ninth with 41.85 fouls in rounds of 15 and 18 fouls for oblivion too, Austria tenth with 50.90 fouls closing the teams that participated in two rounds.
With a single round they were followed in the 11th place Portugal, Czech Republic finished 12th, Norway was 13th, Denmark 14th, Russia 15th, Ukraine 16th and Hungary closed the equipment in the 17th place.