Germany leads Nations Cup eventing at Wiener Neustadt

      Austria's Margit Appelt and Space Jet at Blenheim


Wiener Neustadt is a new addition to the FEI Nations Cup Eventing series in 2017 and brings Austria into the calendar. The city of Weiner Neustadt is located south of Vienna and is the site of one of the world's oldest military academies, the Theresian Military Academy which, as the name suggests, was established by Empress Maria Theresa of Austria in 1752 to train officers for the Austrian army.

Not surprisingly therefore, this famous venue is the location of this week’s CICO3* Nations Cup which also includes a 1* and 2* competition

47 combinations started in the CICO3* Nations Cup dressage with 30 of them taking part in eight teams from Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Britain, Czech Republic, The Netherlands, Italy and Hungary.

Although Germany is in the lead (145) after the dressage in front of Switzerland (148.90) and Austria (150.10) the score differential is small so tomorrow’s cross country could see a big shake up. The German team of Nicolai Aldinger, Jörg Kurbel, Felix Etzel and Vanessa Bolting are probably less familiar names than those usually seen on German teams but they are still flying the flag high. Austria is having its first team start at a Nations Cup with Manfred Rust, Rebecca Gerold, Charlotte Dobretsberger and Margit Appelt and they are no doubt delighted to be in a podium position after the first phase

Margit Appelt and Manfred Rust are the more experienced riders in the team and Margit has long been a favourite of ours since the trot up at Blenheim in 2014 when we proffered the thought that all Nations Cup first horse inspections should be in national dress (we do hope Margit was on this occasion). 28 year old Charlotte Dobretsberger, who won the CIC2* here on Vally K in April, and 20 year old Rebecca Gerold are two of Austria’s future hopes

The ‘newbie’ British team of Alice Dunsdon on the 12 year old gelding Sambo III, Kirsty Johnston on her 14 year old gelding Opposition Detective and Georgie Spence riding the 11 year old gelding Halltown Harley are currently in fourth place and appear to only have three riders competing although Olivia Craddock and Billy Liffy were selected as part of the team. This leaves Britain in a more vulnerable position tomorrow, needing to get all three riders home

Switzerland’s Peter Hasenböhler is the cross country course designer for the new 3* course which features long galloping straights and two water complexes, one of which incorporates six jumps within 150 to 200 meters so tomorrow should be interesting

Standing after dressage
1. Germany 145,00
2. Switzerland 148,90
3. Austria 150,10
4. Great Britain 151,90
5. Czech Republic 154,90
6. Netherlands 160,70

Interim results here