Kirtsen Coe, Beezie Madden, Laura Kraut, Lucy Davis, Team Chef Robert Ridland
It has been the dream of the German team to win the 100th Nations Cup of Germany presented by MVV Energie Mannheim. Today, following the second round of the 200,000 Euro Nations Cup, it seemed as though that dream could be realized.
While the Germans were clear halfway through the 100th Nations Cup of Germany in Mannheim, today’s prestigious Nations Cup title would ultimately be decided in a jump-off. With eight penalty points each following the first round, Team USA and Team Belgium together with the Swiss team in third place, carried eight faults each to Round 2. The German team composed of Christian Ahlmann / Taloubet Z (0/4), Hans-Dieter Dreher / Embassy II (4/8) and Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum / Fibonacci (8/0) laid their fate in the hands of living legend Ludger Beerbaum to determine whether the host country would have a place in the jump-off. Beerbaum, who was enjoying his 127th Nations Cup performance, delivered a double clear aboard Chiara to ensure Germany a spot in the jump off.
The jump-off was opened by double WEG 2014 bronze medalist Beezie Madden and the 13-year-old Belgian gelding Cortes ‘C’ with a clear round in a time of 32.72 seconds. Madden’s lead was still valid following the performance of Belgium’s Pieter Devos with the exuberant grey gelding Dylano, who jumped clear as well but with a time of 34.14 seconds. The first German victory on home soil after seven years seemed to still be possible as 2011 World Cup Champions Christian Ahlmann and the 15-year-old stallion Taloubet Z entered the ring in front of 8,000 spectators. But alas, the last fence fell in addition to a slower time of 32.95 seconds. Disappointment was wrought for Germany despite their third place finish behind the victorious Team USA and last year’s winners, Team Belgium. Fourth place was shared by the French and the Swiss team on 20 penalties each.
Madden expressed her joy for the “great sport and super atmosphere” of the day. Teamate Kraut expressed her enthusiasm about the mood in the MVV Equestrian Stadium and gave her thanks to Madden, along with Lucy Davis, commenting that “she [Beezie] saved the victory for us.” US Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland called the victory a great team success and laughed, “it is just great to win!”
“We should not speak of bad luck, we never had been in lead, not in the first round, not in the second and not in the jump-off,” said Ludger Beerbaum of Germany’s third place finish. “We should figure out until the European Championships what we can do better to be in the lead again.”