elgium were the winners this weekend in St.Gallen, Switzerland which means that thanks to the great performances of Verlooy, Bruynseels, Wathelet and Devos, Belgium leads the Division 1 standings for the 2015 Furusiyya Nations Cup season. Rallied brilliantly on their second time out in St. Gallen, Chef d’Equipe, Dirk Demeersman, was asked afterwards what he had said to his riders during the half-time break.
“I said we are strong, so let’s show it that we are strong, and they showed it! We hoped to finish in the top three, so first is even better!” he replied. “The goal was to stay in Division 1 and to qualify for Barcelona (Furusiyya Final). I want to congratulate Gerard Lachat (course designer). I thought it was a super course today”, he added.
For 19-year-old Jos Verlooy, this was a result to savour. The super-talented young Belgian has produced the 12-year-old Belgian-bred gelding Domino since he was a five-year-old and has achieved great things with him. Today’s double-clear that helped his team to victory made him very proud. “Domino was great – as always. This course was tough, so the double-clear felt extra good!”, he said.
Gregory Wathelet said he wasn’t sure why he faulted twice in the first round. “Maybe I was a little bit too relaxed. But Dirk asked me to change a few things and I did, so the second round was great!” he said.
Team Belgium has now accumulated 250 points and heads the Europe Division 1 leaderboard with just one more points-gaining outing remaining, at Hickstead in Great Britain at the end of July. Before that, the league also visits Rotterdam, The Netherlands on 19 June, and Falsterbo, Sweden on 10 July.
Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ 2015 Europe Division 1 Standings (after Round 4 at St Gallen, Switzerland):
1. Belgium – 250
2. France – 220
3. Ireland – 205
4. Italy – 155
5. Netherlands – 135
6. Spain – 135
7. Sweden – 130
8. Great Britain – 100
9. Switzerland – 90
10. Germany – 70