ph: FEI/Dan Rowley
The last Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Qualifier of 2015 held on September 4th in Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy was the deciding factor for the last few unconfirmed teams for the upcoming Nations Cup Final in Barcelona, Spain on September 26th.
With Europe Division One teams already confirmed for the Final, eyes were on the Europe Division Two nations whose fate had yet to be sealed.
The Ukraine, which leapt up the Division 2 standings from 7th to 3rd after last week’s Nations Cup performance in Gijon, Spain, was unable to ascend one more spot, leaving them close but out of the Barcelona Final. Only two, Europe Division 2 teams can qualify for the Final.
Instead it was the thrilled riders from the Czech Republic and Poland who placed overall 1st and 2nd at Arezzo, securing their tickets to the final, and for the Czech riders, securing even more than that.
The Czech Republic earned its way back into the Europe Division One league for 2016 by being the first-placed nation in Division Two this year. That means the world to the Czech riders, and even Poland has a shot at Division One – if they can finish among the top eight at the Nations Cup Final, they will ascend as well.
With all qualifying leagues now complete and the final roll call of 16 nations qualified and prepared for the Final, attention is already shifting to Barcelona.
The other piece of news of the qualifying season comes to an end is that Germany, which finished out of the running in Europe Division One, had a slim chance to attend the Nations Cup Final after all. Germany is the replacement team should any qualified team fail to meet its team quota to bring to Barcelona. However, with Australia confirmed to send a team, unless a drastic switch up occurs, it’s more likely that Germany will have to wait until 2016 to contest a Nations Cup Final.
The Germans are a historically dominating force in show jumping, but they’ve been subject to a bit of a Nations Cup curse ever since the league was reformed as “Furusiyya” three years ago, failing to qualify for the final two out of three times.
Final List of Nations Qualified for Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Final:
Europe Division One
Great Britain (GBR)
The Netherlands (NED)
Europe Division Two
North and Central America & Caribbean
United States of America (USA)
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA)
Asia / Australasia