It was an impressive victory of the Swiss team yesterday at the Samorin Longines FEI Nations Cup. “I managed her really well in the first round, and then the team did so good they made it a nice Sunday afternoon for me!” Guerdat said after sitting it out during the final stages of the competition.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for Swiss Chef d’Equipe Andy Kistler however, because he had to give Paul Estermann (54) a late call-up after selected team-member, Jannike Sprunger, took a fall yesterday. And Estermann’s 10-year-old stallion, Curtis Sitte, was competing in his very first Nations Cup today. The pair collected the discard score of eight faults in round one and put five more on the board in round two, but when youngest team member Martin Fuchs (25) produced one of four double-clears on the day then just the single mistake by pathfinders Werner Muff (44) and Daimler at the influential vertical one fence from home had to be added for the final winning scoreline.
“We brought a really good team here and we were aiming for the win – we knew we could do it!” said Fuchs whose 11-year-old stallion, Chaplin, was sensational. He was particularly delighted because the horse is just returning to top level after injury.
“He won the Grand Prix in Mexico, and in Zurich and Doha but after the GCT in Miami he got hurt and this was his first big show back”, Fuchs explained. Talking about today’s course he said, “the back bars on the oxers were wide and square so there were quite a few faults, but for me it felt quite easy because Chaplin was jumping so well. He was fresh all the way to the last fence in the second round and this makes me very happy because I knew my planning was right – I gave him more time instead of going to some more indoor shows and today he was fit and just perfect!”