Buenos Dias, Jumper Nation! The FEI Nations Cup Finals are under way this morning, and we’ll be bringing you as much of the experience as is digitally possible this morning.
We’re hearing that it’s a temperate day in terms of heat in the Mediterranean city, but it’s high, sticky humidity. We’ll see if that impacts any of the teams as we move along.
8:32 am ET: Samantha McIntosh of New Zealand is the very first rider in the ring – this is NZ’s first Nations Cup Final appearance ever.
8:35 am ET: Samantha and Check In 2 have two rails and one time penalty to sit on 9 for their international debut!
8:37 am ET: Jur Vrieling for the Netherlands and VDL Glasgow set down an early clear round for the crowd and competition! The Dutch have had a strange year in Nations Cups, but they’re here now to fight!
8:40 am ET: Werner Muff of Switzerland had a lot of horse on his hands in Daimler this morning, and some fidgeting heading into the triple cost them a rail in the middle obstacle to put the Swiss on 4 for the moment.
8:43 am ET: Sheikh Majid al Qassimi and Celtion of the UAE make their country’s Nations Cup debut with a bit of jitters but getting out in one piece with 21 faults. There’s still a lot of competition left!
8:47 am ET: Scott Brash and Ursula of Great Britain were looking alright until the triple combination where they had the last two down in an otherwise cracking round – this sadly has been the theme for GB in Nations Cup this year, as they were lucky to nab the last team spot here.
8:51: Peter Dievos of Belgium has a disastrous opening round for the promising team with five rails – they’ll be hoping to drop that score.
8:52: Shane Sweetnam has a single silly rail to put Ireland on 4 at the moment.
8:54am ET: GET IT DONE, LAUREN! Our ladies Hough and Ohlala storm through this sneaky course to bring home a zero for Team USA!
8:56am ET: Juan Carlos Garcia has a disappointing go for Italy, bringing home 24 faults.
8:59am ET: Henrik Von Eckermann and Mary Lou 194 BURN RUBBER across the course in Barcelona to come in clear and five seconds under the time. Gauntlets are being thrown down already, folks, and I suspect we’ll see these folks fighting for a podium this weekend.
9:01 am – Kevin Staut pulls a Kevin Staut, meaning he did all the things perfectly to scare the daylights out of everyone else. That keeps France on a perfect score!
9:04am ET: Gerardo Mieres Menendez retires after bringing down five rails quite quickly – the gray stallion didn’t appear to be unsound leaving the arena, so it’s a rather strange start for the home kingdom of Spain. We’ll bring you an update as soon as possible if there’s something bigger at play for Cassino DC.
9:06am ET: Brazil has rough start as well, bringing home 21 faults with a real scrappy but slightly scary round from Pedro Junqueira Muylaert.
9:08am ET: Simone Blum and Alice of Germany had a really lovely round, and just nicked the oxer to add four faults to their score.
9:11am ET: Yann Candele gets it done for Canada! He and the very experienced Theodore Manciais have a stunning round to put Canada even with USA, France, Sweden and the Netherlands on a zero score at the end of round 1!
That’s our first set of riders, ladies and gents! Quick break before the next round gets underway.
9:22am ET: Richard Gardner and Calisto 5 add just a single rail to New Zealand’s score in a really nice round to put the Kiwis on a 14 at the moment with two to go.
9:24 am ET: Michel Hendrix and Baileys have two down in the triple combination to reset the Dutch’s hot streak.
9:26 am ET: Niklaus Rutschi and Cardano CH have a silly fence in the middle and the penultimate fence to add 8 faults to Switzerland’s overall score.
9:30am ET: Abdullah Humaid al Muhairi of the UAE gets his first taste of Finals level competition to add 17 faults to their score, but a respectable showing in their debut.
9:32am ET: Great Britain really can’t catch a break, with Guy Williams and Rouge de Ravel bringing home three rails, two near the end of the course.
9:35am ET – Oh, what a gutter. Niels Bruynseels and Cas de Liberte of Belgium were having such a spectacular round and they just wildly missed the distance to the very last fence and plowed through the top rail to bring home just that single four fault error.
9:37am ET – Bertram Allen and Molly Malone had a really solid round with just a single rail to keep Ireland on eight at the moment.
9:39am ET: USA’s Laura Kraut and Confu had such a nice round, but brought down the very last rail and had a time penalty, a score which betrays what promise it had. Not the last we’ll see of them this week and they’ll be looking for revenge.
9:41am ET: Italy rises! Alberto Zorzi and Ego van Orti put in a clear round to put Italy back in fighting territory for the final!
9:44am ET: Rolf-Goran Bengtsson and his 11yo mare Spring Dark didn’t have their characteristic performance, unfortunately bringing home 12 faults with them and keeping things dicey for the Swedes in aiming to qualify for the final.
9:46am ET: Penelope Leprevost and Vagabond de la Pomme had a round so quiet it could have been a hunter round, but they covered ground and brought home just one rail – the top of the #2 oxer which has proven to catch quite a few pairs off guard today.
9:49am ET: What a terrible pity for Spain, who are not having the day we’d hoped on their home soil. Following Gerardo’s retirement, Laura Roquet Puignero had down all the elements of the triple among other problems to end on a 20. They’re not likely to make the finals with that.
9:51am ET: Eduardo Menezes and Quintol can’t improve much on the troubles of Brazil’s earlier round, adding 16 faults to their score, and that will have to count.
9:53am ET: Young rising star Laura Klaphake and Catch Me If You Can 21 have a lovely strong round for Germany, proving that building years don’t have to be bad years! They’re clear to sit on just four faults over the first two rounds.
9:55am ET – Holy Moly! Tiffany Foster and Tripple X put in another clear for Team Canada to keep them as the only team to go clear in both of the first two rounds! Go Northern Pals!
We’re on to our next break! Give us a few minutes and we’ll be back in it around 10:05 a.m.
We’re at the halfway mark, friends! We’re on the hunt for the top eight teams who will be heading into the Nations Cup Final on Saturday – those who don’t qualify will head into the consolation cup on Friday.
10:07am ET: Daniel Meech and Fine of New Zealand make their Nations Cup Final debut with a respectable two rails – The Kiwis aren’t out of the picture yet!
Also, Kiwis win the award for easiest people and horse names to type under pressure. #cheerstoNZ
10:10am ET: Marc Houtzager and Calimero add a rail to the Netherland’s score and will hope for a top performance from LGCT Champ Harries Smolders in the final round.
10:13am ET: If you’re a previous JN live updates reader, you will know that I only ever refer to Martin Fuch’s gray gelding as “My Boyfriend Clooney.” He lives up to his title as king of my heart with just a single rail here today to keep Switzerland in the hunt.
10:23am ET: Jerome Guery and Grand Cru van de Rozenberg have another four fault round for Belgium – they are plagued by these little mistakes to sit on a minimum of 8.
10:25am ET: Shane Breen and Laith of Ireland blew the last fence in an otherwise wildly lovely round – she was clearing things by a mile before the final fence. That being said, the four faults is likely enough to keep Ireland in top eight to come back for the final.
10:27am ET: Beezie Madden and Darry Lou have that damn bogey #2 down, but they don’t let it rattle them to keep it to just a single rail. That can keep America on a 4 if McLain goes clean.
10:29am ET: Emilio Bicocchi and Sassicaia Ares bring in another clear round for Team Italy! They’re in very good shape to be in the final.
10:32am ET: Douglas Lindelow and Zacramento have the penultimate fence down to add four faults to Sweden’s full team score. It’s been a wildly messy first round with lots of jumping yet to come.
10:34am ET: This is the look of complete relief as France secures their place in the final thanks to a clear round from Olivier Robert and Eros!
10:36am ET: Julio Arias can’t pull Spain out of their slump, unfortunately, and they can’t qualify for the final, but we’ll see them again in the Challenge Cup Friday night.
10:39am ET: Yuri Mansur of Brazil was having a real lovely round with Babylotte until they had a rail in the triple, putting Brazil on a 20 total. They probably will not make the final, despite a redemptive round here.
10:42 ET: Andreas Kreuzer and Calvilot put in a solid round with one rail to keep Germany looking, you know, Germany. They’re likely headed to the final with that performance.
10:45am ET: Chris Pratt of Canada and Concorde keep Canada in beautiful position with two rails, but they can still sit on a zero if Eric Lamaze decides to ride and goes clear.
Another quick break before our last 15 riders! See you back here at around 10:43am ET, here are the current top standings:
We’re back, my friends, and we’ve got good news! France, Germany, Canada and USA are mathematically guaranteed spots in the final before their final riders have gone! We will have to wait and see if these teams opt to send in their anchor riders or not.
10:59am ET: Bruce Goodin and Centina 10 of New Zealand completes on 20 faults, and the Kiwis will be headed to the consolation event Friday night. While it’s disappointing, it’s still a uniting performance for the team in their Nations Cup debut.
11:01am ET: Global Champion Harrie Smolders and Don VHP Z have a stunning clear final round to secure a slot for Team Orange! Go Netherlands!
11:03am ET: Swiss Hero and Heartthrob Steve Guerdat and Bianca have a marvelous anchor round to secure things for Switzerland. The open spots in the final are quickly evaporating!
11:06am ET – Abdullah Mohd al Marri and Sama Dubai FBH have three rails to finish out the UAE score on a 34 – they will be looking for redemption in the consolation challenge cup tomorrow.
11:08am ET – Ben Maher and Quilata likely can’t undo the damage that’s been done for Great Britain – it just wasn’t their year in the Nations Cup – But the two put in a double clear that will at least raise their spirits for another day.
11:12am ET: Gregory Wathelet and Coree put in a much needed clutch round for Belgium to secure a slot for them in the final! What a year Gregory is having!
11:16am ET: Denis Lynch goes double clear to get it done for Ireland! What happens next?
11:18am ET: The Man. The Lady. The Legend. Ensuring that they won’t have to count Laura Kraut’s time fault, McLain and Annie get in and bring out a double clear for Team USA to double guarantee a day in the finals!
11:21am ET: Glory is followed by misery for Italy, as they see the poles fall left and right for Bruno Chimirri and Tower Mouche.
11:23am ET: Peder Fredricson and H&M Christian K have one rail down, which means it’s going to come down to times for a number of teams, including Sweden.
11:26am ET: Teach me how to Bosty! Always looking like he’s on the edge of glory or death, the French gold medalist adds another clear for his team just for the bonus, and they will leave round 1 on top.
Score recap: FOUR TEAMS sit on an 8-fault tie: Sweden, Ireland, Switzerland, and Belgium at this moment, and it will likely come down to times. As soon as the FEI sorts out the order for us, we’ll let you know.
11:33am ET – Marcus Ehning and Pret a Tout secure Germany’s slot in the Nations Cup Final with a beautiful clear round!
11:36am ET – Eric Lamaze of Canada and Coco Bongo needed either a steady four fault finish or a fast eight-fault round, and they opted to just go double clear instead. Well done, Canada, they’re going into the final with a perfect zero score!
That completes the actual competition, now we’re just waiting to hear the final calculations of times from Longines. Stand by!
11:43am ET – We’re disappointed to report that Ireland had the slowest time of the tied teams, and will unfortunately not advance to the final. Utterly disappointing for this team, which has worked SO hard to move up and build better team results this year. Gutting.
That means the teams in the final are as follows:
France, Canada, Netherlands, USA, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and Sweden.
That completes our live coverage, stay tuned for a round one recap later today!