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Austria qualified for the EEF Final by defeating the Netherlands

Austria qualified for the EEF Final by defeating the Netherlands

Stefan Eder struggled a little because he was knocked down in the second round. With zero and four penalties, Upper Austria and Kondaru made a great contribution to the good performance of the Austrian team.

Through the Longines EEF series, the so-called B Nations of Show Jumpers are offered an enticing series of tournaments, where the winner of the final match (September 14-17 in Warsaw / Poland) is promoted to League A. A week ago, teams from France and Belgium qualified and Sweden, Spain and Poland for the first semi-final (West and North Zone) in Deauville, France. In Ebreichsdorf Racino, the top ten countries in the central and southern regions (Italy, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Austria) fought for the remaining five places.

The way this Nations Cup series plays out is a bit strange and confusing to the uninitiated, because in addition to the actual “B Nations” from the four southern, central, northern and western European regions, teams from League A (such as Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Italy in Racino) are allowed to participate. This led, among other things, to the strange situation that on Thursday Marcus Enning started in the German Nations Cup team at the CHIO in Aachen and a day later his younger brother Johannes Enning in Ebreichsdorf.

spoiled for choice

The line-up for the semi-finals was not easy for Austria. Max Konner was in Monaco to defend his title after winning last year on the World Champions Tour, Christoph Obernauer’s horse Kleuns Renegade was injured and Gerfried Backe announced a few days ago that Equitron Naxel had a cough. For Team Austria boss Sabine Schranz it was clear that Stefan Eder, Katharina Romberg and Alessandra Reich were seeded in this constellation. The day before, Lena Binder and Marianne Schendel had finished fourth in the 3-star class. Both showed clean, clear runs and the team manager was now spoiled for choice. In the end, it was Marianne Schendel’s routine that was the deciding factor, as Lena Bender had enough worthwhile tasks awaiting her at the upcoming junior tournament.

Slow start, strong finish on the first lap

In the first round, the red-white-red needed some time to get up to speed, because Alessandra Reich’s Oily R had two touchdowns and thus had a less than ideal start. Things went better for Marianne Schindel, whose 17-year-old Acoustik Solo du Baloubet came through the course with ease. Unfortunately, he missed the water, but one can be quite satisfied with the four penalty points. Great mood then on the well-occupied stands, as Katarina Romberg and Cuma cleared and cleared the sixteen jumps. Not only did Stefan Eder present his Condaro team, who were at their best, quite smoothly, but they also remained without a penalty point, which meant that the Austria team was in second place after the first round behind Italy (0) with four points as applicable with Ukraine and the Netherlands.

For Alessandra Reich, things didn’t quite go as planned next time: “Today just wasn’t my day, my horse didn’t feel comfortable here!” Marianne Schindel was also experiencing the atmosphere: “It was really exciting,” she commented of her son, Baloubet du Rouet. But Katharina Romberg once again proved that she can be relied on in the decisive moments: she showed one of the four clear double rounds, keeping Austria within striking distance of victory. With zero, Eder would have forced a jump to victory, the violet pole thought about it for a long time in the combination jump, but then fell. “We didn’t even agree on whether Stephan and I would compete in a jump,” Rhomberg admitted later. She only had three words for her performance: “Yeah, mega, great!”

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