Salome Ludi takes a tumble on Super Rossi.

EQUESTRIANISM: Germany did it again, claiming the first leg of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup for the fifth year in succession at Houghton Hall over the weekend. 

Christoph Wahler, Jerome Robine, Ingrid Klimke and Felix Etzel posted a team score of 90.6, with Etzel’s the discarded score.

Chef d’equipe of the German team, Hans Meltzer, said: “We always enjoy coming to Houghton. 

“Alec Lochore builds good courses, which are very different to the ones we have at home. Here the riders can gallop much more and I think they all learn from it.”

Sweden held on to second place with a score of 91.2, while Great Britain improved over the three-day event to finish third on 99.2.

British chef d’equipe Philip Surl declared himself “chuffed” and said: “We had three first timers in our team; admittedly reasonably experienced riders, but never having been selected for the Nations Cup before. 

“For all the team to jump double clear is a great result.

“I couldn’t be happier. I’m also delighted that the class fielded nine teams that’s a good start to the series this year.”

British pathfinder and Derby University student Richard Coney said it had been nice to be chosen, adding: “There are plenty of riders who would like to be selected. Kananaskis is pretty consistent so I knew he had it in him to put in a good performance but you never know if it is all going to come together on the day.”

France moved up the rankings to fourth and the Netherlands to fifth, but Belgium dropped down the order to sixth, from third.

The individual winner of the four-star was established before midday when overnight leader, German Wahler came home clear and inside the time from the cross country course on Carjatan S, a 10-year-old grey gelding.

Sweden’s Louise Romeike and Waikiki 207 climbed from eighth after dressage to take the runner-up spot ahead of Newcastle University student Rosa Onslow.

Holly Woodhead claimed the three-star class, riding Scuderia 1918 Future, and Norfolk-born Piggy French led from pillar to post in the two-star event, on board Lancer Stud’s First Lancer.