DOUBLE GOLD WOULD BE PERFECT EARLY BIRTHDAY GIFT FOR NAGEL
Carsten-Otto Nagel is the man of the moment in Madrid. The 48-year-old already has a team gold medal in his back pocket after yesterday’s German victory at the FEI European Jumping Championships and, as leader of the individual rankings, he’s hoping to make that double gold here at the Club de Campo de Villa Madrid tomorrow. Nagel will celebrate his 49th birthday next Friday, and what better present could there be than two European gold medals to add to the team gold from last year’s Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ that’s already in his collection.
There were five no-shows for this morning’s second horse inspection, most notably Pilar Lucrecia Cordón, best-placed of the Spanish in 12th overnight. Nuage Bleu has a minor leg injury and there was no question of risking the 10-year-old gelding over two big courses tomorrow. But the home side still has Julio Arias and Jarnac to cheer on and the Spanish rider’s fan club is sure to be out in force in the glorious Club de Campo showgrounds tomorrow afternoon. Others who decided to give their horses a longer lie-in this morning were the three Belgians, Jos Lansink (Cavalor Valentina van’t Heike, Gregory Wathelet (Copin van de Broy) and world champion Philippe le Jeune (Vigo d’Arsouilles STX), as well as Italy’s Natale Chiaudani (Almero 12).
That means that Sweden’s Angelica Augustsson (Mic Mac du Tillard) and Malin Baryard-Johnsson (H&M Tornesch) and Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam (Amaretto D’Arco) have been promoted from the reserve list into the individual final. Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, who was fourth of the reserves, decided not to present Jalisca Solier this morning so the start list has been reduced by one to just 24. It’s a rest day for all the Championship horses today as there will be plenty of jumping for them in tomorrow’s final decider. The two-round class will be run over two different courses, not against the clock, with horses jumping in reverse order of merit, saving the best till last. It’s going to be a day of really top sport and Spanish course designer Santiago Varela, who has come in for a huge amount of praise from all the riders here in Madrid, is sure to produce a thriller! Starting time for the first round is 15.50 CEST and the second round to decide who will be declared European champion gets underway at 18.00 CEST.