With pre-Olympic tension reaching boiling point, Germany grabbed maximum points in the fourth leg of the FEI Nations Cup™ 2012 series at Rotterdam, The Netherlands today. But the eventual winners were pushed all the way to the finish line by the super-cool Swedes who piled on the pressure with four clear performances in the second round.
The French, at last, provided Chef d'Equipe Henk Nooren with an encouraging third-place result, while the Irish slotted into fourth ahead of Switzerland in fifth. The British were hampered by a difficult day for pathfinder, Tim Stockdale, to take sixth, while the Dutch finished a disappointing seventh ahead of Belgium in eighth place.
It was like a pressure-cooker in the Rotterdam ring, with Olympic selection hanging in the balance for so many of the horses and riders. And as German team-member, Ludger Beerbaum, pointed out "it was a really exciting competition because until the last rider went in it wasn't clear who would be the winner!". Olympic hopes were raised and dashed throughout the afternoon, but for German Chef d'Equipe, Otto Becker, there was simply confirmation that he has a wealth of talent to choose from ahead of London 2012.