Poland Take the Win in a Stunning Jump-off Decider in the Longines EEF Series Nations Cup of Drammen!

Drammen, Norway – June 10, 2024 – Poland scored an impressive victory when they came out on top in a nail-biting jump-off against Norway to win the Longines EEF Series Nations Cup Qualifier CSIO 3* in Drammen. Sweden finished third to round out the podium.

It was the first time Poland had won a Nations Cup competition in eight years and the result secured them a spot in the semi-finals alongside Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

“Winning is the perfect thing that we can show our country. It’s very nice because we see the support growing. Horse riding is getting a bigger sport in Poland and it’s lovely to see. Many people in Poland don’t watch showjumping normally but they do watch Nation’s Cup so it’s a big boost for us,” the team shared after the historic moment.

Marek Waclawik (POL) and the 12-year-old bay gelding Kathmandau were the stars of the team, producing a rare double clear to secure Poland’s place in the jump-off and then recording a quick fault free round. The pressure proved too much for Norway’s jump-off horse and rider, Oda Charlotte Lyngvaer (NOR) and Carabella VD Neyen Z, who amassed eight penalty-points to hand victory to Poland much to the disappointment of the home fans.

“I like to go under pressure. With each round I was getting better and better. I knew at least we would be second which is still a good result so there was nothing to lose and I could go for speed,” said Marek.

Marek Waclawik (POL) with Kathmandau, owned by Oliwia Grabowska

“I’ve had Kathmandau since he was a foal and I rode his father so it’s a special day for me. He wasn’t easy when he was younger as he was so hard to teach and he was so spooky but since he has grown up and he has more confidence he’s been perfect.”

Clear rounds were more common in the first round. All of Poland and Norway’s horses and riders avoided jumping and time faults to leave them in joint first place at the halfway stage while there were six teams tied on four faults. A heavy downpour in the second round changed things however, and poles started to fall. Netherlands were one of the biggest casualties, dropping from third to seventh after an unlucky fall saw Fleur Holleman and Faltic eliminated and the other three team members knocked one fence down each.

Double clears were few and far between. As well as Marek and Kathmandau, only his teammate Michal Tyszko on Colinero, a 12-year-old bay Oldenburg stallion, Norway’s Therese Soehol Henriksen (NOR) riding Santos Z, Sweden’s Ottilia Lundgren (NOR) aboard Comeonconrad and Ireland’s Diarmuid Howley (IRL) with Absolute du Mio achieved the feat.

Joining Marek and Michal in the victorious team were Przemyslaw Konopacki (POL) riding the ten-year-old son of Picasso Z, Pure Pasion From Second Life Z, and Msciwoj Kiecon aboard the nine-year-old grey gelding Cicero.

“It’s amazing. It was Jan’s birthday yesterday so we said we were going to make him a present and we did. The weather was very challenging and played a big part in the competition. Everybody was very close and the weather conditions completely changed the result,” said Przemyslaw Konopacki (POL)

Sweden occupied third place on 12 penalty-points, while Belgium, who finished on the same score were slightly slower so had to settle for fourth.

Great Britain were fastest of the three teams on 16 faults to take fifth and Ireland finished sixth. Twelve teams contested the second Northern Group qualifier of the year including Monaco who were making their first ever appearance in the Longines EEF Series. Unfortunately, their competition ended in the second round when two of their riders withdrew from the event.

Final Results – €65,650 Longines EEF Nations Cup Series – Drammen CSIO 3*

1) Poland – 4 – 228.73

2) Norway – 4 – 226.09

3) Sweden – 12 – 220.63

Source: Press Release by Emily Bevan for EEF – European Equestrian Federation & Longines EEF Series

Photos: © Helene Gjerde Aamdal

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