Poland thrill in Drammen!

07. Jun 2024 / Category: Press Release

Report by Emily Bevan

Images: Helene Gjerde Aamdal

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 qualifier 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.

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 riding Santos Z, Sweden’s Ottilia Lundgren aboard Comeonconrad and Ireland’s Diarmuid Howley with Absolute Du Mio achieved the feat.

Joining Marek and Michal in the victorious team were Przemyslaw Konopacki 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.

Sweden occupied third place on 12 faults, 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.