France extended a proud record at the beautiful Piazza di Siena arena in Rome yesterday, when they won the Samsung Super League Nations Cup, defeating the joint runners-up from Britain and the USA without their last rider needing to jump a second round.
It was the eighth time in 15 years that the French team has triumphed here. Frenchman Stephan Lafouge on Gabelou des Ores and Ireland's Cameron Hanley on Hippica Kerman jumped the only two double clear rounds.
Derek Ricketts, performance manager of the British team, said that he was "pleased but slightly disappointed." The competition had begun well with clear rounds from Robert Smith on Marius Claudius and Nick Skelton on Arko III but all four British riders had one fence down in the second round.
Ireland filled fourth place yesterday with the help of Hanley's double clear round. A remarkable five nations - the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy and Germany - were then left to tie for the remaining places with an identical total of 28 faults each.