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Sterrehof's Cayetano Z on a roll for Austria, Sterrehof's Calimero defends Dutch colours
With a feeling of pride we can leave the outdoor season of 2018 behind us. During the prestigious Longines FEI Nations Cup Final in Barcelona, we were represented by two horses. Sterrehof’s Cayetano Z came with Julia into action for Austria, Sterrehof’s Calimero was allowed to defend the Dutch colors again with Marc. Both combinations managed to impress at this world stage. Cayetano jumped fantastically with Julia in the first round on Friday, as they left a sublime clear round on the scoreboard in the Spanish harbour city. Their result contributed strongly to the (shared) first place of the team, which brought Austria a convincing and historical qualification for the grand final (top 8) on Sunday.
Calimero and Marc had one rail down, but also the defending champions from the Netherlands qualified for the decisive round on Sunday. The Dutch team even managed to achieve this result for the sixth year in a row, in other words, every time since the FEI Nations Cup is ridden by the current format, with the final battle in Barcelona.
The final round on Sunday was, as expected, very difficult and technical. Ultimately only four of the 32 combinations stayed clear. Unfortunately not our two trump cards but they both came close. Cayetano and Julia were on their way to another sensational clear round but had a rail down on the last fence. The Austrian team finally finished seventh in this world class competition.
Compliment for management
Calimero also had four penalty points with Marc and these were already on the scoreboard after the first fence. The rest of the course, including all technical difficulties, was a textbook performance. Calimero again showed his sharpness and freshness, which is also a compliment to the management of Stal Houtzager-Kayser. After all, Calimero was the only one of the entire field who recently also participated in the individual finals at the World Championships in Tryon. In addition, he is the only horse of the Dutch team that was also present in 2017 when the Nations Cup was won. This time the Netherlands shared second place with three other countries. As the total time forms the decisive factor for the final score, however, that meant a fifth place. The strong acting Belgians came out as winners this year.