It’s a big challenge to design a cross country course after the Championships. Achieving a balance between creating an interesting course for visitors whilst lowering technical requirements can be difficult. I hope all this year’s courses will be entertaining for spectators and at the same time friendly and educative for horses and riders. Designing a cross country course for the Nations Cup competition is particularly interesting. It is a team competition and it has its own rules.
The Nations Cup cross-country course begins with four easy, but large scale fences, which are designed to help horses find the correct rhythm and for riders to feel in control.
The fifth fence is the first that spectators will be able to observe up close. It’s an enormous yellow-black oxer near a water fence complex. Then we have a long stretch of canter and a 1-stride combination of fences EUROINS 6AB on the top of the hill.
Over the next stretch, horse and rider will be presented with their first serious test on this cross-country route: it’s a combination of two URSUS tractors positioned parallel at a large angle provoking run-out to the left. We are now getting close to the first big fence complex sponsored by KOWAR. It starts with the largest log on the ditch followed by a four element combination, the direct route consisting of a very risky skinny fence, concluding with another big jump through the ditch with the hedge.
Following such an intensive section of the cross-country, there is opportunity to take a breath. On route to the first water fence, there is only one jump through another ditch proceeded by a length of canter where riders will face the PODA LAKE combination which finishes with an innovative corner build with MIM safety cups and arranged in a non-conventional layout.
Now riders go straight to the main water complex, which this year, thanks to our principal partner, is called LOTTO ARENA. First is a massive table and on to the curve line jump into the water through vertical palisade. Next riders turn right and jump out off the water through a combination of skinny fence and corner. Dealing with this question requires high-level skills from the rider and a lot of precision from the horse. All four jumps are situated just a few meters from the visitor’s area, so they will bring a lot of sporting thrill for sure.
A short rest at the main show jumping arena with the task of two big oxers and then we go back to LOTTO ARENA. This part of the course begins with a jump into the water through the big log followed by a very difficult combination of house and corner in the water. It’s not far to the finishing line now. All that’s left to do is to jump the table followed by the final combination on this cross-country route, walls made of Strzegom granite. One last fence and we arrive at the finishing line!
Good luck and see you in Strzegom!!!