With the inaugural Longines League of Nations™ season set to kick off in February, in the coming weeks we'll take a closer look at the 10 nations who have qualified to take part and be the first to lift the new trophy in Barcelona.
Today we look at Switzerland..
Jumping is a widespread sport in Switzerland, with around 340 national events and dozens of international events organized each year. This popularity has undoubtedly been boosted by the success of the Swiss show jumping riders, who emerged victorious as winners of the FEI Longines European Championship in Riesenbeek (Germany) in 2021, and have also won team medals three times at the Olympic Games.
These successes inspire national pride and ambitions for the riders, along with the Swiss Confederation's ethos that sees optimal conditions lead to great success. It is believed that the foundation for subsequent victories has been laid through strong core training and proper promotion of young talent – a task that falls to the new team boss, the former Dutch assistant. Peter van der Weij.
Van der Weij, who succeeded Michel Sorge in January, does so with enthusiasm and a deep sense of responsibility for the role, saying: “The new format with four contestants in the first round and three contestants in the second round adds an extra challenge and certainly does not make it easier for the outstanding chef.” It can lead to difficult decisions and is difficult to predict; we have seen too often over the years that the result of the first round is no guarantee of the second round. Rather, it is an interesting new aspect of the FEI Nations Cup format, and fans will be very excited to see what If their country is able to rise in the world rankings.
We asked him what the Longines League of Nations™ means to participants, the sport and fans.
Switzerland is famous for precision and craftsmanship. How do you see the Longines Championship of Nations as an opportunity to highlight Switzerland's commitment to excellence and attention to detail in equestrian sport?
“The Swiss team always strives to excel at the FEI Nations Cups and the newly launched Longines League of Nations™ will be one of the highlights of the season. With the best nations in the world competing at such a high level, the Swiss team will be able to “ We focus more on excellence and details in these offers. “Swiss riders have always given full priority to the FEI Nations Cup and will continue to do so through the Longines League of Nations™.”
In your opinion, what does the establishment of the Longines Nations™ Association mean for show jumping?
“The Longines Championship of Nations™ will take the sport to another level across the globe as the world's leading nations will compete against each other on three different continents. This will reach a global audience and will attract show jumping fans from all ten participating countries and be even more excited to follow.” Matches. For our team, it will be a very exciting season as our home show in St. Gallen is part of the series and will receive even more attention than usual, which will be very exciting! “
Switzerland has a close-knit horse community. How do you plan to engage fans and young riders in the excitement of the Longines League of Nations™ to foster a sense of unity and support?
“Swiss equestrian is not just about riders – it's about family and friends, and that's how we treat our fans and young riders. With St. Gallen being part of the series, the Swiss equestrian world will have a showcase of the highest level.”, where the best countries in the world compete against each other . In St. Gallen our fans will unite and we ask everyone to wear Swiss red with pride!”
Source: FEI (Georgie Roberts)
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