Another great Masters Tournament came to a close at Spruce Meadows.
National teams from nine countries competed on Saturday in the $350,000 BMO Nations' Cup, one of the only two events of its kind in North America.
Looking at the teams on paper, the top prize of $100,000 was up for grabs as the competition blended veteran riders with youth. Clear rounds are the necessary ingredient of winning a Nations' Cup class and Team Germany proved it had the riders and horse power to tackle the international track set by course designer Leopoldo Palacios.
The Germans -- Hans Dieter Dreher, Daniel Deusser, Philipp Weishaupt and Christian Ahlmann -- won with the event with a total of 16 faults.
It was the German team's first win at Spruce since 2007.
Team Germany was hungry for recognition since it failed to medal at the London Olympics, something of a rarity for the Germans, who have been a powerhouse in team and individual competition at Olympic competition for years.Canadians fail to medal
Three out of the four riders on the Canadian team were returning from London Olympics, so the hope of homefield advantage had to be an incentive. Canada's lead rider, Mac Cone, riding Amor van de Rostal, only incurred four faults and the team was off to a great start.
Tiffany Foster and her horse, Victor, were second for Canada, but had a horrible run. Foster experienced a horrific fall when Victor failed to put the one stride needed to negotiate the tight distance between fences 7A and 7B. Both Foster and Victor crashed through the "B" part of the combination. Foster was eliminated from the first round.
That left Team Canada with only three riders and no drop score. Sound familiar? It was the London Olympics all over again.
Team Canada rallied and Eric Lamaze, riding Derly Chin De Muze, would post an eight-fault round and Captain Canada, Ian Millar, would anchor the team with a score of four.
So after Round 1, Team Canada had 16 faults It wasn't out of the running for a medal, but it would require three clear rounds going into Round 2. Unfortunately, Foster and Victor were eliminated for two stops at the same combination she had the fall in the earlier round. Canada would end up tied for fifth with the Americans.
Team France, the defending champion, only came with three riders and did not advance to the second round.
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