September 21, 2006 -- The two top teams from the 2005 Samsung Super League did a flip-flop from where they finished last year leaving Germany with the top honors this year.
Team U.S.A. came in a solid second after a long, tough battle, which ended with the eighth and final show in the Samsung Super League tour CSIO Barcelona, Spain (September 14-17). In Barcelona, all team points accumulated counted as double. Germany finished with a total of 65.125 points while the U.S. finished on 46 points.
The U.S. team finished second three times (including one tie), third two times and fourth three times (including one tie).
The Germans and the Dutch were also strong across the board this year with powerful showings at the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG), where they finished in a mirror image of the Samsung Super League finish with The Netherlands taking the gold, the U.S. the silver and the Germans the bronze.
A strong German team consisting of Marcus Ehning, Christian Ahlmann, Marco Kutscher and Rene Tebbel took first place in the Barcelona Nations Cup, the last competition of the Samsung Super League series. With only four penalties, the Germans were followed in second place by The Netherlands with eight faults and the Americans in third with 16 faults.
The U.S. team for CSIO Barcelona was the silver-medal winning WEG team of Margie Engle of Wellington, Fla., riding Hidden Creek's Quervo Gold; McLain Ward of Brewster, N.Y., riding Sapphire; Laura Kraut of Wellington, Fla., riding Miss Independent; and Beezie Madden of Cazenovia, N.Y., riding Authentic. Ward anchored the team with a double-clear in both rounds of the Nations Cup.
This was an especially strong finish for the Dutch, who finished fifth last year. They climbed from sixth place to finish in the third position.
The German team was awarded 40,000 euros for winning the Barcelona Nations Cup, and they were also presented with 60,000 euros as the overall winners of the 2006 Samsung Super League. The French rider Stephane Lafouge was recognized as the best rider in the league by the FEI and Samsung.
Final standings of the 2006 Samsung Super League:
1. Germany - 65.125
2. USA - 46
3. The Netherlands - 35.125
4. France - 35
5. Switzerland - 32.125
6. Great Britain - 30
7. Sweden - 27.125
8. Ireland - 22