September 04, 2014

CAEN, France (AP) The Netherlands held off a late charge from host France to win the team jumping at the World Equestrian Games on Thursday.

Among the Dutch riders, Jur Vrieling was the only one who jumped a clear round at Stade d'Ornano. But the Netherlands, the runner-up at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, still finished 1.25 points ahead of France.

The hosts were fourth after Wednesday's qualifying, but Penelope Leprevost and Kevin Staut had clear rounds to spur France to second place.

Beezie Madden made no mistake to guide the United States to third place, and take the lead in the individual contest, which resumes on Saturday.

The Netherlands started the day with a lead of 3.89 points, thanks to clear rounds from Jeroen Dubbeldam, Gerco Schroeder and Maikel Van der Vleuten on Wednesday.

''The pressure was really on,'' Dubbeldam said. ''You think it's getting out of our hands, but Jur brought us back into the game.''

Germany took the top spot after the first two riders from each nation completed their rounds. But Daniel Deusser and Ludger Beerbaum each knocked down a fence and the 2010 world champion slipped to fourth place.

The Netherlands, France, the United States, Germany, and Sweden qualified for team jumping at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Sweden finished sixth behind Brazil, which already has a spot as the host nation.

In the individual contest, Madden is 0.18 point ahead of Rolf-Goran Bengtsson of Sweden, and 3.33 points clear of Soren Pedersen of Denmark.

Top-ranked Scott Brash withdrew from the competition. The British rider was only 36th after Wednesday's qualifying.

''The likelihood of qualifying for the individual final, with the standard of jumping here this week, is not likely,'' the British team said in a press release.

Joanne Eccles of Britain extended her overall lead in women's vaulting by dominating the technical test, while Frenchman Jacques Ferrari retained the top spot in the men's contest despite his third place on Thursday. Austrian duo Jasmin Lindner and Lukas Wacha got the best score in the freestyle test of the pas de deux competition. Vaulting's finals are on Friday.

The games end on Sunday.

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