The European contingent broke out of its slump at the World Cup tonight when Piet Raymakers on Isocratus, the only entry from the Netherlands, survived a five-way timed jumpoff to win the second phase of the competition.
Raymakers, 24, a travel agent, was the only rider from the original field of 28 to put in three faultless rounds over a total of 27 obstacles. Until tonight the North American riders have won the first five events.
Asked how he felt at breaking the North American streak, he said "very good, eh? I try to win every day, but the courses are different in Europe. The fences are bigger. You can touch them a bit more and they won't go down."
Five riders made it into the final phase against the clock, including Melanie Smith of Germantown, Tenn.She placed second tonight on Calypso, solidyfying her position as the leader going into Sunday's final event. She has 37 points, followed by Michael Matz of Plymouth Meeting, Pa., with 26 points overall.
"It's so far from over," said Smith, 30. "Anything could happen Sunday."
There is no competition Saturday.
Raymakers negotiated the course of seven jumps flawlessly and prevailed despite the fact that Conrad Homfeld on Balbuco, the last to enter the jumpoff, has a faster time. Homfeld's horse clipped the last fence and had to settle for third place.