For the participating athletes, any Nations Cup performance is fraught with tension. After all, it’s not just your own result your riding for, but your country’s reputation on the international stage. It’s a lot of weight to carry around on your shoulders, and at the 2017 Longines FEI Nations Cup Final in Barcelona, Spain, it brought out the best in many of the sport’s top horses and riders.

Among the highlights: an international debut by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) team, who finished second-to-last of 15 in Thursday’s first qualifier. On Friday, however, the UAE came roaring back, posting only time penalties and winning the night without even having to call upon their fourth rider.

The Nations Cup Final on Saturday, September 30, however, belonged to the Netherlands, who handily reclaimed their 2014 victory with two clear rounds and only a single time fault from their third rider.

Photographer Thomas Reiner was on hand to capture all the highlights.