Once every now and then, the weather actually behaves just as you wish and Sunday was one of those days. Just a tiny bit of rain in the morning and then perfect cool temperature and bits of sun all day. Pretty much what we all needed after being baked in the sun the last few days.
The horse inspection in all three remaining classes gave an indication on the demanding nature of the XC course Saturday. A few horses ended up in holding box; most got positive confirmations to continue the event but sadly some were not accepted by the Ground Jury. Thankfully we had no severe accidents during the XC so overall a positive start of the final day.
All focus was on the main arena as the last remaining classes were up for the final show jumping. The first class to start the day was the CCI2* and after a nerve-racking jump up Beeke Jankowski who was second after the XC come in as winner ahead of Elaine Pen.
After a short break it was time for the CCI3* riders to enter the arena and settle the scores. Stefano Brecciaroli and his amazing horse Roulette B came out determined to keep the first position they held after the cross country. Surely the starting field gave them a run for the money but Stefano and Roulette B were untouchable showing off some brilliant jumping as the secured the 1st place in Sunday’s event. The Nordic riders ended up changing the positions in the top four leaving Denmark’s Irene Mia Hastrup in 2nd place and Sweden’s William Nilsson Fryer in 3rd.
The grand final for the day was the Nations Cup and individual CICO3* where the riders and horse brought their absolute A-game. In the Nations Cup there really where no big surprises as the top three teams showed excellent form on the XC course and truly showed how show jumping is supposed to be done. We can only congratulate the top three winners for excellent riding and great sport: 1st Great Britain, 2nd Italy and coming in 3rd Belgium.
The individual CICO3* had all the ingredients a great grand final needs to have. Ludwig Svennerstål and Michal Jung, both with two horses in top 10 positions, showed that the completion truly is not over until the last rider hits the finish line. Michael was second last to ride and made a clear round putting tones of pressure on Ludwig to do the same to win. Surely it was a fight to the finish line and amazingly Ludwig and his horse kept the nerves in control a made a clear round coming out on top. Truly amazing rides from all riders and the spectators was bouncing in their seats with excitement. Congratulation to Ludwig and Michael for two great rides and to Rosalind Canter coming in 3rd after a fantastic clear ride.
Wrapping up this year’s SHT2016 we can only say that it gets better and better: riders, horses, the event and the arenas. Also a HUGE THANK YOU to all volunteers, sponsors, trade stands, and last but not least the spectators, who all makes this event such a great experience.
We have already started planning for next year’s EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP IN EVENTING here at STRZEGOM HORSE TRIALS August 17th-20th 2017.
Thank you for joining us and see you all here again next year.