TRIUMPHANT GERMANS MAKE IT FIVE-TIME GOLD, HAT-TRICK FOR ROTHENBERGER by Louise Parkes
Lausanne (SUI), 24 JULY 2011 – German riders had it almost all their own way when claiming both the Young Rider and Junior team titles as well as three of the individual gold medals on offer at the FEI European Dressage Championships for Young Riders and Juniors 2011 at Broholm Castle in Denmark this weekend. But the host nation did themselves proud when finishing a close second in both team events and then coming out on top in today’s Junior Freestyle Championship won by Nanna Skodborg Merrald and Millibar.
For Germany’s Sanneke Rothenberger these championships have been a particular triumph, as the 18 year old daughter of Olympians Sven and Gonnelien Rothenberger continues an ever-upward trajectory in her already impressive career. She won team gold as a Pony rider, and in 2007 made history in the German Youth Riders Championship when clinching silver in both the Pony and Junior divisions. She won team and individual gold at the FEI European Junior Championships in 2009 and last year claimed team gold and individual silver at Young Rider level. This weekend, with her 10 year old Oldenburg gelding Deveraux which she has been competing for the last four years, she stepped up her game even further when taking Young Rider Team, Individual and Freestyle gold, firmly placing herself at the forefront of her sport and displaying an awesome talent in the making.
HRH Princess Benedikte of Denmark, the dedicated and active patroness of the Danish Equestrian Federation, attended the event and today the FEI President, HRH Princess Haya, was also at Broholm Castle to present the medals to the winning riders. It has been a testing few days in every respect, as the weather did all it could to disrupt this year’s fixture with pouring rain and high winds creating a less-than-perfect competition environment. But the next generation of top-class dressage competitors rode through it with determination and emerged triumphant in the end.