Tag Archives: FEI European Championships

Germany Takes the Early Lead in Dressage

Photo: Helen Langehanenberg and Damsey FRH. (FEI/Claes Jakobsson)

Chasing down their 23rd European team Dressage title, Germany took a firm grip on the leaderboard at the halfway stage of the Grand Prix at the Longines FEI European Championships 2017 in Gothenburg (SWE).

Helen Langehanenberg got them off to a great start when posting the biggest score of the day, 74.986%, with Damsey FRH, and team-mate Dorothee Schneider (48) cemented that when slotting into second place on a mark of 74.586 with Sammy Davis Jr. With two more riders still to go, including their superstar combination of Isabell Werth and Weihegold, the Germans have almost a six-point lead over their nearest rivals, the defending champions from The Netherlands.

And it’s incredibly tight going into the second half of the competition with Denmark breathing down those Dutch necks just a fraction further behind, while the hosts from Sweden are in fourth place only another 1.0% adrift. A total of 16 teams are contesting the medal placings.

Langehanenberg (35), who, during her sensational career with the brilliant stallion Damon Hill, was a member of the victorious German team at the Europeans in Herning (DEN) in 2013 and the silver medal winning Olympic team at London 2012, has a relatively new ride in Damsey FRH.

“Although he is 15, we are a young couple, just one and a half years together now. He’s a wonderful horse but he’s like a lucky bag – you never know what’s going to come out! He is in a good mood today, and he’s different again tomorrow. Today he was great!” — Helen Langehanenberg GER

Patrick van der Meer (46) and Zippo were the first Dutch partnership into the ring, scoring 71.114, and Diederik van Silfhout added a competitive 72.528 with Four Seasons to back that up. But van Silfhout’s Danish pupil Anna Zibrandtsen (23) and Arlando, the brilliant horse her Dutch tutor steered to team gold at the FEI European Championships in Aachen (GER) in 2015, produced a stunning performance to earn a mark of 72.957 which, when added to team-mate Agnete Kirk Thinggaard’s 70.629 with Jojo AZ ensured the Danes are right in the mix.

Only the second German partnership of Dorothee Schneider and Sammy Davis Jr pinned Zibrandtsen back to third place when putting a mark of 74.585 on the board. Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven and Paridon Magi’s 72.857 filled fourth slot.

Austria, Spain, France, Russia, Finland and Belarus are lining up between fifth and 11th places, but don’t discount the British yet. Down a man since Gareth Hughes withdrew Don Carissimo they could still be in with a shout according to Emile Faurie who steered another relative novice, the 12-year-old Lollipop, into sixth spot on a mark of 72.285.

When asked about his hopes for the 2011 team gold and 2015 European silver medal winning nation, he said “that Spencer (Wilton) scores 80 and Carl (Hester) rides 90, which they both can, and must! 72 (his own score) has been a counting score in the past; we’ve got two brilliant riders with two brilliant horses coming so I don’t see that as too big an ask!”

By Louise Parkes

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Leanne Williams
Media Relations and Communications Manager
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

Gold Rush for GB and Dutch as Para Dressage Starts with a Flourish

Photo: Pepo Puch (Europeans/ Claes Jakobsson)

Great Britain and the Netherlands flexed their considerable muscles and claimed two gold medals apiece in the Para-Equestrian Dressage on a glorious, sun-drenched first day of the FEI European Championships in Gothenburg (SWE).

Julie Payne (GBR) led the charge in Grade I, posting a huge 77.642% score to leave the competition trailing far behind.

“That is one of the best feelings I have ever had. It’s the best test I have done on her; she was just so in my hand; if I asked her to correct she was just answering.” — Julie Payne (GBR)

The 55-year-old was riding Athene Lindebjerg, the mare who won triple gold at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games with former rider Sophie Christiansen (GBR). Remarkably, Payne and her new mount have only been together for three months, with the newly-crowned European champion grateful that they “just clicked”.

Grade I is for the most severely impaired athletes, with Payne describing her multiple system atrophy (MSA) as like combining motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and chronic fatigue syndrome into one.

German Elke Philipp was delighted to take silver with 73.428%, while Rihards Snikus (LAT) held off the challenge of current freestyle world champion Sara Morganti (ITA) to snatch bronze.

Great Britain’s Suzanna Hext, a debutant on the team like compatriot Payne, edged a tight battle for Grade III glory with a score of 71.588%. She was “over the moon” with her horse Abira’s performance.

“He loves a party, loves to show off and that’s exactly what he did today. He is a horse of a lifetime.” — Suzanna Hext (GBR)

Claudia Schmidt (GER) won a second silver for Germany, with a score of 70.617% placing her just ahead of Hext’s teammate, Erin Orford (GBR).

In Grade V, defending European individual champion Frank Hosmar (NED) pushed his long-time rival Sophie Wells (GBR) into silver.

“To beat them is always what gets me out of bed,” said Hosmar of his battles with Wells and Rio 2016 freestyle gold medal winner Michele George (BEL), who finished a surprising fifth.

“We see each other in the stables, say hello and kiss-kiss; it’s not like we hate each other, but it’s fun to beat each other.” — Frank Hosmar (NED)

Compatriot Sanne Voets (NED) revealed some timely pre-competition motivation made all the difference for her gold medal-winning routine in Grade IV.

“Yesterday in the familiarisation he got really tense and today in the warm-up he was a little tense too, but I said to him ‘c’mon boy, we can do this’ and I’m really, really proud of the way he handled everything,” Voets said after scoring 72.353%.

Belgium’s Manon Claeys claimed silver with a mark of 71.560% and Louise Etzner Jakobsson (SWE) delighted the home crowd by claiming bronze.

“I am proud to be a Swede in the Championships here,” Jakobsson said. “I always try to ride like I am home, wherever I am.”

Veteran Pepo Puch (AUT), a former international three-day eventer, defended his European title in Grade II, triumphing with 73.382%, ahead of Nicole de Dulk (NED) and Denmark’s Stinna Tange Kaastrup.

By Luke Norman

FEI Media Contacts:

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Danielle Goldstein and Carisma Shine at FEI European Championships in Aachen

Danielle Goldstein and Carisma (Photo courtesy of Noelle Floyd)

Aachen, Germany (August 26, 2015) – Since a young age, Danielle Goldstein has been dreaming of becoming an Olympic athlete. Over the last few years, she has come closer than ever to achieving that dream. After becoming an Israeli citizen in 2010, she has been able to represent Israel at top shows in Europe and in the United States. This month, at the FEI European Championships from August 11-23 in Aachen, Germany, Goldstein and her equine partner Carisma soared to top placings and came another stride closer to establishing themselves as true Olympic contenders.

Since the duo began competing together nearly two years ago, Goldstein and the 16-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare (Cardento 933 x Maraton 600), owned by Israeli Equestrian Partners, have rocketed more than 150 placings up the Longines world show jumping rankings, thanks to strong performances like a second-place finish in the $375,000 CSI5* Grand Prix in Wellington, Florida before she headed to Europe.

When discussing what it is like to compete at one of the most important show jumping venues in Europe, Goldstein said, “Aachen is impressive to anyone. I made a mistake last year at the World Equestrian Games by letting myself get overwhelmed, so this year, I just kept thinking about the riding and tried not to look into the stands! If I just looked where I was going on course, there would be no time to notice the pressure. I think my plan worked out well. The courses were fair, but built to the highest and widest specs. No one’s horses seemed overfaced, and rails came down all over the courses, not just in one area each day. That’s the sign of a really well-built championship.”

Goldstein and Carisma finished in the 21st individual spot out of 94 at the completion of the European Championships Jumping competition.

Goldstein also brought Dartbreaker, a young rising star, to Aachen. The seven-year-old KWPN (Heartbreaker x Lux) stallion owned by The Rose Group had excellent results throughout the week in several young horse classes.

Goldstein intends to keep the momentum she gained from the European Championships going, with an eye on continuing to build her string of young horses and bringing several of her new talents to the World Breeding Jumping Championships for Young Horses at Zangersheide in Lanaken, Belgium, on September 17-20. From there, Goldstein will compete in several tours in southern Europe.

For more information about Danielle Goldstein, please call 917-544-3349 or email dani.goldstein@gmail.com.

Contact: Danielle Goldstein
Starwyn Farms, LLC
Dani.goldstein@gmail.com
(917) 544 3349

Jeroen Dubbeldam Wins Gold at the FEI European Championships in Aachen

Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED) riding SFN Zenith N.O.P. ©Rolex/Kit Houghton.

Now holds World and European titles concurrently

Aachen, Germany, 23 August 2015 – In overcast, mild weather conditions, which were perfect for show jumping, the FEI European Championships closed with one of the finest displays of horsemanship the sport has seen in decades. At the end of five rounds of competition, Jeroen Dubbeldam from the Netherlands, riding SFN Zenith N.O.P. proved that he really is the best in the world when he added the European gold medal to his World Championship title that he won at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy in 2014. Jeroen Dubbeldam is now the first rider in 24 years to hold both Individual World and European Jumping titles concurrently.

The 40,000 crowd who packed the seats and standing space around the remarkable Aachen arena on the final day were lucky enough to watch equestrian sports at the highest level. The first round of the Individual final saw five clear rounds from the 25 combinations, which left the final medal placings wide open going into the last stage of the competition. Of the Top Four riders, only Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya had a pole down, which dropped him out of the medal contention. Despite a time fault, France’s Simon Delestre replaced Moya in the bronze medal position and when Gregory Wathelet from Belgium went clear into silver, Jeroen Dubbeldam entered the arena knowing that, although he could afford a time penalty, just one pole down would cost him the European title.

But this is a man who is used to delivering results under intense pressure, and from the moment he cleared the first fence, it was obvious that he was riding with his confidence sky high. He took his time, and accumulated a time fault, but the poles stayed in their cups and when he cleared the final Rolex vertical, a broad smile broke across his face as he raised a clenched fist to acknowledge the loud cheers from the crowd. As if to prove that old adage that consistency is key to winning at Championships, Jeroen Dubbeldam and Zenith were the only combination to not bring down a single pole throughout the five days of competition.

Speaking about his victory, Jeroen Dubbeldam said, “If you go here to Aachen, one of the most difficult places you can have a championship and one of the nicest, then you know it is going to be a tough battle. So many good riders and so many good horses, you can only dream that it comes true – there’s no wisdom for it and you have to be also, of course, a little bit lucky. First of all, everything needs to be, of course, good, you know horses have to be fit and you have to be fit and you have to focus and everything, but in the end you also need a little bit of luck and I had the luck also on my side and this is a dream coming true.”

Acknowledged as the world’s finest equestrian venue, Aachen has staged a highly successful FEI European Championships which attracted over 300 horses and 1,000 competitors who took part in five European competitions including Jumping, Dressage, Reining, Vaulting and Driving. Always a popular venue with equestrian fans, over 369,000 spectators flooded into the showground over the 11 days of intense competition.

Commenting on the venue, Rolex Testimonee Bertram Allen, who was competing at his first FEI European Championships, said, “It’s daunting walking into such an impressive arena! In the morning when you go in to have a look with it empty, the whole place is empty and you can really see it for what it is. Every time you hear of a Championship you know they’re going to be big and every time you hear of Aachen, you know it’s going to be big, so when you put the both of them together you’ve really got a big, big course and a big challenge.”

Rolex Testimonees

Rolex Testimonees Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, Kevin Staut and Bertram Allen all qualified for the final day of the Individual competition and, although not in medal contention, enjoyed clear rounds. Meredith and Fibonacci 17 finished in eighth place following a stunning clear in the final round, whilst Kevin Staut and Reveur de Hurtebise HDC enjoyed two clear rounds on the final day, but unfortunate faults accumulated earlier in the week pushed him down into 10th place. Bertram Allen and Molly Malone V had five penalties on the day and finished slightly lower down the placings.

Isabell Werth, riding Don Johnson, who is affectionately known as ‘Johnny’, enjoyed success in the team Dressage competition as Germany claimed the bronze medal and had an excellent fourth place in the Freestyle.

For the full standings, please click: http://results.aachen2015.de/show/7/event/31/championship/individual/standing/.

Quotes:

Gregory Wathelet (BEL)
“I am just really, really happy; it’s all good. My horse jumped amazing and today was again double clear. I have nothing to say – it was just amazing all the week. I knew I had to be clear, otherwise I was out of the podium and I didn’t ride my best one, for sure the last one; I was not smooth enough and relaxed enough, but okay, it’s the final and for sure you have to think about one thing – be clear and not maybe about the style and everything, but at the end, the results are there, because I am second at the European Championship. My first medal at a big championship.”

Simon Delestre (FRA)
“Ryan is just incredible; he’s a fantastic horse; it’s been an amazing week this week and with a double clear today, it was something incredible and it’s fantastic for me.

“It’s a reflection of, I think, the season. Ryan has had an incredible season, all this season – with Classic also – are really in good form. It’s a nice period for me and when you have big confidence in your horse and in yourself, it’s always more easy and today was amazing.”

For more information on the 2015 European Championships, please visit http://www.aachen2015.de/en/.

Rolex and the European Championships

Rolex is a major supporter of the biennial European Championships, an event which brings together Europe’s best equestrian pairs. For the first time, the FEI European Championships in Aachen, Germany, this summer (11-23 August) unites five equestrian disciplines – Show Jumping, Dressage, Driving, Vaulting and Reining. Competitors test their mental strength and show their equine discipline in front of crowds of up to 40,000.

Rolex is proud to support an occasion where the values that the leading luxury watchmaking brand holds dear – courage, precision, empathy, sportsmanship and passion – will be so clearly demonstrated.

The Netherlands Win Team Competition at the FEI European Championships in Aachen

Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED) riding SFN Zenith N.O.P. ©Rolex/Kit Houghton.

Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya takes the lead in the Individual competition

Aachen, Germany, 21 August 2015 – In a sunbathed Aachen arena, in front of a sell-out crowd of 40,000 spectators, the all-conquering team from the Netherlands won the Team competition at the FEI European Championships. The team of Jeroen Dubbeldam, Maikel van der Vleuten, Jur Vrieling and Gerco Schroder, the same four riders who so memorably won the gold medal at the FEI World Equestrian Games in 2014, put on an outstanding team performance accumulating only one time penalty between the three riders whose scores counted towards the final result. It was all change in the Individual competition, with Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya taking over the lead, then a brilliant clear round propelled Cassio Rivetti from Ukraine into second place leaving Jeroen Dubbeldam in third.

The remaining medal places in the Team competition were claimed by Germany in second and Switzerland, who performed a remarkable recovery following a disappointing performance on the first day of competition, in third. With the Dutch, German and French already qualified for Rio in 2016, they will now be joined by Switzerland, Great Britain, who finished in fourth place and Spain who finished sixth.

On a day that featured 10 clear rounds, the Individual competition saw the overnight leader Penelope Leprevost swap standings with fifth placed Sergio Alvarez Moya, who is enjoying an outstanding Championships so far. The Jumping competition now enjoys a rest day, with the Individual final taking place on Sunday 23rd August.

For the full standings, please click http://results.aachen2015.de/show/7/schedule/.

Rolex Testimonees

Rolex Testimonee Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum on board Fibonacci 17, rode a clear round to move two places up the leaderboard into 14th place. Bertram Allen and Kevin Staut both suffered tough rounds and accumulated faults which moved them further down the standings.

Quotes:

Jerome Dubbeldam (NED)
“This team is unbelievable, and it’s amazing to be part of this team. Everyone in this team watches as an individual; we leave each other alone and that is the strongest point about this team, as everyone knows what they have to do. Everyone knows their horses best and in the night we go and eat and have fun together, and during the day everyone does their own thing.”

Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP)
“I don’t think about a lot that is going on actually; I just try and jump as many clear rounds as possible and my horse is jumping great. I’m so happy for myself and all my team mates for the Olympic qualification. We do not have so many horses and riders in Spain, so it’s quite a big effort for all of us just to get the horses ready. We are only four or five riders, so always have to rely on each other if one does not jump so well.”

Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER)
“My horse is wonderful and he was really fighting for me today. It’s an incredible feeling to ride in this arena, with so many people cheering for you and praying for you – I really enjoyed the day.”

For more information on the 2015 European Championships, please visit http://www.aachen2015.de/en/.

Rolex and the European Championships

Rolex is a major supporter of the biennial European Championships, an event which brings together Europe’s best equestrian pairs. For the first time, the FEI European Championships in Aachen, Germany, this summer (11-23 August) unites five equestrian disciplines – Show Jumping, Dressage, Driving, Vaulting and Reining. Competitors test their mental strength and show their equine discipline in front of crowds of up to 40,000.

Rolex is proud to support an occasion where the values that the leading luxury watchmaking brand holds dear – courage, precision, empathy, sportsmanship and passion – will be so clearly demonstrated.

Olympic Fever Returns to Aachen as Jumpers Take to the Stage

Frenchman Roger Yves Bost, individual gold medallist at Hagen two years ago, will defend his European title at Aachen (GER) this week. (FEI/Richard Juilliart)

Aachen (GER), 16 August 2015 – Olympic fever returns to the FEI European Championships in Aachen (GER) this week with three berths at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games up for grabs in Jumping. And with European Driving and Vaulting medals also on offer, it’s going to be a hectic schedule right up to the closing ceremony next Sunday evening.

Jumping

The Jumping horses had their first tour of the Soers arena in this afternoon’s training session and the competition proper gets underway tomorrow, 19 August, with the first qualifying competition for individuals and teams which begins at 14.30 local time.

Following the withdrawal of Dimitri Natsis (GRE), a total of 94 horse-and-rider combinations from 28 nations will compete, and 23 countries will battle it out for the team medals. Only The Netherlands, France, Germany and Sweden have already achieved Olympic Jumping qualification, so the race for those last remaining Rio spots will be run between the rest. The British return as defending team champions, while individual title-holder, Roger Yves Bost, will be flying the French flag once again.

British Chef d’Equipe, Di Lampard, has the weight of Olympic qualification on her shoulders this week as well as the defence of the European team title, but she’s optimistic about her side’s chances. “We’ve had a great season and the actual team we have here this week is the winning Nations Cup team from Rotterdam,” she said today. “The spirit in this team is second to none and we are well-prepared and looking forward to it.”

The host nation hasn’t enjoyed the same level of recent success in team events, but Germany’s Otto Becker is reckoning on the “home advantage,” and that extra element could count for a lot.

The first round of the Jumping team competition and second individual qualifier takes place on Thursday, with the top 10 teams going through to Friday’s team medal decider. And then, following a rest day on Saturday, the top 25 will go through to Sunday’s individual final which is always guaranteed to be a thriller.

Driving

When it comes to edge-of-the-seat action, the Four-in-Hand Driving Championships has plenty to offer.

The more demure Dressage takes place on Wednesday and Thursday followed by the Cones phase on Friday, testing accuracy and control. But then the handbrakes come off for Saturday’s Marathon, which is always hugely popular with the spectators as the drivers steer their teams through a series of cross-country obstacles at tremendous speed. It is no easy feat and is always guaranteed to provide plenty of drama.

A record number of 14 nations will be represented by 36 drivers and 12 teams. And the Dutch will be going for a hat-trick of team titles led by defending individual champion IJsbrand Chardon.

Vaulting

When it comes to numbers, the Vaulters have the most, with 130 athletes from 15 nations demonstrating their strength, power and immense athleticism in the battle for individual, pas-de-deux and squad medals when the action gets underway on Thursday.

The popularity of this equestrian sport continues to grow at an incredible rate, and there will be plenty of home support for the German team as they come out to defend their title in the squads. But in the absence of Britain’s Joanne Eccles, and French stars Jacques Ferrari and Nicolas Andreani who are all now retired, new individual champions will be crowned, while Austria’s Jasmin Lindner and Lukas Wacha, the current world and European champions, are expected to dominate the Pas-de-Deux.

The Pas-de-Deux and male individual medals will be awarded on Saturday, with the prize-giving for individual female and squads on Sunday.

Media Contacts:

At Aachen:

Niels Knippertz
Press Officer
nielsknippertz@chioaachen.de
+49 (0) 241 9171 182

At FEI:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
Grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro Remain Double European Champions

(Aachen, Germany 16 August 2015) True champions are made from something they have deep inside them, a desire, a dream, a vision. Today, in front of a 38,000 strong crowd, Charlotte Dujardin of Great Britain proved that she is an undisputed champion by sealing victory in the D3 Deutsche Bank Individual Grand Prix Freestyle, and retaining her European title, with a score of 89.054%.

Charlotte, riding Valegro, was last to go in the final 15 on the closing day of a week-long dressage extravaganza. Tensions were high for the British rider who had to beat an impressive score, and a lifetime best of 88.804%, from Germany’s Kristina Bröring-Sprehe, riding Desperados FRH. Though we have come to expect great things from Charlotte and Valegro, the pressure mounting from the home-crowd spectators was palpable. It was a test of real metal strength for the duo in the impressive Aachen arena.

Despite the rain and the intense pressure, Charlotte and Valegro rode a beautiful test and placed first, scoring 89.054%. Crowd favourite Kristina Bröring-Sprehe was placed second – the young rider (28), has had a fantastic week at the FEI European Championships, contributing to Germany’s Team Bronze medal and finishing second in yesterday’s Grand Prix Special.

Following her win and when asked about Kristina’s impressive score, Charlotte said; “Well that is sport and that’s what keeps it exciting. It would be really boring if I was winning by miles all the time but Kristina is catching me, and even Edward on the Grand Prix…. We’re going to go back home and work on it, we’re going to Olympia and also preparing for Rio, so don’t worry, I won’t be giving up easily!”

Spanish rider Beatriz Ferrer-Salat also produced an impressive display of horsemanship to place third on her horse Delgado. Beatriz started competing Delgado in 2009; the pair has been hit with injuries over the years so it was incredibly enjoyable for equestrian fans to see them back on the podium.

The dressage element for this year’s 2015 FEI European Championships has seen participation figures at an all-time high, with the definite entries revealing a massive 20 nations and 72 horse-and-rider combinations entering.

Final Result from the Individual Grand Prix Freestyle

Gold Medal: Charlotte Dujardin (GBR)
Silver Medal: Kristina Bröring-Sprehe (GER)
Bronze Medal: Beatriz Ferrer-Salat (ESP)

Rolex Testimonee Isabell Werth at the European Championships

Whilst individual success may have escaped her this year, Rolex Testimonee, Isabell Werth, riding Don Johnson FRH, made a great contribution to the German team claiming Bronze earlier in the week. Yesterday’s Grand Prix Special saw the duo placed seventh, despite a small error, with a strong score of 75.924%. Today’s Freestyle test saw the pair ride an impressive and captivating display to place fourth with a score of 82.482%. After her round, Isabell said, “I am completely happy with him. He came out of the shadow of Bella Rose and I’m really happy for him and proud. It was so emotional in front of that crowd. To do it here in Aachen is so great; I’ve been coming here for more than 20 years and have had such great victories so it was like a victory today.”

For more information on the 2015 FEI European Championships, please visit http://www.aachen2015.de/en/.

Rolex and the European Championships

Rolex is a major supporter of the biennial European Championships, an event which brings together Europe’s best equestrian pairs. For the first time, the FEI European Championships in Aachen, Germany, this summer (11-23 August) unites five equestrian disciplines – Show Jumping, Dressage, Driving, Vaulting and Reining. Competitors test their metal strength and show their equine discipline in front of crowds of up to 40,000.

Rolex is proud to support an occasion where the values that the leading luxury watchmaking brand holds dear – courage, precision, empathy, sportsmanship and passion – will be so clearly demonstrated.

Dujardin & Valegro Win Gold, Set New European Record at 2015 FEI European Championships

(Aachen, Germany 15 August 2015) Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro proved their worth once again by claiming Gold and setting a new European Championship record at the FEI European Championships today in Aachen. The duo claimed first place in the D2 MEGGLE Grand Prix Special scoring a superb 87.577%, just shy of their world-record score of 88.022%.

Strong Performances from British Contenders

Charlotte and Valegro did indeed steal the show today in front of an impressive crowd of 28,000 but there was much celebration to be had from the rest of the GB dressage camp, with two other riders finishing within the top 15 and through to tomorrow’s Freestyle. Carl Hester finished fifth after scoring 77.003% on board Nip Tuck, a personal best for the pair, while Fiona Bigwood, and her horse Atterupgaards Orthilia, who battled with the elements when the rain poured down during their test, came ninth on 74.210%.

Second Place for the Home Nation

Rolex Testimonee, Isabell Werth, rode her horse Don Johnson earlier in the day. They conceded a small error but as true professionals they recovered extremely quickly and make it through to the Freestyle tomorrow with a score of 75.924%. Germany’s Kristina Bröring-Sprehe placed second after an excellent round with her horse, Desperados FRH, scoring 83.067%.

The top 15 riders from today go through to tomorrow’s Deutsche Bank Prize, Individual Grand Prix Freestyle.

Rider Quotes

Charlotte Dujardin (GBR):
“I think after Thursday I wasn’t so happy with myself; I think I was a little too relaxed and I let silly mistakes happen. Today I wanted to go in there and do better. Valegro felt on top form outside and it was such an amazing feeling to go into the arena. As I was trotting round, I saw Kristina’s score flashing up on the screen; that really drove me on – I thought, right, I’m going to get you! It doesn’t make me afraid; it makes me fight harder.”

Kristina Bröring-Sprehe (GER):
“It was really great; he was a fighter and he gave his best. It was fantastic; the audience was wonderful and I’m really happy the stadium was so full.

Rolex Testimonee Isabell Werth (GER):
“The horse was in super shape and I’m very happy that I could show the quality and that he is serious. I think that was one of his best tests. For tomorrow though we will have to wait and see we need to be in the top 15, and then I will let him dance.”

For more information on the 2015 FEI European Championships, please visit http://www.aachen2015.de/en/.

Rolex and the European Championships

Rolex is a major supporter of the biennial European Championships, an event which brings together Europe’s best equestrian pairs. For the first time, the FEI European Championships in Aachen, Germany, this summer (11-23 August) unites five equestrian disciplines – Show Jumping, Dressage, Driving, Vaulting and Reining. Competitors test their metal strength and show their equine discipline in front of crowds of up to 40,000.

Rolex is proud to support an occasion where the values that the leading luxury watchmaking brand holds dear – courage, precision, empathy, sportsmanship and passion – will be so clearly demonstrated.

Ingrid Klimke Takes the Lead after the Jumping Test Phase of the CICO 3* Eventing in Aachen

Ingrid Klimke.

(Aachen, Germany, 13 August 2015) – Germany’s Ingrid Klimke holds the lead after the jumping phase of the Eventing at Aachen today, taking the German team into the lead overnight. New Zealand lies in second with Great Britain third.

German team takes the lead

Host nation Germany took the lead today in the Jumping phase of the CICO 3* Eventing Nations Cup at Aachen. The competition is running alongside the 2015 FEI European Championships in dressage, show jumping, reining, vaulting and driving.

Navigating a tough Frank Rothenberger course and contending with some high temperatures, many teams buckled under the pressure and time faults and fence penalties were added to the totals.

Lying in second after the dressage, Sandra Auffarth had a fence down to drop from second to sixth, but this was not enough for Germany to give up the lead. New Zealand moved up to second, thanks to fault-free rides from all of the team.

A young, but daring British team proved worthy opponents to Germany and New Zealand. Holly Woodhead had a fantastic clear round on her horse DHI Lupison, which moved her up to second individually and helped Great Britain into third.

Klimke Dominates Individual

Ingrid Klimke also dominates the Individual leader-board thanks to a clear round on FRH Escada JS. Holly Woodhead goes into second place and Australia’s Andrew Hoy went clear on Cheeky Calimbo to secure him third position.

Quotes

Ingrid Klimke (GER):

Having secured first after her Jumping phase Individually and helping her team to the leading position, Ingrid could not contain her excitement: “I am absolutely delighted!”

For more information on the 2015 European Championships, please visit http://www.aachen2015.de/en/.

Rolex and the European Championships

Rolex is a major supporter of the biennial European Championships, an event which brings together Europe’s best equestrian pairs. For the first time, the FEI European Championships in Aachen, Germany, this summer (11-23 August) unites five equestrian disciplines – Show Jumping, Dressage, Driving, Vaulting and Reining. Competitors test their metal strength and show their equine discipline in front of crowds of up to 40,000.

Rolex is proud to support an occasion where the values that the leading luxury watchmaking brand holds dear – courage, precision, empathy, sportsmanship and passion – will be so clearly demonstrated.

Gal Leads Netherlands to Third European Team Title

On the podium: Diederik van Silfhout, Patrick van der Meer, Edward Gal, Hans Peter Minderhoud and Chef d’Equipe Wim Ernes. (FEI/Dirk Caremans)

Aachen (GER), 13 August 2015 – The Netherlands claimed team gold ahead of Great Britain in silver and Germany in bronze at the FEI European Championships 2015 in Aachen, Germany today. It was a cliff-hanger of a competition, with the result decided by a superb performance from Edward Gal and Glock’s Undercover NOP. However, Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro produced the biggest score of the day, posting 83.229 to finish more than half a percentage point ahead of the Dutchman.

Today’s result has also decided the last three European qualifying spots for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and it is Spain, Sweden and France, who lined up fourth, fifth and sixth respectively, that have made the cut.

The Spanish really pulled it out of the bag today, Morgan Barbancon Mestre putting in a poignant performance with Painted Black on the final event of the 18-year-old stallion’s career, while Beatriz Ferrer-Salat, silver medallist at the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004, boosted their chances when slotting into individual fifth spot with Delgado.

This was The Netherlands’ third time to take European team gold, and their first time to field an all-male side. They made history when breaking the German stranglehold on the title in 2007 and then did it again two years later, before the British broke the mold once again in 2011. Dutch Chef d’Equipe Wim Ernes said recently that he expected his side to take team bronze at these championships, so when asked this evening what he thought of that now, he replied, “That was a few weeks ago; since then we just practiced and got better, and so today we won!”

Had the advantage

Team Germany had the advantage as the competition resumed this morning, but when Hans Peter Minderhoud went to the top of the scoreboard with a mark of 77.856 with Glock’s Johnson that tipped the balance in The Netherlands’ favour.

He was followed into the ring by Britain’s Carl Hester whose gelding, Nip Tuck, was a little unsettled through parts of his test. “But he’s so consistent; he’s never had under 70 percent,” said the London 2012 Olympic Games team gold medallist after posting 75.400.

Three horses later you could feel the electricity in the air as Germany’s Matthias Alexander Rath and Totilas took their turn. They were expected to secure their country’s position at the top of the leaderboard, but their mark of 75.971 always looked vulnerable. The German rider said afterwards that “the piaffe could have been more active,” expressing surprise at his score. But only two horse-and-rider combinations broke the 80 percent barrier today, and the first of those was ridden by Gal, the man who produced Totilas to become the first super-star horse of the sport of Dressage before the stallion’s sale to Germany in 2010.

Sensitivity

Gal has often struggled to contain Glock’s Undercover’s sensitivity and anxiety, but today the 14-year-old stallion showed exactly what his rider always said he could do. The judges clearly relished the utter consistency of the horse’s passage and piaffe, the steadiness of his tempi changes and the smoothness of the canter work when awarding the new leading mark of 82.229. That promoted the Dutch into an even stronger position, and although British stars Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro would better that by 0.8 percent, it was the Dutchman who took centre stage at the post-competition press conference having clinched it for his country.

The final Dutch score was 235.629 but it was a close-fought affair with the British runners-up just 1.4 behind while the Germans were more than three points further adrift in bronze medal spot.

When asked how he produced such a confident test under extreme pressure today, Gal explained, “I think it’s the experience my horse has now; he’s done more big competitions; he did Las Vegas (Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final), and that was impressive for him. Here, when you are in the ring you don’t notice so much around you because there are so many judges’ houses that you can’t see out anyway!” he joked.

“But no,” he continued, “for him it was quite a good atmosphere. The people are far away, and in the ring it was really quiet; it felt good and that gives him the confidence, and gives me the confidence that he is quiet and I can ride – and that makes an amazing test!” he explained. “I think we are the happiest team here!” Gal added, and Carl Hester responded, “I think that’s true – we have a great team too, but we’re not as happy as you!”

Happy mood

Germany’s Isabell Werth was also in a happy and sporting mood even though that 23rd FEI European Dressage team title had slipped from her country’s grasp. “It was our goal to come first, but it’s boring to win all the time and much more exciting to come third and to have to start again next year!” she joked. “To be honest we tried our best, but in the end we missed some things… we were not as good as we can be, and I think the third place was right. Congratulations to the Dutch and the British – but be careful,” she warned with a smile. “We want to come back; we will do our homework and next year we will do a better performance!”

Next year is on everyone’s mind as today’s result has given all of the teams an indication of what they need to do if they want their Olympic dreams to come true. And this evening the judges for the Rio 2016 Olympic Dressage competitions were confirmed. Brazil’s Maribel Alonso was already named as President and today’s draw means that she will be joined by Stephen Clarke (GBR), Gary Rockwell (USA), Edward de Wolff van Westerrode (NED), Peter Holler (GER), Thomas Lang (AUT) and Susanne Baarup (DEN). First reserve for the Rio Ground Jury is Annette Fransen-Iacobaeus (SWE) with Isabelle Judet (FRA) as second reserve.

For more information on the FEI European Championships 2015 in Aachen, visit www.aachen2015.de.

Results FEI European Championships Aachen 2015 here.

Facts and Figures:

The Netherlands claimed the FEI European Dressage Team Championship title today for the third time in the history of the event.

Great Britain took silver and the defending champions from Germany claimed the bronze.

All three medal-winning nations are already qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games so the teams placed fourth, fifth and sixth – Spain, Sweden and France – have earned the three available qualifying spots on offer at these Championships.

The highest score of the day today was produced by the British star partnership of Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro who posted a mark of 83.029.

Only two riders scored over 80 percent – Dujardin and Gal who earned a mark of 82.229 with Glock’s Undercover.

This was The Netherlands third FEI European Dressage Championships team title. They previously topped the podium at La Mandria, Spain in 2007 and again in 2009 in Windsor, Great Britain.

Quotes:

Charlotte Dujardin GBR, talking about her performance with Valegro: “I’m a little bit annoyed with myself. The zigzag – that was a bit my fault and it was still on my mind when I went into the changes and my two-times, double marks gone there… but the beginning of it felt really good. I don’t think there’s been many horses that have gone in there and not made mistakes; it was just unfortunate that it probably cost us the gold. At this top end you can’t afford to make any mistakes. But we all go in there to try out best and enjoy it, and that’s what we did.”

Matthias Alexander Rath GER: “Riding into the arena at Aachen is very special; when the spectators applaud it gives you goose-bumps!”

Tinne Vilhelmson SWE, talking about her performance with Don Auriello: “The most important thing was Olympic qualification and I was a little bit worried that he (Don Auriello) might react when he came in, so maybe I was slightly on the careful side, but otherwise it felt great. I did get a mistake in the one-tempis; we only did 13 and I don’t really know why. I had a super feeling I was actually just thinking that it would go great and then he didn’t take my aids. The good side is that he stood still in the halt which we often have difficulty with, especially if there’s tension, and that can be expensive, so I’m happy that he was totally not impressed in there.”

FEI YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M56XiTxS5dg&feature=youtu.be

By Louise Parkes

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