For a wrap-up of the Championships including interview with gold medallist Rolf-Goran Bengtsson (SWE) click http://youtu.be/smMqIO173pc.
HISTORIC FIRST AS SWEDEN’S BENGTSSON AND NINJA SWEEP INDIVIDUAL GOLD, by Louise Parkes
Madrid (ESP), 18 September 2011 – Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson and the brilliant little Ninja la Silla added European gold to their 2008 Olympic silver medal when sweeping to victory in the closing stages of the individual title-decider at the FEI European Jumping Championships in Madrid, Spain today. This was a historic first, as the only European medal previously stashed in the Swedish trophy cabinet throughout the 54-year history of this event is the bronze collected by the same rider at Arnhem in Holland in 2001.
In a cliff-hanger of a class that had spectators on the edges of their seats right to the very end, the pendulum of good fortune appeared to have swung in the direction of The Netherlands’ Gerco Schroder who was in the lead as the final round got underway. But Lady Luck was not smiling on the Dutchman today, and it was Germany’s Carsten-Otto Nagel and Corradina who claimed their second successive European silver medal, while Great Britain’s Nick Skelton and Carlo took bronze.
It truly was a battle of the giants of the sport. And in the end it was the sport that everyone was talking about tonight. The extraordinary atmosphere of cooperation that prevailed throughout the entire week between the riders, officials and organisers created a powerful sense of a great sport in good shape. As Ground Jury President, Stephan Ellenbruch, pointed out, “It’s been a fantastic event, and at the end of it we can only see smiling faces which is great!”