Mia Allegra Lohe, Tovdals Golden Future Imperial, GER. Photographer: Leszek Wójcik.
All of the medals have been decided at the 2020 FEI Pony European Championships in Strzegom. The rivalry ended in the eventing, showjumping individual final, and dressage Freestyle.
Irish riders Ben Connors with Cornafest Fred, Josh Williamson with Ardeo Fireman, Matthew Love with Lucky for Some, and Claire O’Ryan with Carhu Melody took the lead after brilliant cross-country trials. Even three knockdowns and the added 12 penalties could not threaten their win, with the result of 104,1, and they took home the gold medal. The best one of them was Ben Connors, who was clear in the jumping trial and finished with the silver individual medal (28,9).
Team silver went to Germany, with the result of 107,6. They kept their second position through all of the trials. Team member Merle Hoffmann with Penny Lane WE finished with the bronze medal individually (31).
The French, defending their last year’s title, lost their dressage lead in the cross-country, after one of their riders had a run-out at the last combination and that knocked them down into third. They added 8 penalties to the score, but that kept them in the bronze medal position, finishing with the score of 108,9.
The best one of them was once again Mae Rinaldi aboard Boston Du Verdon. The dressage leader went over the XC clear and perfectly inside the time, and delivered yet another perfect round, to finish at 25,6. “It’s amazing. My pony was fantastic all week. Yesterday’s cross-country was long, with demanding fences and combinations, but Boston was great as always. Today we were under a lot of pressure, but my pony jumped great and I’m really happy to win the European Championships for the second time in a row!”
Germany was unbeatable this year. Their riders took home the gold medal twice, winning both the team classification and Freestyle, and took all the spots at the podium in the individual class.
In the Freestyle, the best one of them was Mia Allegra Lohe with Tovdals Golden Future Imperial – 80,355%; the silver went to Maddy Dijkshoorn from the Netherlands with Boogie De L’Aube – 77,795%.
There was also a historic success for a Polish rider. Veronica Pawluk with D’Artagnan 187 took home the bronze medal, with the result of 77,490%.
Ireland took it all, both in the team and individual classifications. In the individual final, the two decisive rounds have confirmed the amazing form of the Irish, that have dominated the podium. Two riders in green jackets finished all of the 5 courses at this year’s championships on a zero-penalty score. The champion had to be determined in the jump-off. There the win belonged to James Derwin with Rincoola Babog – the same one that secured the team’s gold medal on Friday with his faultless round. Silver went to James Brennan aboard the 9-year-old MHS Glow, and bronze to Coen Williams with Saxton Freedam, who also did not make any mistakes on the jumps throughout the week, but finished the first round with three points for time.