Gold for junior German eventers

Germany dominated the Junior European Eventing Championships in Belgium taking team and individual gold

Germany made a clean sweep of gold medals at the recent Junior European Eventing Championships. They also took individual silver with strong performances over the well-presented championship course at Waregem, Belgium, although the weekend was somewhat tainted by questionable scoring.

This is the second year running that Germany has taken the first two solo placings, and their team gold follows on from last year’s silver.

Christine Seitz and her eight-year-old dark bay gelding, Amigo, gave a stylish and polished dressage exhibition to take the lead for Germany on 40.01. Her team-mate Inga Marie Hoper on Ahrend Hoper’s Arranchino was not far behind on 45.87. The two were separated by Vincent Pryen of France, riding Fierte De La Loge, on a mark of 41.52.

Only nine riders achieved dressage scores in the 40s, including Britain’s last team member Hayley Rose, who put in a strong performance on Killmallock Dandy for 47.61 and fifth position individually after the first phase.

Germany led the team placings, followed by France and Belgium, with Italy in fourth position and Great Britain in fifth at this stage.

Controversial cross-country

Course designer Tom Ryckwaert produced a potentially testing cross-country course, immaculately built by the Willis Brothers and Messrs Ryckewaert and Herreman. It rode very well and did not present any obvious problems.

Alice Dunsdon and Carnaby Street II were the British squad’s trailblazers, who went comfortably clear with a few time penalties. Chloe Newton and Drop Dead Gorgeous repeated the feat, as did Francesca Ludlam and Secret Avalanche.

Laura Toogood on The Fieldmaster and Hayley Rose managed clears inside the time. So did Olivia Haddow, whose horse, Classic Court, was making amends for abandoning all co-operation in the dressage the previous day.

Christine Seitz rode a determined and faultless round, matched by Inga Marie Hoper, which helped the Germans maintain their lead.

While 75% of the 63 starters completed the course without jumping penalties, this caused much controversy and upset, with several falls – particularly between fences 20 and 21 that formed part of the testing water complex – going unpenalised. This resulted in a championship competition decided entirely on dressage marks.

Successful show jumping

By the time the show jumping started the British team had moved into fourth position. With three clear rounds and a few time penalties in the final phases they remained fourth, missing a medal by 16 marks.

The German team continued its domination. With confident clears neither former Pony champion Christine Seitz, nor Inga Marie Hoper, ever showed any signs of being dislodged from their dressage scores.

Oriane de Conick on Askinamoe Daisy put in the best Belgian performance, finishing fifth on her dressage mark of 52.17 to helpclinch the silver. France took team and individual bronze.

Hayley Rose came home best of the Brits in 6th, and three other squad members finished in the top 20. Laura Toogood was 18th with a rolled pole, Chloe Newton 19th as a result of clocking up a few time-faults, and Alice Dunsdon, who pulled off the only British clear show jumping without time penalties, finished 20th.

Read the full event report, plus a news story on the unpenalised falls at the event, in this week’s Horse & Hound (19 September), or click here to subscribeand enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.

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Originally published on horseandhound.co.uk