Who is going to bring home the European Showjumping Championships’ medals?

  • With Olympic qualification safely secured, Great Britain’s chef d’équipe Di Lampard is using this year’s European Showjumping Championships to field a team of riders boasting a wealth of prowess, mixed with debutants looking to gain experience. And with Olympic champion, Ben Maher, on their side, the squad will be one to watch, both on the individual and team stage.

    Tim Gredley has made a remarkable return to the British team fold after several years away from the sport, while team debutants Sam Hutton and Donald Whitaker are big team players, and Harry Charles continues to reign as the world’s best under-25 rider. With all this combined, Great Britain could play a leading role.

    However, it’s not just Great Britain fielding some exceptional young riders, as there is a wealth of fresh talent coming through elsewhere, not least Team Ireland, who have some serious combinations on the roster this year. Expect to see them well represented in the individual final, too.

    Reigning European champions Switzerland have got to be one of the team favourites with their team stalwarts Martin Fuchs (Conner Jei) and Steve Guerdat (Dynamix De Belheme) big chances for individual medals, too.

    The reigning world and Olympic champions Sweden come to Milan without team lynchpin Peder Fredricson, who injured his neck in a fall last month. But Peder’s brother Jens, and Henrik von Eckermann were part of last year’s triumphant squad and will be hoping to complete the full house of championship gold medals with victory in Italy.

    Reigning European champion André Thieme will not be able to defend his title following a minor injury to his gold medal-winning partner DSP Chakaria, which weakens the German squad. The Dutch returned from a relatively lean period to claim team silver behind the Swedish champions at last year’s worlds and the likes of Harrie Smolders and Olympic bronze medallist Maikel van der Vleuten will make the riders in orange ones to watch.

    It would be a surprise to see Austria on the team podium, but Max Kühner has an individual chance, while Ukraine’s individuals, Alisa Danilova and Oleksandr Prodan will be warmly welcomed, and the Belgian side should definitely not be underestimated.

    With 15 nations fielding teams and 85 horse and rider combinations in action, Milan looks set to be a real thriller.

    European Championships medal predictions

    European Showjumping Championships podium predictions for riders and teams

    European Showjumping Championships riders: some of the individual favourites

    Riders listed in alphabetical order

    Henrik von Eckermann

    We are all disappointed that the Swedish world champion isn’t bringing his mighty partner, the hugely popular King Edward, but Iliana is a brilliant mare in her own right and one that Henrik has produced impeccably, racking up a string of five-star grand prix podiums in recent months. He describes her as a “special” mare, who is hot and “on it”, but the daughter of Cartdento’s rideability has been improving and she’s clearly in the best hands possible.

    Marcus Ehning

    The legendary German rider brings one of the most popular and talented horses in the world right now, the Aachen grand prix-winning stallion Stargold. Marcus has been on the silver medal-winning team for the past two European championships, so he’ll be gunning for that gold – this could be one of his best-ever chances at claiming the individual title.

    Martin Fuchs

    The Swiss rider has an impeccable championship record, winning individual gold at the Europeans in 2019 and silver
    in 2021, where he also won team gold, as well as finishing individual silver in the 2018 world championship with his great former partner Clooney. He brings the 12-year-old Conner Jei, with whom he won the five-star grand prix of Falsterbo in their last appearance.

    Ben Maher

    You can’t look further than the reigning Olympic champion for one of the championship’s favourites for a gold. He may not have his gold medal-winning partner, the injured Explosion W, with him but, as he proved at the world championships in Herning last year, Faltic HB – who is now in the same ownership as Explosion for Charlotte Rossetter and Pamela Wright – is a more-than-capable substitute. And as well as helping the team to bronze last year, the pair finished fourth individually.

    Horse & Hound has a team of reporters covering all the European showjumping action. To keep reading on our website after five articles, readers will need to buy a subscription. Visit horseandhound.co.uk/join to buy a Horse & Hound website unlimited subscription or, for great value, visit magazinesdirect.com for a combined magazine and website subscription. If you are already a magazine subscriber, the cost to upgrade your subscription to include full website access is minimal – call 0330 333 1113 to find out more.

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