Sensitive soul and a British leader: dressage shake-up early on day two of eventing Europeans

  • The leaderboard has had a shake-up on the second morning of the European Eventing Championships dressage in Haras du Pin, France. Tom McEwen and JL Dublin produced a sublime peformance for 22, a personal best for the pair, to take the lead. They currently sit just ahead of the overnight leaders Yasmin Ingham and Banzai Du Loir on 23.6.

    Germany’s Sandra Auffarth has great memories from Haras du Pin as the world champion back in 2014, and this time she is riding Viamant Du Matz. This energetic chestnut thrives on the jumping phases, but he knuckled down to produce a correct test for 28.6, fifth at this stage. Although this 14-year-old Diamant De Semilly gelding is not quite in the same stratosphere as Sandra’s previous star Opgun Louvo, this is his fifth championship and he delivered one of his best dressage tests to date.

    “He was really concentrating,” said Sandra. “Dressage is not his favourite; he enjoys the jumping part much more, but he had a good attitude and mindset. I also know it will not be a dressage competition, the jumping will be tough enough.”

    Sandra explained how she coaxes Viamant Du Matz to perform between the white boards.

    “I keep him happy by not riding him in dressage every day,” she said. “I promised him after this competition he can have a few months off, that helps! He loves going in the field, hacking, galloping around. He is very sensitive, shy, and really knows his person, but that’s something I really like in him, it’s special.”

    Germany now has two team riders in the top six, Sandra and Christoph Wahler (Carjatan S), fifth. Britain has Yasmin Ingham in second, and Kitty King fourth, with Tom’s leading score not counting as he is riding as an individual.

    Individual French rider Gireg Le Coz, riding the rangy Aisprit De Loge, thrilled the home crowd with a sub-30 and into seventh at this stage on the European Eventing Championships dressage leaderboard. Their loose and athletic test scored 28.8.

    End of day update: Sandra Auffarth now holds 11th place. Full results here.

    Horse & Hound has a team of reporters covering all the action at the Europeans in Haras du Pin. 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/XHH-brandsite 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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