Germany off to positive start at Europeans; Oliver Townend sixth for Britain

  • Germany’s team rider Julia Krajewski is out in front after the first session of dressage at the European Eventing Championships in Strzegom, Poland, this morning (Thursday 17 August).

    The 29-year-old scored 36.3 to take the lead on Samourai du Thot, the horse with whom Julia won Luhmuhlen CCI4* in June.

    Swiss rider Felix Vogg piloted Onfire into second on 37.2 just before the lunch break, ahead of Italy’s Pietro Roman with Barraduff on 41.

    Oliver TOWNEND (GBR) riding COOLEY SRS during the dressage phase of the FEI European Championships at Strzegom in Poland between 15 - 20th August 2017

    Oliver Townend is the only Brit to have ridden their test so far. He currently sits in sixth after scoring 43.8 on Cooley SRS.

    The 10-year-old owned by Angela Hislop predominantly scored in the sevens for his early trot work with some eights making an appearance, but fives and sixes crept into the canter.

    The flying changes were expensive with individual marks dropping as low as three.

    “You can’t really afford mistakes, but I think he is a good team horse and I hoped they’d put me first,” said Oliver. “He’s not established enough [in the dressage] to be an individual medal contender, but it’s a good starting score and if everyone else can be near it, or better, we’ll be in a good place.”

    Continued below…

    Samourai du Thot is an 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding and eights regularly flashed on the screen during his test under Julia Krajewski.

    “When he keeps it together I can ride for the points,” said Julia. “There weren’t really any big mistakes, maybe some little ones, but it’s a score you want to deliver when you’re going first.”

    Felix Vogg said Onfire can lack focus in the first phase, but today the horse was completely onside. Felix was helped in the warm up by Michael Jung.

    “When Onfire is with me he can get a good result, but it can also go really wrong,” said Felix. “The last three weeks we have worked hard on the dressage.”

    Germany’s individual rider Josefa Sommer lies fourth on 41 with Hamilton 24, ahead of France’s first team rider, Sidney Dufresne (Tresor Mail), on 41.5 in fifth.

    Sweden’s Niklas Lindback (Focus Filocus, 44.7), Belarus’s Aliaksandr Faminou (Gilhord, 51.2), Ireland’s Michael Ryan (Dunlough Striker, 51.4) and Belgian Joris Vanspringel (Lully des Aulnes, 51.5) complete the top 10 at this early stage.

    British team member Ros Canter (Allstar B) and individual Piggy French (Quarrycrest Echo) will ride their tests this afternoon at 2.14pm (1.14pm BST) and 3.46pm (2.46pm) respectively.

    Come back to horseandhound.co.uk later today for a full report on the first dressage session.

    Don’t miss the full Europeans report in next week’s Horse & Hound, on sale Thursday 24 August.

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