Germany has taken individual gold at the European Showjumping Championships, to roars of delight from the home crowd, with Switzerland taking silver and Sweden the bronze.
Andre Thieme and his superstar ride DSP Chakaria had a fence in hand when they went last into the area in this final round of competition.
And as was the case in Friday’s team decider, the last rider needed that pole, as the 11-year-old mare just caught the 1.58m oxer going into the treble at fence five. But Andre kept cool and left the rest standing, to finish on a total of 6.84 penalties.
“After that fence, it wasn’t easy!” Andre said. “I knew I had one rail coming in but to have a pretty early one; I thought ‘Oh, Jesus, there’s a long way round from here!
“I just tried to stay calm, and have to say thank you to my horse, she’s outstanding.
“I always knew she was something special but it’s unbelievable she’s done this.”
Defending champion Martin Fuchs, whose rail down in the first round of today’s competition had dropped he and the nine-year-old Leone Jei to fourth, must have thought it was all over when, fourth-last to go in, he also caught that first part of the treble, giving him a total of 9.31 penalties.
But next in Ioli Mytilineou, the sole Greek rider who had had a dream debut championship so far, without touching a pole on the 10-year-old Levis De Muze, also fell foul of the same fence; a split-second’s mistiming on take-off meaning the stallion crashed through and could not jump the second part of the combination, so she retired.
Peder Fredricson and Catch Me Not S also knocked only their second pole of the European Showjumping Championships, which, with a single time-fault, put them on 9.46 penalties, to take the bronze.
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