By Helen Scott
The Germans proved unbeatable in the FEI Pony European dressage championships at Bishop Burton College taking team gold, two individual golds and two individual bronze medals, with 15-year-old Moritz Treffinger and Top Queen H at the head of affairs in each class.
Denmark took team silver with Netherlands fraction of penalties behind in bronze.
Team GB were just out of the medals in fourth position, with Sophie Taylor and George Clooney BS in 12th, Anabella Pidgley on Ine in joint 13th, Isobel Lickley on Valido’s Sunshine 17th and Megan Barratt on Valido’s Starlight in 21st.
“Coming fourth, just out of the medals is perhaps the hardest,” said Team GB chef d’equipe Caroline Bell. “The riders all showed great maturity and sportsmanship.”
In the individual test it was Top Queen again in gold. German team member Jana Lang on NK Cyrill (pictured) was presented with the silver and Danish rider Alexander Yde Helgstrand on Adriano B in bronze. But a scoring mistake between the sheets and computer system, caused when one of the judges had to leave suddenly because of a family bereavement, was later discovered and the medals were reallocated, with the Danish rider 0.5 of a mark ahead.
Sophie Taylor was the only British rider in the group finishing 20th and making the cut for the freestyle. She pulled her personal best score out of the bag in the class, performing to music from Dr Who and scoring 72.05%.
The Germans arrived with a mature team, all in their last year at the level and an experienced set of ponies. Their team medal made it the 32nd gold won with team coach Conny Endres at the helm.
“They’ve been on brilliant form,” she said. “Next year we’ll have to start all over again with a new team.”
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Moritz and his 10-year-old mare (Top Anthony II x Dark Rubin), performed nearly fault-free, elastic forward tests.
“She’s a real princess and when we made tiny mistakes like coming short in the neck, or one upwards transition which wasn’t quite sharp enough, we were able to put it behind us,” said Moritz.
“I think her medium trots were the highlights and we scored nines for them.”
Moritz rounded off his competition in the freestyle dancing to songs from David Guetta to win gold from Alexander Yde Helgstrand for Denmark in silver and Julia Barbian on Der Kleine Koenig 3 for Germany.
Full report from the Pony Europeans in Horse & Hound magazine, on sale Thursday 16 August