Fei European Para-dressage Championships 2015
Great Britain is the European Team Champion but The Netherland have topped the medal table for the first time.
- #european championship
75 athletes from 20 nations competed at the FEI European Para-Dressage Championships 2015 in Deauville, FRA, (18-20 September).
14 countries entered teams - three more than in 2013. They are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Great Britain, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia and Sweden. Six nations were represented by individual riders: Czech Republic, Israel, Latvia, Portugal, Switzerland and Slovakia.
Great Britain continued its reign as European, World and Paralympic Team champions at the FEI Para-Equestrian Dressage European Championships 2015 in Deauville (FRA) last friday following stunning performances in the individual tests from team members Lee Pearson, Sophie Wells, Sophie Christiansen and Anne Dunham. The team scored 451.146% over two days of competition to claim gold ahead of the Netherlands in silver (439.425%), and bronze medallists Germany (432.557%).
The spoils from the five individual titles were shared between Great Britain, The Netherlands, Germany, and Austria. The Netherlands have topped the medal table for the first time at a major international Para-Equestrian championships after the Freestyle. As the freestyle competition rounded off three days of thrilling competition, the first gold of the day went to World Freestyle champion, and the new European Individual champion, Rixt Van Der Horst of The Netherlands on Uniek N.O.P. Van Der Horst scored an impressive 79.000% to take her first European Freestyle title ahead of defending title-holder and reigning Paralympic champion Natasha Baker of Great Britain, and Germany’s Steffen Zeibig. And there was another great victory for Austria’s Pepo Puch in the Grade Ib competition. On Fine Feeling S, he scored 77.750% to take his second title of the championships ahead of Great Britain’s Lee Pearson and The Netherlands Nicole Den Dulk. In the Grade III competition Germany’s superstar rider Hannelore Brenner regained her European Freestyle title after six years riding Women of The World to score 77.950%.
In doing so she beat Susanne Sunesen of Denmark into second place and The Netherlands Lotte Krijnsen into third, Krijnsen’s second podium finish on her major international event debut.
The final medal of Freestyle went to multi European, World and Paralympic champion Sophie Christiansen of Great Britain in the Grade Ia Freestyle finale. Riding Athene Lindejberg to a score of 80.700% – the highest score of the event and the only 80+ score – she saw off her closest competitor and teammate Anne Dunham, who ended in the silver medal position, with Italy’s World Freestyle champion Sara Morganti taking the bronze, a relief for her after just missing out on a medal in the Individual.
The weekend though belongs to the Dutch team who top the medal table with four gold medals, ahead of Great Britain’s three. It’s the first time at a major championships that the British team has failed to top the medal table and Dutch Chef D’Equipe Joyce Heuitink was clearly delighted with that result.