Today was the concluding day of the Longines FEI Eventing European Championships which was exciting right to the very end. Ingrid Klimke (GER) stayed clear with SAP Hale Bob OLD in the final show jumping phase and moved in front of team colleague Michael Jung, who had an unfortunate fault with fischerChipmunk FRH winning Silver. With another fantastic clear round, the Irish rider Cathal Daniels and Rioghan Rua moved up into Bronze Medal position. The Team medals went to Germany, Great Britain and Sweden.
The show jumping was exciting till the very last horse. Spectators were not disappointed on this final day of the European Championships, as the 54 competitors really delivered nail biting performances here in Luhmühlen. With the reversed starting order tension was rising, which by the end was sending chills down everybody’s spines as the medal order kept changing until the very last horse.
In the end it was Ingrid Klimke who kept her cool and produced a spectacular clear round with SAP Hale Bob OLD, repeating her success from Strzegom two years ago. They stayed on their dressage score of 22.90 points and moved up ahead of Michael Jung and fischerChipmunk FRH, who had a very unfortunate mistake on 10B, which cost them the Gold medal. “I am unbelievably happy and thankful to have had my show-jumping coach Kurt Gravemeier here with me today. Warming up with him, gave me confidence for the show jumping. Bobby jumped brilliantly and I still can’t believe we did it again.”
Michael Jung was disappointed about the fault which cost him the Gold medal: “Of course I am a little annoyed about the fault. However, I am very happy about Chipmunk’s performance all week here in Luhmühlen. He was fit and jumped great, which makes me look forward to the future with this wonderful horse.”
In third place and winning Bronze is the just 22-year-old Irish rider Cathal Daniels with Rioghan Rua. He was in 13th place after dressage and worked his way up the ranks with a clear round inside the time in yesterday’s cross-country as well as riding a super clear round today. They too stayed on their dressage score of 29.0 points: “I am so happy with the way my horse performed here in Luhmühlen. The atmosphere was electric today and I am proud I could win the medal for my team.” After the overall great performance of all four German Team riders, Ingrid Klimke, Michael Jung, Andreas Dibowski and Kai Rüder, they extended their lead even further in today’s show jumping. They won with a score of 82.50 points ahead of Great Britain (104.80) and Sweden (105.10). Here too, it was exciting till the very end when France lost their chance for Bronze allowing Sweden to move up into third place. Furthermore, Sweden secured their place for the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year alongside Italy, who came fifth today.
Ahead of the show jumping, all competing horses needed to pass the vet check earlier today, which unfortunately meant French Team rider Alexis Goury had to withdraw his horse Trompe l’Oeil d’Emery after he was sent to the holding box. This reduced the French Team to only three riders, putting them into a slightly more difficult position before the show jumping having to add Karim Florent LAGHOUAG score to the team result.
Overall 44.000 spectators throughout the week, cheered the competitors and created a worthy platform for the eventing sport here in Luhmühlen.
Photo: Pieter Sorber