The CSI***-W held in Budapest was the last opportunity for nations of the region to qualify
for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Although it was all together twelve countries that could earn
Olympic qualification, only six nations entered the competition to fight for a spot at the
Olympics, as the rest of the teams did not believe they stood a chance.
As far as the final results go, history repeated itself, as the outcome turned out to be the same
as last year’s qualifier in Samorin: Ukraine triumphed, with Czech Republic grabbing second
place and the Hungarian team finishing third. Victory was not easy to earn, as the course was
on the verge of the Olympic level. Forty-eight horse-and-rider combinations entered the
competition, and not a single one managed no complete the course with a clear-round, even
though the line-up mainly included world-class athletes.
Hungary finished with 29 faults in the first round, where András Kövy Jr. had the best
performance with a result of 6 faults. The rest of our team bravely stood their ground as well,
as the Hungarian team was the only one of which all riders managed to actually complete the
course. Ukraine’s two-time Olympic gold medallist, Ulrich Kirchhoff, got eliminated for a fall,
while the horse of Czech Republic’s Emma Augier De Moussac had two refusals at the water
jump, and none of the riders of the Greek team completed the course, which resulted in them
not being able to participate in the second round.
With Lithuania withdrawing from the second round, only four teams remained in the
competition. This time it was Gábor Szabó Jr. who was the most successful from the
Hungarian team, pushing Bulgaria back to the fourth place and leaving only the Czech and
Ukrainian riders to battle for the Olympic qualification. As the experienced members of the
Czech team, Zuzana Zelinkova and Ales Opartny, brought the expected results, the leading
Ukrainian team had to step up its game as well. The Hungarian-born Ferenc Szentirmai only
collected one knock-down and finished the competition as the best of the Ukrainian team,
earning the nation the Olympic qualification, as were it not for his result, the Czech team
would have prevailed. Ulrich Kirchhoff was later disqualified due to a small injury on his
horse’s flanks caused by his spur, and the last rider, Rene Tebbel, had a knock-down and a
refusal at the last fence. Finally, Ukraine won the competition with 50 penalties, with the
Czech Republic finishing with 58, and Hungary with 64.
Ulrich KIRCHHOFF: “It was today a really tough competition with big fences, and we did not
see any clear rounds. I was a little bit unlucky, because I had a green horse and in the first
round I flipped off in the water. It was a really annoying mistake, because I was in a very good
position before. I was clear and my horse was really sharp and in a top form to make it clear.
But it sometimes happens. Luckily we have a good, strong team, and the other rides were
very good, so in the end we are qualified for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.”
Rene TEBBEL: “Competition was very big. I saw the course map and spoke it supposed to be
140-160 centimeters but that was a very-very big class today. The first round was easy for me
but the second round you see, lot of things can happen. But I’m really happy that we are
qualified for the Olympics. Thank you for my sponsors and my colleagues to make this
Andre SCHRODER: “The competition was really difficult. It was really high, they try to get
everything from us. We have to prove our skills in this course and yeah we will made it in the
end. I’m happy with our performance. I hope this luck will stay with us until Sunday, when I
compete in the Grand Prix with my other horse.”
Ferenc SZENTIRMAI: “I believe the team performed really well. The course was hard enough,
the results also prove. We need some luck to win, but I feel me and my horse did everything.
In the first round we had a mistake at the combination, but the second round was good
enough to win. We have a two week rest now, but then we go to Samorin for two or three
weeks, and to the Europen Championship in the middle of August. And next year will be about
preparing for the Olympics.”
Czech Young Horse Proved to Be the Best
Young horses closed the first day and opened the second day as well at the CSI3*-W
Designated Olympic Qualifier for Group C in Budapest. In the 125-130 cm competition against
the clock 6-year-old horses were also successful and took places beside the older generation
Yesterday’s silver placed rider Emma Augier De Moussac from Czech Republic rode Homey to
victory. Greek rider, Aggelos Touloupis scored the second place on Carlotta L.
The best placed Hungarian rider Annamária Zárug on Candy breed in the Gánt Herczog stud
finished third again.
The fourth place went to Gyula Szuhai in the saddle of Perthy Jackson, ahead of Attila Cser on
Big Bang. Macedonian Luka Zaloznik on I'm Special The One AK captured the sixth place
followed by Hungarian Zoltán Czékus on Castro, and Gyula Zárug on Chris Cross.
First Victory for Greece in the Competition Presented by Sauska Wineries
The 130-cent competition in two-phases presented by Sauska Wineries was the second event
on Friday at the CSI3*-W Designated Olympic Qualifier for Group C.
Six Hungarian riders finished in the top eight.
Greek national team member Panagiotis Koutsogiannis scored the fastest trip ahead of Attila
Cser in the saddle of Sifu breed by Hungarian Andrea Reményik.
Szabolcs Krucsó repeated his yesterday’s performance and took the third place, but this time
on his second horse Lady Winner breed also in Hungary.
Zoltán Czékus, who was also placed in the previous competition, finished fourth followed by
Irmantas Grikienis from Lithuania gained sixth place on Captain Morgan.
Other places went to two Hungarian riders, Ádám Faluhelyi and Zoltán Rezgő Zoltán, both
rode clear rounds.
Fotó: Hajdu Krisztina