Katharina Winkelhues, Angela van den Berg and Thamar Zweistra, New Champions
L'Ecole Nationale d'Equitation de Saumur (FRA) successfully organised the European Dressage Championships for Juniors and Young Riders from 22 to
27 July 2003.
The Netherlands and Germany confirmed their supremacy in Dressage and
shared most of the individual and team medals. Germany earned the Young Riders European team title with a total of 4756 points, ahead of the Netherlands (4710) and Belgium (4493), while the Netherlands won the Junior Championship with a total of 4086 points ahead of Germany (4056) and Sweden (3786).
Thamar Zweistra (NED) on Hexagon's Kyrian earned the Gold medal of the
Young Riders' Championship, ahead of Jan Andreas Vierbrock/Directeur (GER) and Jessica Werndl/Duchesse (GER). The Junior individual title went to Angela Van der Berg (NED) and Mix while the Silver and Bronze medals went to German riders Dirk Vierbrock/Willi the Kid and Kristina Sprehe/Wyoming.
Hundred-six riders from 20 nations competed in the Championship, which also saw some stars of Dressage in the public, such as Olympic champion Anky Van Grunsven.
The 2003 European Pony Championship in the three Olympic disciplines was organised from 22 to 27 July at Necarne Castle in Irvinestown, Ireland.
The standard of Dressage was incredibly high. Not surprisingly, Germany took the Team Gold medal, but the Dutch team, which included Marrigje Van Baalen, a niece of Coby Van Baalen, finished a close second, just 12 marks behind. British team, in bronze medal position, included Lorna Edmonds, daughter of well-known British TV personality Noel Edmonds. She also finished individually sixth.
All Individual medals went to Germany, with the Gold to Katharina Winkelhues who was defending her title.
The facilities at Necarne Castle were excellent. The sand arena in Walled Garden was an ideal location for Dressage. The cross-country course is truly all-weather and had been significantly altered for the championships.