Team Belgium is no stranger to the highest step of the podium in FEI competition, yet a Belgian rider had never clinched the coveted individual gold medal until yesterday, when Bernard Fonck (BEL) dominated the competition in Givrins, Switzerland. Riding the athletic American Quarter Horse stallion Smart N Sparkin, owned by Golden Paint Ranch, Fonck performed an outstanding pattern which led to a 225 score.
“I’ve had this horse ever since he was a two-year-old and have won quite a few major titles in the reining circuit with him. Since I knew that the competition here was tough and the level high, I was aiming for the podium but was not sure if we would be able to claim the gold. After the first part of the pattern, I felt that we could actually make it. I asked and he delivered and am thrilled for this very first individual gold medal for Belgium.”- Team and Individual gold medallist Bernard Fonck (BEL)
Germany claimed both the silver and bronze medals thanks to the 222 posted by Dominik Reminder (GER) and Dun It With A Splash, owned by Manuela Moser, and to the 221 scored by Julia Schumacher (GER) riding Coeurs Little Tyke for owner Georg Holzwarth. Both riders were part of the German team, silver medalist in the team competition, with team bronze going to the previous title holders Italy.