FEI European Jumping Championships for Young Riders, Juniors and Children

Double Gold for Germany at Jardy

Germany boasts many of the best riders in the world and the new generation, competing at Haras de Jardy (Marnes la Coquette) over the last week, showed that they are more than ready to step into the big boots of their senior counterparts.  The venue, just outside Paris in France, hosted the 2010 FEI Children on Horses, Junior and Young Rider European Jumping Championships from 13 to 18 July and Germany took team gold in Juniors and Young Riders while Great Britain claimed the Children’s team title.

Sweden’s Douglas Lindelow claimed the Young Riders individual title while Belgium’s Olivier Philippaerts was crowned Junior champion and Tressy Muhr of France earned the Childrens individual trophy.

Children on Horses – British Reign Supreme
British youngsters sprang a surprise in the Childrens Team Championship.  The four riders trained by Corinne Bracken, coach and leader of the three competing British teams, completed Thursday’s team challenge on a zero score to clinch gold.  In silver medal position was Italy with four faults, followed by Ireland in bronze with just five while Belgium and France tied for fourth place.

The four British riders - “talented beyond their young years” according to their coach - have had little exposure during the season.  They travelled abroad just once in May of this year when they won the Nations Cup in Bonheiden, Belgium. Then they competed at Children shows at home, to decide the formation of the team: Katie Robertson, Christie Pritchard, Jake Saywell and Millie Allen. Most of them have another year to go at this level but Jake Saywell, who jumped double clear in the team competition and was fourth in the final. will be upgraded to Junior level in 2011.

On Saturday, the British squad were confident about the individual final, but in the end it was dominated by French star, Tressy Muhr.  This talented young lady who celebrated her 13th birthday just three weeks ago lives in the south of France and recently earned the National Pony Championship title.  She could have competed in the FEI European Pony Championships this summer but instead chose the Childrens category and the decision paid off handsomely.

The British challenged strongly however and it came down to a thrilling jump-off for the individual medals. Four riders were clear throughout the whole championship and after two rounds in the final: Tressy Muhr (FR)/ Lord du Valy, Millie Allen (GBR)/Trueleva, Celine Schradick (GER)/ Contento and Jake Saywell (GBR)/ Cornelius 27. Last to go in the jump-off, Tressy Muhr produced a scorching clear in 37.77 seconds to beat Millie Allen’s time of 38.79 and with one rail down Celine Schradick of Germany took bronze while Jake Saywell’s eight faults saw him having to settle for fourth.

Juniors and Young Riders: Germany more than competitive!
Friday’s Young Riders Team Championship turned into a monumental battle.  Four teams were chasing the medals after the first round: Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands and France.  But Germany left the rest in their wake with three superb second-round clears to complete on a total of 5 faults. Sweden registered 12 faults to clinch silver and then it fell to Holland’s Ruben Romp to decide the fate of team bronze with France and The Netherlands still very much in the race.  Ruben refused to crack under pressure however, and his clear round from Cobos snatched The Netherlands' place on the podium by a single-point margin.

On Sunday, Germany added two individual medals to its tally thanks to Katrin Eckermann/ Carlson 46, who took silver and Andras Kreuzer/Jumex Sport Atlantus who took bronze.  Even though they both jumped clear however they couldn’t better the final score of Sweden’s Douglas Lindelow whose score of 0.50 left him beyond reach of all others. He had a full three-point advantage over Katrin Eckermann and never faltered.  Lindelow is a National Swedish Champion, winner of the Senior Indoor National Championship and of the 2009 National Young Rider title. He has been riding the mare Taline for over two years and the 19 year old was overcome with joy, breaking into tears as he held his cup in the air.

Dietmer Gugler, the German coach, was emotional too after these victories and the Juniors’ success in the team championship. It was his last season as a coach for Children, Juniors and Young Riders and he said he was happy: “It is really difficult to win the European Championships, there are always five or six teams able to win. My riders did very well, maybe they want to offer me a present!”, he joked.  The Junior team gold medals were harder won than the Young Riders’ ones however. The Netherlands and Germany were clear after two rounds and jumped off to decide which country would take gold. Here again, the three German riders were foot-perfect while the Dutch team faulted and had to settle for silver.

With five faults, Belgium climbed up the third step of the Junior Team championship podium.  In this team was a young man who has been waiting for his moment of glory - Olivier Philippaerts, 16 year old son of Belgian star Ludo Philippaerts. During this entire season Olivier showed he was a serious challenger, particularly when he was part of the winning Nations Cup team at Reims in France where he also claimed the Grand Prix title at the end of May with the same mare, Carisma. He claimed Junior gold after a jump-off against Denmark’s Camille Ernst who was very unlucky when hitting the final fence. The Netherlands’ Stefani Van Den Brink claimed bronze ahead of Germany’s Maurice Tebbel.  

Photo Caption:  Sweden's Douglas Lindelow claimed individual gold in the Young Riders final at the 2010 FEI European Jumping Championships for Young Riders, Junior and Children at Haras de Jardy, France.  Photo: Christoph Bricot.