The day came to a perfect end with newly-crowned FEI European individual silver medallist, Gregory Wathelet, taking top spot in the 7-Year-Old Championship partnering the handsome grey PZHK stallion Mjt Nevados S (Calvados Z/Romualdo).
There were 12 into the jump-off here, and Wathelet was chasing the target-time set by Britain’s Laura Renwick who was seventh to go with the ISH mare MHS Washington (OBOS Quality/Cavalier Royale) who broke the beam in 35.13 seconds. Renwick always looked competitive after filling third spot in the first qualifier in which Wathelet and Mjt Nevados S finished fifth, but the British rider regretted the extra pull she took before the last fence today. She finished just 0.16 seconds behind the Belgian rider who scorched home in 34.97 to take the gold.
Talking about Mjt Nevados S, Wathelet said, “he started the season on the Sunshine Tour where he jumped well, and in the Belgian Championships at Lummen I had one down in the jump off because he was not used to going fast. Before I came here I trained him to go quickly, and that training was successful. I knew he was very careful, but in the beginning I didn't know if he had enough scope - now he his going better every week! This week he jumped easily, even in the Final in which the course was quite big but it all felt easy. This horse is definitely not for sale!” said the rider who plans to take Mjt Nevados S on the international circuit now.
Silver medallist, Renwick, bought MHS Washington in partnership with Irish rider Denis Lynch three years ago, but now owns the horse herself.
“Denis bought the mare from the breeder when she was four - she’s special and a bit nervous, but in the ring she lights up and makes everything very easy - just like a real sport-horse! She’s very light to ride and is careful and scopey” Renwick explained. The pair won the Young Horse Final at CSI Knokke (BEL) this summer, and a few weeks ago also topped the British Championships. Renwick was sporting an Irish cap, presented to her by the Irish Federation because she was competing an ISH, and she said she was proud to wear it. “I think I can go far with this horse” she said happily this evening.
And the Irish had plenty of reason to celebrate themselves when Eoin McMahon steered another ISH, Talks Cheap (Tinaranas Inspector/Colin Diamond), into bronze medal position when last to go against the clock.
Talks Cheap was sold at the 2014 Go for Gold Sale in Goresbridge in Ireland. “My boss, Carl Hanley, bought her last year just before the World Young Horse Championships, but it was to soon to take her here” McMahon explained. “We started the season in Vilamoura (POR) where she jumped very well, and then we gave her a break. Before coming here we placed in a 1.45m class, so she has all the scope and she is fast and careful” said the young rider who will celebrate his 20th birthday next weekend.
Seven-Year-Old Final: GOLD - Mjt Nevados S (Gregory Wathelet) BE. 0/0 34.97
SILVER - MHS Washington (Laura Renwick) GBR 0/0 35.13
BRONZE - Talks Cheap (Eoin McMahon) IRL 36.99..
Full results at www.hippodata.de