Euphoric delight surrounded the German camp at Hickstead this afternoon at the 2003 European Dressage Championships as Ulla Salzgeber and Rusty successfully defended the European title they won two years ago in Germany.
The FEI decided on this occasion to award six medals -- as there were competitors from outside Europe in these Open European Championships -- three European Medals, and three Open European Medals.
Ulla Salzgeber won both the Gold Open and Gold European Medal. In the final part of the competition, as the final combination to go, they performed a magnificent display with perfect unison between horse and rider. They won the Freestyle to music at Grand Prix level with an astonishing 85.44%. Winner of all three parts of the championship, Ulla scored a total of 244.09% when all her marks were added together and expressed as a percentage mark.
Speaking afterwards, Ulla said that she was particularly delighted to win the Europeans here in England, and that her win was every bit as sweet this time, as it was when she won two years ago.
She congratulated the show organisers and said she looked forward to returning again to England in the future.
Lisa Wicox took the Open Silver medal. She also completed a wonderful display of dressage on Relevant, but she made a mistake in a half pass, and instead she had to produce a medium trot. However, she soon regained her composure and was third with a score of 79.97% behind Ulla Salzgeber and Jan Brink from Sweden. In the whole competition, Lisa gained an overall of 235.33%
The European Silver medal was awarded to Jan Brink of Sweden, who was also awarded the Open Bronze medal. Brink finished third yesterday in the grand prix special ahead of Beauvalais, and he improved his position today by moving up the leader board to finish the kur in second place. Jan Brink, riding Bjorsell’s Briar 899, scored 81.31% in the kur and had an overall mark of 230.07%.
Beatriz Ferrar Salat and Beauvalais won the European Bronze Medal. She rode a good kur, but compared to previous occasions, her test was slightly flat. She scored 78.71% in the kur and overall she won a total of 227.95%.
In conclusion, it is the first time such a prestigious dressage competition has been held in the United Kingdom for sixteen years. If comments from the riders and elements of the press have anything to do with it, it will certainly not be so long until Great Britain hosts another such event for dressage.
by Bernard Simpson
Complete Scores of the 2003 European Dressage Championships
Phenomenal Standard of Dressage in Grand Prix Special As Ulla Takes All at 2003 European Dressage Championships
Germany Take Gold; Spain Win Silver, But What a Battkle for Bronze at 2003 European Dressage Championships
Convincing Start of 78% for Ulla Salzgeber at 2003 European Dressage Championships