The individual podium at the 2003 European Pony Championships was ascended by a German trio. For the fourth consecutive year, the Germans were able to get a grip on all three individual medals.
Gold shone for Katharina Winkelhues who had three historic rides on Dressman. Silver was bestowed upon Patricia Höhn and her legendary Konrad, while the bronze dangled around Lydia Camp's neck for her three professional rides on the 6-year old Dulcia.
In the team championship competition, Germany claimed its fourteenth (!) consecutive gold medal. The German quartet, headed by chef d'equipe Cornelia Endres, consistently guarantees top percentage rides while other nations can only provide individuals who put a breeze into the neck of the horse. Belgian dressage stars Delphine Meiresonne and Judith Godefroid were the sole riders in 14 years time who were able to snoop away individual gold from the Germans in 1998 and 1993.
The Dutch team won its third consecutive team silver medal. The team relied most on the two experienced riders and medal hopefuls Marrigje van Baalen and Inge Verbeek, but it staged Robin Beekink and Frances Blommers as strong supportive forces.
With Marrigje scoring 73.00% (3rd) on Power and Paint and Inge Verbeek 69.07% (7th) on her newest pony Bartje, the silver medal was feasible. However, Beekink on Milkshake (66.53% - 11th) and Blommers on Nadir's Gigolo (65.73 % - 13th) provided the necessary points for the Dutch to safely secure the team silver.
Image copyrighted: Paul van Oers
Text by Astrid Appels