Connie Endres is definitely not used to two of the three of her German individual finalists placing only sixth and seventh. Usually the podium is filled with Germans, but this time they were unable to live up to the expectations and not given royalty points by the judges just because they are German!
An absolutely divine pair makes Carlotta Hassenbürger and her palomino mare Dulcia. They were the most elegant pair at the 2008 European Championships but a few miscommunications between the rider and pony led to mistakes. In the walk pirouette, Dulcia lost impulsion, she broke into canter in the volte in trot. Occasionally there is a slight loss of rhythm which results in Dulcia bopping her head up and on the final centerline she anticipated the halt too and almost halted a few meters before X. She scored 69.750 % and placed sixth
Hassenbürger's German team mate Katharina Weychert slotted in seventh with 69.500 %. Weychert is an elegant rider with quiet hands, but Dornik B did not seem to be in the mood for performance. He needed constant spurring in order not to loose impulsion and looked very sour, with his ears flat in his neck, in the canter work. The chubby looking Dornik lost his balance in trot in the left volte and in the left half pass, but Weychert kept the rhythm going as well as possible and performed a very good final extended trot. In rein back, the pony resisted and did 9 steps backwards instead of 6th and threatened to rear. The score of 69.500 % was a mysteriously high mark for the performance of this unhappy athlete.
German chef d'equipe Cornelia Endres attributed the unusual German ranking to nerves. "All riders wanted to do too much their best," Endres said. "This resulted in mistakes in their presentation. Both pairs clearly stayed below their potential and missed out on an individual medal."
The individual finals for the 2008 European Pony Championships were an exciting novelty. Five riders of five different nations ranked in the top five. This is what fun European Championships are!!
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