Maria Van den Dungen Wins Consolation Finals at 2009 European Pony Championships

Sun, 08/02/2009 - 00:00
2009 European Pony Championships

Dutch rider Maria van den Dungen won the consolation finals at the 2009 European Pony Championships in Moorsele, Belgium, on August 2, 2009. The victory was by the skin of her teeth even though Maria was considered the favourite for the number one place.

With De Havikerwaard's 8-year old German reitpony stallion Rembrandt DDH, Van den Dungen had her worst ride of the week, but the ground quality of the pony was plenty to secure a win with a 66.895% score.

The trot work was too hurried for it to be balanced and well suspended, especially in the voltes, shoulder in and extensions. The half pass left was very good though and the quality of the trot improved on the right hand. The first walk pirouette was quite big, the second one was better. A lot of tension crept into the canter work. It first showed when Rembrandt tossed up his head in the 10m circle and then he showed clear resistance in the extended canter and made an unwanted flying change. Van den Dungen corrected it quickly but had to work overtime to make the next extended canter and counter canter look relaxed and controlled. Her consolation win was a pitiable solace for missing out on the Kur Finals

The French rider Victoria Boree finished second with 65.684%. Aboard the 11-year old Doppelspiel (by Dornik x Dancer), Boree became the highest scoring rider of the French team. Her pony has a lovely trot with nice knee action but there were occasionally a loss of rhythm in the 10 meter circles. The rein back was good and the extended walk showed good relaxation. The canter work was decent.

Spanish Alexandra Barbançon slotted in third with her 16-year old Domino Dancing (by Derano Gold). This palomino pony is a fantastic schoolmaster and is highly confirmed in all the movements, but he had a sour look on his face and was not truly submissive. The pony had difficulties pushing himself off the ground, he looked quite tender on his legs and was not totally through in his body. The trot half passes were one of the strong sides of the test. The judges did not quite agree on the ride. Stephen Clarke scored it 62.89% while Kruger saw 67.89% in it. Overall it evened out to a 65.211%

The first Turkish rider ever to compete at a European Pony Championship in dressage: Melanie Cosar on Highlight

Polish Aleksandra Kozubska on Derino 

Italian Chiara Prijs-Vitale on Mastwood Blackberry. All four Italian riders were in the consolation finals and proved their worth. Unfortunately, Italian chef d'equipe Piero Sangiorgi didn't feel the need to stay and coach his riders. He went home on Friday.

Swiss rider Estelle Wettstein on Rhythm n Blues. This is how we like to see riders leave the arena: with a big smile on their face!!

Luxembourg Fabienne Claeys on Domino. She scored 61.895% but looked more happy than most riders do when they get 70%.

Take that for an example!

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