German junior shooting star of the year Johanne Pauline van Danwitz spearheaded the German campaign to team gold at the 2013 European Junior Riders Championships in Compiegne, France, on Thursday 11 July 2013. The team championship competition came to a conclusion today with Von Danwitz and the Hanoverian gelding topping the leader board with a 74.081% score.
Von Danwitz and Louisa Luttgen's 16-year old Hanoverian gelding Habitus (by Hohenstein x Weltmeyer) fulfiled their roles as favourites and surfaced at the top of the ranking, far ahead of team mate Claire Louise Averkorn. The new duo, which dominated the German national and international junior riders' circuit this entire 2013 show season, stepped up to the plate and rode a convincing test which the judges awarded accordingly. Although there was a small hiccup in the shoulder in right and the trot extensions could have been more off the ground, the strong walk and especially canter tour with fantastic flying changes made their test a stand out ride.
Averkorn and the home bred 9-year old gelding Condio B (by by Contendro I x Willem's As) helped secure the German triumph in the junior division with her 72.703% earning test. The duo, which is trained by German pony specialist Connie Endres, executed a very secure ride with no major mistakes. The halt for reinback was not square, but the flying changes were confirmed. The highlight of the test was probably the walk, with a superb extended walk and excellent, clear collected walk.
Dutch Jeanine Nekeman and her 11-year old Dutch warmblood gelding Vlingh (by Flemmingh x Donnerschlag) were the overnight leaders after the first group of riders had gone on the first day of competition on Wednesday 10 July. The brand new Dutch team combination was able to maintain that leader's position for quite some time on Thursday as well, but ended up dropping to a still admirable third place by Thursday noon. Vlingh has an extremely expressive trot with lovely shoulder freedom and reach, but in the collected trot tended to become a bit too passagey and took several uneven steps. The second extended trot was a bit hurried, though ground covering. While Nekeman's test brimmed with expression, there were several fine-tuning errors like the rolling transition from trot to walk, a shorter third flying change and a nose that needed to be more out in the extended walk. Still, Nekeman was able to post a score of 72.405% to slot in third and helped the Dutch advance to a silver team position.
Norwegian Alexandra Andresen just returned from the 2013 Nordic Baltic Championships in Flyinge, Sweden, where she won team and individual gold, and was able to maintain her strong form on her 9-year old Westfalian stallion Belamour (by Belissimo M x Lord Sinclair). Her chestnut stallion appeared very confirmed in the lateral movements in trot and always stayed nicely up in the bridle. The canter work was dominated by big flying changes and a very uphill extended canter. However, the sliding stop in the end halt must have meddled with the score of 71.054%.
While for most of the rides the junior test judges were on the same wavelength, the panel did hiccup on a few rides, including Andresen's. Her low score was 67.027% (Kogan) and her high score was 73.649% (Fransen-Iacobaeus). The biggest discrepancy was to be found in Belgian Charlotte Defalque's scoring. Kogan awarded her 62.703% while Iaecobaeus had her on 70.541%. Her ranking differed from 10th place to 51st.
Dutch Jeanine Nieuwenhuis and her 7-year old Dutch bred Baldacci (by Havidoff x Rubiquil) completed the top five with 70.676%, though Kogan had her at 66.216% and Iaecobaeus at a high 74.324%. Nieuwenhuis is known for her very accurate riding and Baldacci defies his young age but appearing like a schoolmaster in each of the movements. The contact with the bit could be softer with the horse chewing more, but overall Jeanine steered Baldacci through the test with much precision. The third flying change was in two phases, though, and there was a loss of impulsion in the walk pirouette left. The active and ground covering extended walk were a strong point.
2012 German Pony team rider Anna Christina Abbelen made a smooth transition from ponies to horses. Trained by Heiner Schiergen, the sympathetic young German rode the 8-year old black Furst on Tour (by Furst Heinrich x Rubioso N) to a sixth place with 70.459%. Her Rhinelander gelding broke into canter when he hit the fence in the shoulder in right but the rest of the trot work was solid. Furst on Tour had much overstep in the extended walk but the collected was a bit too free and open in the frame. The canter tour was ace with super flying changes.
Danish Alexandra Sorensen became the anchor on the Danish junior team securing its bronze medal position on the podium with her 70.243% earning test. Aboard her tall 10-year old Danish warmblood Camiro Mandoe (by Future Cup x Alfarvad Champion) Alexandra was very solid in the lateral trot work, but in the rein back her horse dragged its legs. The flying changes were super secure, even though there could have been a slightly more uphill tendency in them.
German Jessica Krieg opted to ride her 10-year old Westfalian mare Florence (by Florestan x Northern Sound xx) at the Championships instead of Special Edition. The choice became a wise one as the tall former European pony champion was able to maneuver into eight place with 70.027%. Krieg rode a solid test which seemed to pose her little problems. The third flying change was a bit short with the right hind and overall the horse would improve when it is lighter in the bridle.
French Salome Sadoun and Marina van den Berghe's Oldenburg mare Dona Primera (by Don Primero) are a fun pair to watch. The elegant dark bay mare is extremely willing to work and has a quick and active hind leg. The mare appears a bit over eager and especially in trot there could be more relaxation, but the superb extended walk had massive overtrack even though Dona Primera wanted to scratch her muzzle twice. The flying changes were elegant, uphill and with much activity. The pair scored a well earned 69.757% to finish ninth.
British Charlotte Fry and Mr. Connor's 15-year old Dutch warmblood Remming (by Flemmingh x Dreamstreet) ended in the top 10 with 69.459%. Fry and Remming make a gorgeous pair. The bay gelding is a very elegant mover, uphill in the frame, the poll as highest point and working actively for his rider. They entered the show ring a bit too wild and hadn't the horse made an unscripted flying change at the end of the extended canter line, the duo would have definitely scored well in the seventies!
Text and Photos by Astrid Appels - No reproduction allowed
Eurodressage photographer Astrid Appels took photos of all
combinations competing at the 2013 European Junior and Young Riders
Championships. Contact us if you are interested in prints of your photos!
Eurodressage Coverage of the 2013 European Junior/Young Riders Championships