Mija Brnić Shines as Senior Champion at 2022 Croatian Dressage Championships

Sun, 10/16/2022 - 19:52
2022 Croatian Dressage Championships
Mija Brnić and Darling are the 2022 Croatian Senior Dressage Champions :: Photos © Lidija Novković

Pony rider Olivia Marton Mihaldinec, children rider Tin Žitnjak, junior rider Tonka Žitković, young rider Kaya Probst, and senior small tour rider Mija Brnić became the winners of their respective divisions at the 2022 Croatian Dressage Championships held on 30 September - 2 October 2022. 

From Hippodrome to Evago Equestrian Club

The Croatian Dressage Championships saw a change in venue, moving from the traditional Zagred Hippodrome to the Evago equestrian club on the outskirts of the capital. 

The new location and management of the competition led to some welcome changes and nice touches, including unmounted prize giving ceremonies to maintain a good flow in the programme. The upper level classes were rotated with the lower level classes on the following day, given each rider the opportunity to start in the morning as well as in the afternoon and ensuring a steady flow of spectators throughout the day.

While usually the weather is poor on National Championship weekend, this year the gods blessed the event with perfect temperatures and no rain. 

Youth Classes

Olivia Marton Mihaldinec on Golden Louie H
The pony, junior and young rider division do not entirely line-up with the FEI equivalent due to a lack of competitors, so levels are merged within the age category. 

The pony category was ridden at A-level instead of L-level and saw Olivia Marton Mihaldinec take the title upon her competition debut with a new pony, Golden Loui H, a 10-year old German riding pony by FS Golden Highlight x  Mentos. The combination scored a winning 68.25% in the A-test on the first day and 71.80% in the A-level freestyle on the second day to total 140,05 points. The silver went to Ela Lukičić on the 11-year old German riding pony Reitland`s Feeiza (by Jonker's Socrates x Don Carlos) with 65.2 and 68.0% (133.20 points), while the bronze was for Iva Lasic on Sunny Boy with 127.00 points. 

The children division was not at L-level but at A-level and Tin Žitnjak bested the field aboard Acolito II. The pair posted 62.7 and 65.18% for the title on 127.88 points and left Evita Mihalić in Darlington ( 126.59 pts) and Mia Vidovic on Aramis (126.39 pts) behind on the silver and bronze medal step of the podium. 

Juniors Sofija Bibic, Tonka Zitkovic, Marko Tomljenovic
Five riders competed in the junior division at L/M level. Tonka Žitković was a league of her own aboard the 17-year old Welsh pony Rain in Otago (by Small Land x Starlyte royal Fanfare), which was previously competed by one of Croatia's few international riders, Kaya Probst. The duo scored 64.257% in round one and 68.256% in the Kur to Music to finish on a winning total of 218.55 points. The silver went to Sofija Bibić aboard Contado (206.90 points), while Marko Tomljenović grabbed the bronze with Disarono on 204.65 points. 

Young Riders level in Croatie is FEI junior level with M-level tests. The British based Kaya Probst competed at the Balkan Games a few weeks ago and followed that up with the national championships. Aboard her own 19-year old Oldenburg Mister Cool (by Mon Dieu x Prinz Gaylord) she topped the board with 68.823% on the first day and 71.73% in the freestyle. This is most likely Mister Cool's last competition as a retirement from sport might be in the near future. The 2022 title was Kaya's sixth, consecutive one. Paula Polic and her 12-year old Croatian bred Ferrero (by Casacabel IV x Quimico) got silver with 65.088% and 68.575%, while Gita Sušić Mikulan slotted in third for bronze with the 15-year old Westfalian Little Lord (by Lord Z x Lancer  III). She scored 60.383% and 63.08%. 

Brnić Senior Champion 

 Tina Blazevic on Neapolitano Zenta XIII-6
The senior dressage championship is ridden at small tour level, using the Prix St Georges and Young Riders freestyle level test. Five combinations had entered to fight for the title.

The new national champion is Mija Brnić, who already won in 2019 on  her long-time partner Lily of the Valley (by Lensen x Cashmere). This year she brought a new ride, Austrian Tatjana Pagitz' 11-year old Croatian Sport horse Darling (by Dante van de Stuyver x Amadeus). The pair scored 67.059% in the Prix St Georges and 67.69% in the Kur to Music. 

The silver went to Tina Blažević on the 10-year old Lippizaner Neapolitano Zenta XIII-6 (by N.Zenta XI-1 x C.Gaetana XV-1), who posted 62.647% and 65.50%.  Tajana Mrazovic and the chestnut Topas finished with the bronze. 

Young Horse Championship

Morana Torre on Lukiano Stanzor JCS
The Croatian Young Horse Championships were held at the Garestin equestrian club in Varaždin on 10 September 2022 and four new national champions were crowned. 

4-yo winner: Salidor VDF (Belgian Warmblood, Untouchable x Cardento, owned by Dražen Hrkač) - presented by Irena Ilić  - 75,8%
5-yo winner: Cremona B (Croatian Sporthorse, Contador x Catch The Wind, owned by Ida Vidošević) - presented by Ida Vidošević - 76%
6-yo winner: Lukiano Stanzor JCS (KWPN, George Clooney x Negro, owned by Nexe equestrian club) - presented by Morana Torre - 75,8%
7-yo winner: Sirius (Hanoverian, San Amour I x Wolkentanz II, owned by Karla Horvat) - presented by Pia Damjanić - 65,789%

Worth mentioning is that the 7-year old champion, Sirius, is the uncontested Croatian young horse champion, having won the Nationals with the same rider every year since he was a 4-year old.  

Photos © Lidija Novković

Related Links
Mija Brnic Wins Senior Small Tour Division at 2019 Croatian Dressage Championships
Mikula, Probst, Polic, Ljolje and Lukicic First at 2018 Croatian Dressage Championships