What an exciting day at the Longines FEI Jumping European Championship 2021 in Riesenbeck with the second qualifier which also counted as the first round of the Team Final. Course Designer Frank Rothenberger provided ideal conditions today, creating a fair course with some challenging questions, but ultimately an exemplary platform to showcase great sport. The Swedes, who had shone on Wednesday with four clear rounds, are on course for bronze after the first final round with 11.59 penalty points. The Swiss are now in the lead, with three clear rounds and a total of 5.47 points after two days of jumping. Team Germany was able to retain their silver position, ending the day with a total of 8.77. The most influential fence today was the double combination, the penultimate fence on the 14 obstacle course, with two massive oxers at the end requiring considerable effort and concentration from the horses.
Philipp Weishaupt had already predicted this in advance: “This is a championship combination,“ he said when walking the course. And he was right, with by far most of the most mistakes happening at this double. This was the case for the winner of yesterday’s speed competition, David Will with C-Vier, picking up four faults which set them back to eleventh place in the individual standings. The European Championship title defender, the Swiss Martin Fuchs, now leads the individual ranking with just 1.31 penalty points. Riding the nine-year-old Leone Jei, Fuchs managed a wonderful clear round today. And his compatriots Elian Baumann on Campari Z and Steve Guerdat on Albführen’s Maddox were also in form, helping the team take the lead ahead of Friday’s second and final round where the team medals will be decided.
Germany is now on course for silver with André Thieme and DSP Chakaria acting as pathfinders for the team. The mare jumped outstandingly. It was a close call at the last combination, but the poles remained in place. Marcus Ehning and Stargold collected five penalties, while Christian Kukuk with Mumbai delivered a beautiful clear on home soil. A spotless round at their home event catapulted the 31-year-old and the offspring of Diamant de Semilly from tenth place after Wednesday’s speed class to second place in the individual classification with 1.93 penalty points. Hot on their heels with 1.96 points are Sweden’s Rolf-Göran Bengtsson and Ermindo W after a ride in which Bengtsson was pure class. They delivered the only zero-fault ride for team Sweden today. Their three team mates, Douglas Lindelöw on Casquo Blue, Angelica Augustsson Zanotelli with Kalinka van de Nachtegaele and Peder Fredricson with Catch Me Not S, each had one pole down.
Photo: Martin Fuchs, now leads the individual ranking with just 1.31 penalty points.
Photo by Hippo Foto