Netherlands Wins European Championship Gold, Valegro Leads Great Britain to Silver, Irregular Totilas Leaves Germany With Bronze

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European Championships Nations Cup gold medal winners Netherlands (center), Great Britain silver (left) and Germany bronze (right). © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
European Championships Nations Cup gold medal winners Netherlands (center), Great Britain silver (left) and Germany bronze (right). © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

AACHEN, Germany, Aug. 13, 2015–A mistake-free ride by Edward Gal on Glock’s Undercover led a strong Netherlands’ team to the gold medal in the Nations Cup at the European Championships Thursday while Valegro was ridden by Charlotte Dujardin to first place to insure silver for Great Britain while an irregular Totilas scored too low to keep Germany from the bronze medal.

Spain, Sweden and France placed fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, joining the top three placegetters here who had earned their ticket to South America at the World Games a year ago. Australia, too, won an Olympic start in Normandy while the United States claimed a team starting slot at the Pan American Games in Toronto last month.

The result of 75.971 per cent was the second lowest Grand Prix score ever for Totilas ridden by Matthias Alexander Rath for Germany in only their second international competition in a year. Team coach Monica Theodorescu said the 15-year-old KWPN black stallion will be examined by a veterinarian Friday and a decision made then to decide whether the horse will move on to the Grand Prix Special on Saturday.

Both Britain’s Carl Hester on Nip Tuck as well as Totilas and Matthias were victims of erratic judging–as much as nine percentage points difference between high and low scores–that the ground jury defended but spectators were vocal with boos and jeers.

Totilas ridden by Matthias Alexander Rath on the final centerline of the Nations Cup Grand Prix at the European Championships. The horse will undergo a veterinary examination to determine whether the black stallion will move on to the Grand Prix Special Saturday. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Totilas ridden by Matthias Alexander Rath on the final centerline of the Nations Cup Grand Prix at the European Championships. The horse will undergo a veterinary examination to determine whether the black stallion will move on to the Grand Prix Special Saturday. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Matthias Alexander Rath on Totilas at the end of their Grand Prix ride in the European Championships Nations Cup, unaware of the controversy that was to surround the horse. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Matthias Alexander Rath on Totilas at the end of their Grand Prix ride in the European Championships Nations Cup, unaware of the controversy that was to surround the horse. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

There was widespread speculation that these championships may be the last for Totilas as a succession of injuries since Matthias took over the ride at the end of 2010 kept the horse out of the 2012 Olympics and the 2014 World Equestrian Games.

The controversy over the performance by Totilas and some of the scoring by the seven members of the championship ground jury that awarded the pair marks that ranged from a high of two marks of 80.100 per cent and a low of 71.600 per cent along did not appear to have an affect on any of the other riders who joked their way through a post-competition news conference.

Edward Gal, the rider of Totilas when the pair won team and individual gold medals at the 2010 World Games in Kentucky then saw the horse go to Matthias when it was bought by Ann-Katrin Linsenhof and Paul Schockemöhle for Germany, quipped: “I think we are the happiest team here.”

His ride on Glock’s Undercover was virtually mistake-free for a score of 82.229 per cent that came Hans Peter Minderhoud on Glock’s Johnson TN had stood at the top of the leaderboard for most of the day with a personal best score of 77.586 per cent. Diederik van Silfhout on Arlando on Wednesday was the overnight leader on 75.814 per cent posted Wednesday.

Edward Gal on Glock's Undercover in the European Championships Nations Cup. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Edward Gal on Glock’s Undercover in the European Championships Nations Cup. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Carl Hester whose ride on Nip Tuck was placed ninth individually was with a mark of 74.900 per cent that included a low score of 71.300 per cent from judge Eduard de Wolff van Westerrode of the Netherlands at C and a high of 77.300 per cent from Annette Fransén-Iacobaeus of Sweden at H. Eduard de Wolff van Westerrode, defended the widely disparate scores because of different positions around the arena–but C and H are just a few yards/meters apart on the short side of the arena.

Carl didn’t join the controversy, though, noting that Nip Tuck was in only his second championship at the age of 11 and has never scored under 70 per cent.

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro innthe European Championships. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro innthe European Championships. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

“I’m delighted; his impression is so just so great, with his size and his look he has great presence in the arena,” he said. “There’s not a rider who comes out and doesn’t think ‘if only…’ and yes I could have pushed for more.’ But I ride for rhythm so I’d rather keep the rhythm with less power than push and break.”

Charlotte and Valegro, the world’s No. 1 combination, placed first individually and enough to clinch the silver medal for Great Britain with a score of 83.029 per cent that was below their best with mistakes inthe zig and the one-tempi changes.

“I had a problem on the zig-zag, that was completely my fault and then I think I still had that on my mind when I went into the changes, so then I had a mistake in the changes, a little bit disappointed with that but the beginning felt really good,” she said. “I don’t think there’s many horses that have gone in and not had a mistake. We all went in to try our best and enjoy it.”

Isabell Werth, the most experienced and honored rider on the German team, joined in the bantering:

“We have achieved our goal. We wanted to claim the bronze medal because it is too boring winning gold all the time and since we are good hosts and horsey people, we wanted to make the two other teams really happy.”

Kristina Bröring-Sprehe on Desperados FRH that were the German team's top scoring combination. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Kristina Bröring-Sprehe on Desperados FRH that were the German team’s top scoring combination. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

On a more serious note,  the 14-time European Champion added: “We simply weren’t as good as we can be, so it was a fair result that the others won. But watch out, we will try to come back again next year.”

Kristina Bröring-Sprehe on Desperados FRH was the most successful German combination finishing on a score of 79.743 percent that was lower than expected.

“I thought Desperados would pull forward more,” Kristina said, “I had to push him on more than expected, but apart from that he was super to ride. On Saturday, we will be ready and raring to go again.”

The Grand Prix Special will be held Saturday in the 40,000-seat Main Stadium which also hosted the Nations Cup.

Frank Kemperman who manages the Aachen show, reported 15,000 spectators the first day of the Nations Cup and 17,500 Thursday, about twice as many as can be accommodated in the Deutsche Bank Stadium, the usual dressage venue here.

Many more are expected for the Grand Prix Special and perhaps a sellout for the Freestyle on Sunday.

Carl Hester, the rider of Nip Tuck in their second championship, and part owner of Valegro as well as coach and mentor of Charlotte Dujardin, producing a result that helped Great Britain to the European Championship team silver medal. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Carl Hester, the rider of Nip Tuck in their second championship, and part owner of Valegro as well as coach and mentor of Charlotte Dujardin, producing a result that helped Great Britain to the European Championship team silver medal. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Individual Grand Prix

Judges – K: Susanne Baarup (DEN) E: Katrina Wuest (GER) H: Annette Fransén-Iacobaeus (SWE) C: Eduard de Wolff van Westerrode (NED) M: Jean-Michel Roudier (FRA) B: Anne Gribbons (USA) F: Andrew Ralph Gardner (GBR)

RANK NR. RIDER

EUR PERCENTAGE
HORSE 

1 27
Charlotte Dujardin
GBR
6000 83.029
Valegro 

2 43
Edward Gal
NED
4500 82.229
Glock´s Undercover N.O.P. 

3 30
Kristina Bröring-Sprehe
GER
3500 79.743
Desperados FRH 

4 44
Hans Peter Minderhoud
NED
2000 77.586
Glock´s Johnson TN 

5 14
Beatriz Ferrer – Salat
ESP
1500 77.186
Delgado 

6 31
Matthias Alexander Rath
GER
1000 75.971
Totilas 

7 45
Diederik van Silfhout
NED
150 75.814
Arlando N.O.P. 

8 26
Fiona Bigwood
GBR
150 75.800
Atterupgaards Orthilia 

9 29
Carl Hester
GBR
150 75.400
Nip Tuck 

10 32
Jessica von Bredow-Werndl
GER
150 75.200
Unee BB 

10 2
Victoria Max-Theurer
AUT
150 75.200
Blind Date 25 

12 68
Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén
SWE
150 75.157
Don Auriello 

13 33
Isabell Werth
GER
150 74.900
Don Johnson FRH 

14 65
Patrik Kittel
SWE
150 74.571
Deja 

15 13
Morgan Barbançon Mestre
ESP
150 73.957
Painted Black 

16 59
Inessa Merkulova
RUS
150 73.800
Mister X 

17 24
Karen Tebar
FRA
73.771
Don Luis 

18 11
Anna Kasprzak
DEN
72.986
Donnperignon 

19 46
Patrick van der Meer
NED
72.400
Uzzo 

20 66
Emilie Nyreröd
SWE
71.829
Miata 

21 16
Jose Daniel Martin Dockx
ESP
71.343
Grandioso

22 8
Jorinde Verwimp
BEL
71.086
Tiamo 

23 55
Gonçalo Carvalho
POR
70.557
Batuta

24 5
Jeroen Devroe
BEL
70.486
Eres DL 

25 25
Pierre Volla
FRA
70.357
Badinda Altena 

26 57
Marina Aframeeva
RUS
70.300
Vosk 

27 10
Mikala Münter Gundersen
DEN
70.229
My Lady 

28 21
Terhi Stegars
FIN
69.971
Axis TSF 

29 28
Michael George Eilberg
GBR
69.943
Marakov

30 63
Marcela Krinke Susmelj
SUI
69.914
Smeyers Molberg 

31 47
Trude Hestengen
NOR
69.900
Tobajo Pik Disney 

32 56
Daniel Pinto
POR
69.614
Santurion de Massa

33 6
Laurence Vanommeslaghe
BEL
69.529
Avec Plaisir 

34 34
Judy Reynolds
IRL
69.486
Vancouver K 

35 61
Anna-Mengia Aerne
SUI
69.443
Raffaelo v. Bene

36 3
Astrid Neumayer
AUT
69.386
Rodriguez 4 

37 40
Veronique Henschen
LUX
69.329
Fontalero 

38 7
Fanny Verliefden
BEL
69.200
Annarico 

39 9
Daniel Bachmann Andersen
DEN
68.857
Blue Hors Loxana 

40 15
José Antonio Garcia Mena
ESP
68.771
Norte Lovera

41 67
Minna Telde
SWE
68.714
Santana 

42 72
Inna Logutenkova
UKR
68.657
Don Gregorius 

43 22
Ludovic Henry
FRA
68.629
After You

44 60
Elena Sidneva
RUS
68.443
Romeo-Star 

45 52
Zaneta Skowronska
POL
67.600
Mystery 

46 12
Rikke Svane
DEN
67.586
Finckenstein TSF

47 54
Filipe Canelas
POR
67.557
Der Clou 

48 58
Ekaterina Kharchenko
RUS
67.257
Gulliver 

49 20
Eevamaria Porthan-Broddell
FIN
67.186
Solos Lacan 

50 23
Arnaud Serre
FRA
67.100
Robinson de Lafont de Massa

51 4
Alexandra Slanec
AUT
66.943
Lord Of Dream 

52 62
Caroline Häcki
SUI
66.929
Rigoletto Royal CH 

53 38
Leonardo Tiozzo
ITA
66.514
Randon

54 39
Diane Erpelding
LUX
66.271
Woltair TSF 

55 48
Anne Lene Holmen
NOR
66.214
Rainbow Dancer 4 

56 41
Sascha Schulz
LUX
66.000
Wito Corleone 2 

57 18
Kristina Böckmann
FIN
65.957
Der Kleine Lord 16 

58 71
Maksim Kovshov
UKR
65.900
Flirt

59 64
Birgit Wientzek Pläge
SUI
65.200
For Compliment 

60 37
Ester Soldi
ITA
65.029
Harmonia

61 50
Anna Lukasik
POL
65.000
Stella Pack Ganda

62 69
Svetlana Kiseliova
UKR
64.614
Parish

63 51
Katarzyna Milczarek
POL
64.600
Dzeko 

64 42
Fie Christine Skarsoe
LUX
64.429
One Night Stand 

65 19
Emma Kanerva
FIN
64.357
Sini Solina 

66 36
Federica Scolari
ITA
64.114
Beldonwelt

67 49
Louise Løkken
NOR
63.871
Mr Gold G 

68 17
Dina Ellermann
EST
63.800
Landy´s Akvarel

69 53
Maria Caetano
POR
63.786
Xiripiti

70 35
Micol Rustignoli
ITA
63.729
Fixdesign Corallo Nero

71 1
Evelyn Haim-Swarovski
AUT
63.157
Dorina 

72 70
Alisa Kovan´ko
UKR
ELM
Vian Stallone 

 

RANK TEAM GP
1 Team Netherlands 235.629
Patrick van der Meer (72.400)
Diederik van Silfhout 75.814
Hans Peter Minderhoud 77.586
Edward Gal 82.229
2 Team Great Britain 234.229
Michael George Eilberg (69.943)
Fiona Bigwood 75.800
Carl Hester 75.400
Charlotte Dujardin 83.029
3 Team Germany 230.914
Jessica von Bredow-Werndl 75.200
Isabell Werth (74.900)
Matthias Alexander Rath 75.971
Kristina Bröring-Sprehe 79.743
4 Team Spain 222.486
José Antonio Garcia Mena (68.771)
Jose Daniel Martin Dockx 71.343
Morgan Barbançon Mestre 73.957
Beatriz Ferrer – Salat 77.186
5 Team Sweden 221.557
Emilie Nyreröd 71.829
Minna Telde (68.714)
Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén 75.157
Patrik Kittel 74.571
6 Team France 212.757
Ludovic Henry 68.629
Pierre Volla 70.357
Arnaud Serre (67.100)
Karen Tebar 73.771
7 Team Russian Federation 212.543
Ekaterina Kharchenko (67.257)
Elena Sidneva 68.443
Marina Aframeeva 70.300
Inessa Merkulova 73.800
8 Team Denmark 212.072
Rikke Svane (67.586)
Mikala Münter Gundersen 70.229
Daniel Bachmann Andersen 68.857
Anna Kasprzak 72.986
9 Team Austria 211.529
Alexandra Slanec 66.943
Evelyn Haim-Swarovski (63.157)
Astrid Neumayer 69.386
Victoria Max-Theurer 75.200
10 Team Belgium 211.101
Jorinde Verwimp 71.086
Fanny Verliefden (69.200)
Laurence Vanommeslaghe 69.529
Jeroen Devroe 70.486
11 Team Portugal 207.728
Maria Caetano (63.786)
Filipe Canelas 67.557
Daniel Pinto 69.614
Gonçalo Carvalho 70.557
12 Team Switzerland 206.286
Caroline Häcki 66.929
Birgit Wientzek Pläge (65.200)
Anna-Mengia Aerne 69.443
Marcela Krinke Susmelj 69.914
13 Team Finland 203.114
Eevamaria Porthan-Broddell 67.186
Kristina Böckmann 65.957
Emma Kanerva (64.357)
Terhi Stegars 69.971
14 Team Luxembourg 201.600
Diane Erpelding 66.271
Sascha Schulz 66.000
Fie Christine Skarsoe (64.429)
Veronique Henschen 69.329
15 Team Norway 199.985
Louise Løkken (63.871)
Anne Lene Holmen 66.214
Trude Hestengen 69.900
16 Team Ukraine 199.171
Alisa Kovan´ko Elim
Maksim Kovshov 65.900
Svetlana Kiseliova 64.614
Inna Logutenkova 68.657
17 Team Poland 197.200
Anna Lukasik 65.000
Katarzyna Milczarek 64.600
Zaneta Skowronska 67.600
18 Team Italy 195.657
Federica Scolari 64.114
Ester Soldi 65.029
Micol Rustignoli (63.729)
Leonardo Tiozzo 66.514