Back-to-back team gold medals for Belgium at the FEI Jumping European Championship for Young Riders, Juniors and Children 2022 in Oliva Nova
The FEI Jumping European Championship for Young Riders, Juniors and Children 2022 in Oliva Nova, Spain, continued on Friday with the team final for the Young Riders, as well as the second individual qualifier for the Children – which also counted as the first round of their team final.
The second and final round of the Young Riders’ team final – set at 1.50m – was presented by Roelofsen Horsetrucks. After the first round of the team final, Great Britain was leading the way on a score of 6.84, followed by Belgium on 14.08 in second, Germany on 16.17 in third, Ireland on 21.96 in fourth and France on 23.47 in fifth.
Belgium really put pressure on Great Britain today, with clear rounds from Thibault Philippaerts and Derby de Riverland (Kannan x L’Arc de Triomphe), Thibeau Spits and Classic Touch DH (Casall x Corrado I) as well as Roy Van Beek and Chacco Me Biolley (Chacco-Blue x Argentinus) – which meant the team could discharge the four faults from Tristan Guisson and Naturelle vh Legitahof Z (Nabab de Reve x For Pleasure), adding nothing to their overnight score of 14.08.
Germany also performed strong in today’s team final for Young Riders. Johanna Beckmann on Emelie van de Mirania Stam (Emerald x Concorde) and Henrike Ostermann on Air Force One 19 (Arpeggio x Conterno Grande) jumped clear for the Germans, and when Hannes Ahlmann on Baloucan (Baloubet du Rouet x Cancara) only picked up one time fault, the German team could drop Matthis Westendarp’s eight faults and finish on a total score of 17.17 – sitting just behind the Belgians.
With a clear from Lily Attwood and Cor-Leon vd Vlierbeek Z (Calvaro F.C. x Omar) and one down on the very last line from Grace Debney on Boheme de La Roque (Kannan x Quick Star), Great Britain held on to their lead until the very last horse-and-rider combination entered the ring. However, with nine faults from Lila Bremner and Memphis vd Vaart (Elvis Ter Putte x Up Chiqui), anchor pair Oliver Fletcher and Hello William (Waldo Van Dungen x Stakkato) had to deliver a clear round to secure the gold for the Brits. Unfortunately for Fletcher, two poles fell and with a total of twelve faults to add to their score, Great Britain dropped down behind Belgium and Germany, to finish with the bronze on 18.84.
Belgian Chef d’Equipe Rik Deraedt had a hard time believing the end result. At last year’s FEI Jumping European Championship for Young Riders, Juniors and Children, the Belgian teams won gold in each age group – and one year later, their winning streak has continued in Oliva Nova. “This is incredible, who would have thought,” he smiled. “If we had a podium finish, I would have been happy with that. I did not expect this, not at all. We are competing with 18 countries, all with good riders and horses. We were third in the beginning, then second, and we had to wait until the last British rider had jumped to win – this was incredible; we had a lucky day. We have good horses and good riders; I am so happy. These kinds of championships are so important for the youth, so that they can show how good they are and how they can handle pressure already when they are young. I think afterwards, when they are seniors, these experiences will help them.”
“I am very happy with the way she jumped, I think she jumped better than yesterday,” Thibeau Spits said about his horse Classic Touch DH. “Today’s round was maybe a little bit easier in height, but quite technical, especially the line with the liverpool and the last line. My horse passed all the difficulties easily, so I have a very good feeling ahead of the individual final. Every important moment, she has been there for me.”
Thibault Philippaerts was also pleased with his horse Derby de Riverland. “I am very happy, even if my round did not go as planned,” he explained. “I was meant to do seven leading up to the combination, but I ended up doing six. I was very lucky to have a very good, careful horse who was thinking with me today.”
Speaking of the Belgian Chef d’Equipe Rik Deraedt, Philippaerts said: “I think Rik has done an unbelievable job over the last years, he has won so many medals. I think his job is not easy; we have so many good riders in Belgium, and to select the right ones for the championships is not easy to do.”
Just like his teammates, Roy van Beek was full of praise for his horse: “My horse jumped well and was fresh, he did all the difficult lines well. The course was nice today, you could choose your strides in a few places and even if we saw many faults, they were spread out.”
The fourth member of the Belgian team, Tristan Guisson, was on the winning Junior team at last year’s Europeans and won one more team gold for his country today. “The biggest difference is that in the Young Riders, the courses are a lot higher and more technical – even if in the Juniors it is hard enough, but in Young Riders even more so. Also, I have a new group of people around me, with more experience,” he said.
Camille Demolie, the fifth member on the Belgian team, spoke about their Chef d’Equipe Deraedt and the team spirit: “Rik is amazing,” she said. “He is always with us; I think he is one of the best Chef d’Equipes there is. Us riders, we all know each other well and have been good friends for a long time, and we enjoy our time together.”
Individually, Belgium’s Thibeau Spits holds the lead among the Young Riders on a score of 1.9, followed by Germany’s Henrike Ostermann and Hannes Ahlmann on 2.81 in second and 4.61 in third, Ireland’s Max Wachman on 6.54 in fourth and Belgium’s Thibault Philippaerts on 6.66 in fifth.
Three teams keep their score on zero after the first round of the Children’s team final
In the Children’s category, nine teams entered Friday’s competition on a score of zero: Italy, Spain, Sweden, Germany, Poland, France, Hungary, Switzerland and the Netherlands. However, during the first round of the team final, only three teams managed to keep their clean sheet in a 1.30m class presented by Freejump. For Spain, Carlos Garcia Sanchez on Citing du Breche (Numero Uno x Nabab de Reve), Lucas Lopez Benito on Ur de Peleben (Toulon x Papilllon Rouge) and Oliver Glenn Lange Fraile on Flying Pleasure (Forsyth FRH x Silvester) jumped clear, while Lennard Tillmann on Oreal des Etains Z (Orlando x Corrado I), Antonia Häsler on Dynamite N (Nintender x Eklat) and Tony Stormanns on Dia Nova (Diamant de Revel x Cardento 933) kept Germany on a score of zero. Melina Bouillot on Canabis d’Albain (Baloubet du Rouet x Kannan), Timothee Goffinet on Volubie du Givre (Winningmood x Damiro B) and Lucas Delachaussee on Atcha des Coteaux (Controe x Bonhomme II) jumped clear for France.
The Italian team sits fourth on a score of four, followed by Sweden, Ireland, Finland and the Netherlands on a score of eight and Belgium and Poland on a score of nine. The best ten teams continue to the second round of the team final, which is jumped on Saturday.
Individually, 49 horse-and-rider combinations in the Children’s category started the second qualifier carrying zero penalties, and 19 of them produced another clear on Friday.
The FEI Jumping European Championship for Young Riders, Juniors and Children 2022 in Oliva Nova continues on Saturday with the individual final for Juniors and the second round of the team final for Children as well as the Junior and Young Rider farewell competitions.
Full results HERE