This year’s FEI European Endurance Championships took place in Samorin (SVK) on 12th September and saw competitors from 20 nations.
Jaume Punti Dachs (ESP) and the chestnut mare Ajayeb (Tidjani / Gharam by Dynamite III) snatched the lead at the final Vet Gate and headed out on the last 20km loop with just three seconds to spare over Mareijke Visser (NED) on Laiza de Jamila (Ismaell d’Aurabel / Pirula by Piruet). The pair were neck and neck throughout the final phase and a thrilling sprint finish saw Punti Dachs (ESP) take the top spot at an average speed of 22.58kph. Visser (NED) and the stunning 11-year-old grey mare Laiza de Jalima were just a second adrift and had to settle for silver once again, just as in 2014. The bronze medal went to Jean Phlippe Frances (FRA) and Secret de Mon Coeur.
Former World Champion Maria Alvarez Ponton (ESP) crossed the line aboard Selif de la Nie some 30 minutes after the winner to secure team gold for Spain. A total team time of 22:42:28, some 52 minutes slower than Spain, was enough for France to take silver. The Dutch team achieved bronze with a total team time of 23:54:31, the Netherlands also went home with a 100% completion rate – the very first time this has been achieved in an Endurance Championship.
The best Swiss competitors were Veronique Curchod auf Nuwaif (Kairouan de Jos / Koralya de Nerak by Dormane) and Andrea Amacher with Rustik d’Alsace (Persicko / Scirpe du Vivarais by Marzouck) who ended on place 27 and 28; best Austrian rider was Helga Wunderer with Ariella (Aichal / Aristaza by Negatraz), bred in Germany, on 32nd place. Jenny Stemmler (GER) with Radja d’Aurabelle were eliminated at gate 4.
With a starting field of 62 combinations and 37 finishers for a completion rate of just under 60%, the 2015 European Championships was a great example of excellent sportsmanship and team performance.
Berry Pattison (FEI) / -gw-
Here you can download the complete results