Thursday, August 18, 2011

European Championships

Thoughts?  Comments? Feelings? Anyone?

Typically this event is dominated by Germany and the Netherlands but this year was definitely not the case.   Between the stunning ride by Carl Hester on Uthopia  and Charlotte Dujardin the British team is making a shocking sweep of the competition it seems.  Carl Hester and Uthopia scored an 82.568% and even scored a perfect 10 from all the judges on their extended trot.  That pair was amazing.

Obviously this video isn't from the European Championships but I thought I would share it for those who haven't seen them in action.  I don't know if I feel this horse is as flashy as Totilas but I do think his tests are flawless.  When it comes to raw talent and natural movement, Uthopia is definitely not lacking in either.  

This video is from the same competition as the video of Carl but this is Charlotte Dujardin.  Between her and Carl the British team may show a team record score now since the two of them are both averaging 80%.  It's nice to see, no matter what training fads come into the competitions throughout the years, after it's all said and done flawless equitation and spectacular talent can still bring home a gold medal.

Totilas ended up scoring a 79.453% which seated him for a third place individual medal and the highest score for the German team who acquired him from the Netherland team after their house cleaning 2010 year with him.  This years championships were one of two times he's placed outside of the top two positions.  

Laura Bechtolsheimer, who makes me feel like there's hope for me she's only 26 years old with a fabulous show record for the British team so far in her career, finished 5th with a decent 77.280%.  So far she's received a silver medal at the 2009 ECs as well as three silvers (two individuals and one team) at WEG in 2010 and 3 gold medals at the 2010 World Championships on the gelding, Mistral Hojris who she competed on in the 2011 ECs.

So for the first time in the 25 years of the FEI European Championships Britain claimed a well deserved team gold.  I am interested to see how the rest of the competition plays out for the rest of the week as well how things unfold and line up for the upcoming Olympic Games.

**Update** I found a video from FEI TV with some highlights of the championships!

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