Sunday was a day of individual decisions and team decisions at the Pony European Championships in Stręgom, Poland. Mia Allegra Lohe won gold and Merle Hoffman won individual bronze and team silver in eventing. There were no Germans in the top ten in jumping.
After an individual silver, Mia Allegra Lohe did well in the freestyle on Sunday with Towdal’s Golden Future Imperial. The final ride of the starting field was rated by the judges at 80.355 percent. This makes Mia Allegra Lohe the new freestyle European champion among pony dressage riders. With simple changes and a strong canter, the couple managed to score well, scoring 8 over and 9 over. The judges also liked the choreography, the difficulty of the music, the interpretation and the harmony of the couple.
National coach Caroline Roost couldn’t win more gold medals with her team. Roost said of the ride of Mia Allegra Lohe and her palomino mare: “You have to be brave enough to be the last rider to have another ride on the parquet floor. Mia Allegra and her marr improved day by day here, both mentally focused so much that they were able to deliver again in the end.
With Ü80 percent marks, the final couple distinguished themselves from the competition. Dutch rider Maddy Dijkshun won the silver medal with 77.795 percent with Bougie de l’Aube, while hosts Poland’s Weronika Pawluk took the bronze with 77.490 percent.
Other German riders finished fifth (Lily Marie Collin with the seven-year-old stallion and multiple Bundeschampion Cosmo Callidus) and 13th (Julie Sophie Schmitz-Heinen with Carlio Go). The latter particularly praised Carolyn Roost as the team’s “golden guarantor”, who in the freestyle had only a slightly keener pony under saddle.
Caroline Roost summed it up: “Before, I could not give any prediction of success, because such an important championship is always a completely new journey, this time with three new young couples and thus new families. We were very focused and trained hard. But the best thing was actually the team spirit, we had a lot of fun here at Stregom.
Match: Silver for Team Germany
Today was exciting again for the eventing riders. After dressage and cross-country, the distance between the leading Irish and German was less than a jumping error. And in today’s final match, both teams made mistakes. However, it was enough for the team from the Emerald Isle for team gold. Ben Connors drove Cornfest Fred, Josh Williamson drove Ardeo Fireman, Matthew Love drove Lucky Four Some and Claire Orien drove Carhu Melody. The latter formed the deletion effect. The Irish scored a total of 104.1 points.
It was enough for the team silver with 107.6 points for Germany, who according to national coach Rüdiger Rau, was more in the role of “hunter” than favorite. Here Merle Hoffman started with Penny Lane WE, as well as Pita Schmidt with Katrina in Sealand, Zina Brueger with Next Generation and Lynn Marie Schluter with Rathkline Dream.
Bronze was awarded to the team from France, whose terrain did not go to plan the previous day. When two jumping faults were counted, the team score finally rose to 108.9 points. Here, May Rinaldi with Boston du Verdun, Ocean Villeton with Babylon Knight Graves, Ambroise Mindou with Versailles des Morins and Zoe Ballot with Voltaire de Lalande were early starters for the team.
Rudiger Rao said of his team’s performance: “We are really happy with the medals and our team performance.”
Merle Hoffman individual bronze
Again there was great reason to rejoice in the individual rankings. Because that was enough for Merle Hoffman and her Penny Lane WE for third place and thus the bronze medal with a total of 31 penalty points! Despite the terrain, both were ranked silver. On the course on Sunday, however, there was a decline. However, a great success, because Merle Hoffman managed to fight from fourth place to a medal position at EM 2021.
France’s May Rinaldi took individual gold in the saddle of Boston du Verdun with just 25.6 penalty points, while Ireland’s Ben Connors won the Cornfest Fred and 28.9 penalty points.
Other German starters in the top ten in the individual classification were Pita Schmidt with Zetland’s Katrina (eighth), Theresa Isabel Welsh on Shannon’s Hero (ninth) and Sina Brugger Next Generation (tenth).
“We managed to defend the EM team silver medal from 2021 and we are very happy with the medals because the performance was very consistent. The conditions here can only be described as perfect,” concludes Rüdiger Rau.
Jumping: A set of medals for Ireland
After finishing fifth in the team ranking, the German pony show jumpers did not play a role in the fight for medals in the last two rounds. After the first few days, the top seed made very few mistakes on Sunday.
First and foremost the Irish, as they received a full set of medals in individual rankings. James Derwin with Ringola Babog and James Brennan with MHS Glow had to compete for the jump-off as both pairs did not allow a single jumping error all day. However, Brennan fell into a pole during the jump. So James Durwin also won gold along with Ringola Babog. Coyne Williams secured the bronze medal with Saxton Freedom and three penalties.
The top German riders were both eleventh in the final standings. Jonah Esser scored a total of 16 penalty points with Catnus, as did Emile Bourand with Amy.
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