The European Championship thriller in Riesenbeck with gold for Switzerland, silver for Germany and bronze for Belgium

Gold fĂĽr die Schweiz/ Gold for Switzerland

Gold fĂĽr die Schweiz/ Gold for Switzerland

Longines FEI Jumping European Championship Riesenbeck 2021, team final Thriller in Riesenbeck with gold for Switzerland, silver for Germany and bronze for Belgium.


 The decision about the team classification of the Longines FEI Jumping European Championship Riesenbeck 2021 could not have been more exciting! Germany or Switzerland? The last riders of both teams had it in their hands. The Swiss entered the team final as the leaders. But their day began less than promising with twelve penalties from Elian Baumann and Campari Z. But two clear rounds from 24-year-old Bryan Balsiger on AK's Courage and Martin Fuchs with Leone Jei brought Switzerland back into the game. 


For Germany it had been the other way around - both André Thieme, who had to be the first to ensure a good starting point with DSP Chakaria, and Marcus Ehning on his stallion Stargold had both ridden clear. Especially with Ehning's Stargold, he made his mark and we all knew that he had now really arrived in Riesenbeck. If there was a style prize, it would have gone to this pair. Everything was now possible for the team. Then came Christian Kukuk, the local hero, who is at home here in Riesenbeck, and for whom the family in the stands kept their fingers crossed. His Mumbai jumped fantastically until the triple combination. At the c-element, the pole fell. 


"The mistake was totally on me," Kukuk admitted self-critically afterwards, explaining, "I was too close at the a-element of this combination, which meant I lacked momentum and it simply made it too difficult for my horse to clear the last." However, nothing was decided with that. All the pressure was now on David Will with the Holsteiner C Vier for Germany and Steve Guerdat in the saddle of the Swedish gelding Albführen's Maddox for Switzerland. Will, the championship debutant, Steve Guerdat, the 2012 Olympic champion, the three-time World Cup winner, the World Cup bronze medalist – the list of achievements for the Swiss goes on and on. Will had to go first. C Vier demonstrated with every single jump that it was not by chance that he had won the traditional Grand Prix of Rome a few months ago. But before the double combination it didn't fit ideally and the pole at the a-element fell. Now Steve Guerdat had the decision on his shoulders. He could afford one drop without endangering the victory of the Swiss. Two poles and the title would have gone to Germany.


Until obstacle 9, Guerdat and Albführen's Maddox didn't look like they were going to make a single mistake. But the golden horses, the massive oxer number 9, put the gold in danger once again. Trembling in both camps - one more mistake and the victory would be gone from the Swiss. Another mistake and the victory would have been on the German side. But Guerdat did not do the hosts that favor. He rode the round to the end without any further penalties and was celebrated by his teammates. And the mood in the German camp? Chef d’Equipe Otto Becker summed it up like this: "Disappointed at first, because it started really well with the two clear rounds. Of course we were hoping for that, but at the end of the day it was clear that we had achieved our goal and won silver. Compliments to the team on how they did it. We are super happy!" 


For Germany, it is the second silver medal in a row after the Longines FEI European Championships in Rotterdam in 2019, when they finished behind Belgium. This time it was the other way around. Just like at the Tokyo Olympics, the Belgians managed to ride to bronze at the last minute. And how! All four team riders finished without a drop, Pieter Devos with Jade vd Bisschop, Jos Verlooy on Varoune and the twins Olivier and Nicola Philippaerts with Le Blue Diamond v't Ruytershof and Katanga v/h Dingeshof. And their super performances today brought the Belgians also high in the individual ranking.  


Can Martin Fuchs defend his title? As far as the individual rankings are concerned, today has shaken things up quite a bit. Except at the top: There is still the defending champion, the Swiss Martin Fuchs on his nine-year-old Leone Jei with 1.31 penalty points. Thanks to his two clear rounds, André Thieme with DSP Chakaria was able to move up to silver place (2.84). On course for bronze are Belgium's Pieter Devos and Jade vd Bisschop (3.16). The surprise of this European Championships is the Greek individual rider Ioli Mytilineou. The 24-year-old and her fantastic jumping Levis de Muze have not yet made a single mistake during the week. So not even a single fault separates Mytilineou from the gold medal and with her great rides she has positioned herself directly in front of the team Olympic champion and individual runner-up from Tokyo, Peder Fredricson (SWE). 


The individual Final will be take place on Sunday from 2 pm. Those who cannot be on site in Riesenbeck can follow the action on TV:

 TV - Times:


Germany:Sunday, 05.09.2021:

ZDF 15.00h - 16.00h Sweden:Sunday:13.55h - 15.00h and 16.05 - 17.00h Switzerland:Sunday: 13.55 web17.00 to 18.00 partial recording SRF TV Worldwide:Live stream and  


Tip for visitors of the Longines FEI Jumping European Championship: It's faster at the entrance if you have the obligatory corona test done by a test station at home!