Gold for Switzerland

Switzerland won the European Championships held in Riesenbeck.

The team formed by Elian Baumann riding Campari Z, Bryan Balsiger on AK’s Courage, Steve Guerdat on Albfuehren’s Maddox and Martin Fuchs on Leone Jei, finished the two rounds on a total of 9.47 penalties. German won silver with Andre Thieme riding DSP Chakaria, Marcus Ehing on Stargold, Christian Kukuk on Mumbai and David Will on C Vier (12.77 penalties) with the bronze medal going to Belgium with Pieter Devos on Jade vd Bisschop, Jos Verloy on Varoune, Olivier Philippaerts on Le Blue Diamond v’t Ruytershof and Nicola Philippaerts riding Katanga v/h Dingeshof (17.34 penalties). With four clear rounds in the second round the Belgian team made a comeback overtaking Sweden, which had finished the first round in third place and ultimately finished fourth.

Thanks to this win in Riesenbeck, Switzerland had now won its fifth European title with the last won in Windsor in 2009 and it is Martin Fuchs who is the holder of the individual title won in Rotterdam in 2019 riding Clooney 19. Now it is Martin Fuchs riding Leone Jei who is leading the temporary individual placings followed by Germany’s Andre Thieme on DSP Chakaria and Belgium’s Pieter Devos on Jade vd Bisschop.

This group of great champions provided a day of great sport for everyone. The course built by Frank Rothenberger was suited to this event, presenting difficulties all along the 1.60m high track with doubles and trebles and lines requiring the greatest precision from horses and riders from the very first jump to the last one.

With the Olympic bronze medal won in Tokyo and the European bronze won in Riesenbeck, Belgium is proving to be on top form and can rely on more than one excellent team. Germany too gave a brilliant performance winning silver in front of a home crowd.

The top 25 horse and rider combinations in the placings in the first round and the top 12 in the second will compete on Sunday in the individual final.

All four German and Belgian riders have qualified for the final while Switzerland is fielding three riders as Elian Baumann is currently out of the running having finished in 28th place.

Powerful feelings and a great deal of pressure will be concentrated on Martin Fuchs as he does his very best to defend his title, also to honour his much loved Clooney while the horse is going through a difficult time.

There was no lack of compliments addressed at the Organising Committee during the press conference praising its great commitment in organising at best these championships, providing moments of great sport for a competent and passionate public slowly returning to attend sporting events.

The next appointment is for Sunday at 2 pm for the individual final.

See individual and team results here