German Youth Competitors Capture Multiple Championships at Valencia

Junior team medalists on the podium: The Netherlands (silver), Germany (gold) and Denmark (bronze). Photo by FEI/Leanjo de Koster.
Junior team medalists on the podium: The Netherlands (silver), Germany (gold) and Denmark (bronze). Photo by FEI/Leanjo de Koster.

Valencia, Spain – July 25, 2016 – Team Germany more than lived up to expectations at the 2016 FEI European Dressage Championships for Young Riders, Juniors and Children staged in Valencia (ESP) by taking gold in four of the eight championship categories. They completely dominated the Junior division, but once again had to yield to the Dutch in the Young Riders Individual and Freestyle in which Jeanine Nieuwenhuis held sway.

For only the second time in the history of these Championships there were also Team and Individual Championships for Children, and it was Russia that took both titles this time around. With a massive entry it was a hectic five days of competition in soaring summer temperatures.


For the third year in a row the Junior team medal podium remained the same, with Germany taking the top step followed by the Netherlands in silver and Denmark in bronze. However the Dutch narrowed the gap this time, finishing less than four percentage points behind the champions.

Semmieke Rothenberger led the German assault with a great score of 77.351 percent from the 9-year-old mare Dissertation. The rider, who will turn 17 next month, was joined by Hannah Erbe (Carlos), Rebecca Horstmann (Friend of Mine 2) and Alexa Westendarp (Der Prinz 4) to post a team tally of 224.000.

Lisanne Zoutendijk and Kostendrukkers Ringo Star produced the leading Dutch score of 73.865 percent, and joined with Esmee Donkers (Zaffier), Febe van Zwambagt (FS Las Vegas) and Diana van de Bovenkamp (Corvette) to post 220.136 overall. The Danish bronze medalists – Celine Rorbaek Silfen (Romo Hoejris), Camilla Andersen (Rafaella K), Caroline Eisner (Alskenz Firfod) and Karoline Rohmann (Noosa Melody) – racked up a final scoreline of 212.405. A total of 14 nations fielded Junior teams, and Sweden missed out on a podium placing by just over four percentage points.

Hannah Erbe of Germany earned Junior team, individual and freestyle gold on Carlos. Photo by FEILeanjo de Koster.
Hannah Erbe of Germany earned Junior team, individual and freestyle gold on Carlos. Photo by FEI/Leanjo de Koster.

Rothenberger had to settle for silver in both the Individual and Freestyle Championships however, as Hannah Erbe reclaimed the Junior Individual title she took in 2015 before also going on to add Freestyle gold. Rothenberger’s lovely young mare didn’t sparkle quite as much as she had done in the Team event, finishing only fractionally behind Erbe’s Carlos in the battle for the Individual title while The Netherlands’ Lisanne Zoutendijk (Kostendrukkers Ringo Star) took the bronze here.

In the Freestyle Erbe and her 9-year-old Rhinelander gelding were outstanding when posting their gold-medal-winning score of 81.625 percent. The judges panel of Francisco Guerry Diaz (ESP), Vincenzo Truppa (ITA), Hans-Christian Matthiesen (DEN), Raphael Saleh (FRA) and Eike Ebert (GER) awarded Rothenberger a mark of 78.975 percent while Febe van Zwambagt pushed Dutch team-mate, Zoutendijk, off the podium this time time when taking the bronze with a mark of 77.5 percent with the 9-year-old gelding FS Las Vegas.

Young Riders

Last year Sweden pushed Denmark off the Young Riders team podium, but the Danes reclaimed their spot this time around when lining up behind the Dutch in silver and the Germans in gold medal spot. Once again there were 14 nations represented in the team competition, and it was a close-fought affair with only just over a single percentage point separating the victors from their Dutch rivals.

It was the pure consistency of the German performances that clinched it for them, Jil-Marielle Becks (Damon’s Satelite) posting 74.816 percent, Anna-Lisa Theile (Ducati K) posting 73.947 percent and Anna-Christina Abbelen (Fuerst on Tour) scoring 73.079 percent while Leonie Richter’s (Babylon) mark of 70.842 percent was not counted for the team total of 221.842.

The Netherlands’ Jeanine Nieuwenhuis and TC Athene produced the best score of the competition when putting 76.947 percent on the board, and when that was added to 72.026 percent from Jeanine Nekeman (Vlingh) and 71.579 percent from Jasmien de Koeyer (Esperanza) then Lotte Meulendijks’ 70.737 percent with MDH Ohio was the discount mark as they racked up 220.552.

Jeanine Nieuwenhuis and TC Athene led the Dutch Young Rider team to silver and clinched individual and freestyle gold. Photo by FEILeanjo de Koster.
Jeanine Nieuwenhuis and TC Athene led the Dutch Young Rider team to silver and clinched individual and freestyle gold. Photo by FEI/Leanjo de Koster.

The Danes had a final scoreline of 213.889 when Maja Andreasen (Kano) posted 73.026 percent, Michala Mejlgaard Jensen (Uno lV) scored 71.29 percent and Caroline Aarosin (Daydream) earned 69.553 percent, Marie Skov Olesen (Brizard) providing the discard score of 64.632 percent. The Swedish team missed out on that podium placing by over four percentage points.

The Netherlands’ Jeanine Nieuwenhuis and TC Athene powered on to take both the Individual and Freestyle titles. Judges Kurt Christensen (DEN), Katrina Wuest (GER), Francisco Guerra Diaz (ESP), Alla Soubbotina (RUS) and Adriaan Hamoen (NED) awarded them 78.974 percent in the Individual Championship to leave them more than two points ahead of the German silver medalists Jil-Marielle Becks and Damon’s Satelite while Germany also filled third, fourth and fifth places, Leonie Richter and Babylon clinching the bronze on a mark of 72.842 percent.

The Freestyle judges, Francis Verbeek von Rooj (NED), Clive Halsall (GBR), Katrina Wuest (GER), Freddy Leyman (BEL) and Christoph Limbach (LUX) gave Nieuwenhuis 81 percent for gold, Britain’s Halsall placing the Dutch pair second while the remainder of the panel all put them at the head of the scoreboard. Becks had to settle for bronze this time out when Leonie Richter really rose to the occasion with a fractionally better score than her German counterpart, and it was Switzerland’s Estell Wettstein who just missed out on the podium when lining up fourth.


Last year’s silver medalists from Russia clinched both the Team and Individual titles this time around, and their star performer was Anna Guseynova who steered the 11-year old Westfalian gelding, Lauda, to two excellent performances. The 14-year-old rider, who was a member of that 2015 silver-medal-winning side, posted 73.1 percent in the Team event in which her compatriot, Ekaterina Aristova (Shania), also produced an excellent mark of 70.8 percent. When these were added to the 69.67 earned by Polina Ivanova (Norlunds Cartoon), the final scoreline of 213.667 gave Russia a significant advantage over France in silver while Spain claimed the bronze. With only four teams competing it was Italy that didn’t make it on to the podium.

Judges Raphael Saleh (FRA), Eike Ebert (GER), Christoph Limbach (LUX), Juan Carlos Eampos Escribano (ESP) and Freddy Leyman (BEL) awarded fourth-line Russian rider Taisia Rusakova (Terrano) 66.667 percent, just 0.1 percentage points less than team-mate Ivanova.  The overall Russian score was 213.667.

There were just three scores over 70 percent in the Team competition, two going to Russia and the third to French rider Jade Laborgne partnering Don Calypso who posted 70.5 percent. French teammates Eugenie Burban (Mighty Magic) and Mado Pinto (Rafale du Coussoul de la Gesse) scored 66.9 percent and 67.633 respectively, and fourth-line rider Enora de Vienne (Limerick) was close behind when putting 66.433 percent on the board for the discard as the final French tally stood at 206.083.

Childrens team medalists on the podium: France (silver), Russia (gold) and Spain (bronze). Photo by FEI/Leanjo de Koster
Childrens team medalists on the podium: France (silver), Russia (gold) and Spain (bronze). Photo by FEI/Leanjo de Koster.

Spain’s Ainhoa Vera Arias (Mosquetero), Casida Rubio Breton (Daconte), Roser Serrano Pons (Sander) and Clara Munoz Roldan (Capricho) all scored between 64 and 69 percent to run up a team total of 202.7 percent for that bronze medal spot, and Ainhoa Vera Arias only just missed out on a podium placing in the Individual medal decider.

Posting 69.344 percent for a strong ride on his 17-year-old Spanish-bred stallion Mosquetero, he was squeezed off the podium by just 0.062 percentage points by Czech Republic’s Eva Vavikova riding Belle Ennie who earned the bronze. Silver went to Luxembourg’s Celia Giorgetti and the black gelding Decoeur who posted a smart 70.375 percent, but it was Russia’s Guseynova who reigned supreme with Lauda whose mark of 77.438 percent reflected the top score awarded by all five judges, Alla Soubbotina (RUS), Tina Karkkolainen (FIN), Juan Carlos Campus Escribano (ESP), Kurt Christensen (DEN) and Adriaan Hamoen (NED).

Results: 2016 FEI European Dressage Championships for Juniors and Young Riders

Childrens Team Championship: GOLD – Russia 213.667: Lauda (Anna Guseynova) 73.100, Shania (Ekaterina Anstova) 70.800, Norlunds Cartoon (Polina Ivanova) 69.767, Terrano (Taisia Rusakova) 66.667; SILVER – France 206.083: Don Calypso (Jade Laborgne) 70.550, Mighty Magic (Eugenie Burben) 67.900, Rafale du Coussoul de la Gesse (Mado Pinto) 67.633, Limerick (Enora de Vienne) 66.433; BRONZE – Spain 202.700: Mosquetero Vll (Ainhoa Vera Arias) 69.700, Daconte (Casida Rubio Breton) 67.133, Sander (Roser Serrano Pons) 65.867, Capricho (Clara Munoz Roldan) 64.500.

Childrens Individual Championship: GOLD – Lauda (Anna Guseynova) 77.428 RUS; SILVER – Decoeur (Celia Giorgetti) LUX 70.375; BRONZE – Belle Ennie (Eva Vavikova) CZE 69.406.
Junior Team Championship: GOLD – Germany 224.000: Dissertation (Semmieke Rothenberger) 77.351, Carlos (Hannah Erbe) 74.811, Friend of Mine 2 (Rebecca Horstmann) 71.838, Der Prinz 4 (Alexa Westendarp) 67.324; SILVER – Netherlands 220.136: Kostendrukkers Ringo Star (Lisanne Zoutendijk) 73.865, Zaffier (Esmee Donkers) 73.595, FS Las Vegas (Febe van Zwambagt) 72.676, Corvette (Diana van de Bovenkamp) 65.514; BRONZE – Denmark 212.405: Romo Hoejris (Celine Rorbaek Silfen) 72.324, Rafaella K (Camilla Andersen) 70.054, Alskenz Firfod (Caroline Eisner) 70.027, Noosa Melody (Karoline Rohmann) 69.703.

Junior Individual Championship: GOLD – Carlos (Hannah Erbe) GER 77.658; SILVER – Dissertation (Semmieke Rothenberger) GER 77.579; BRONZE – Kostendrukkers Ringo Star (Lisanne Zoutendijk) NED 74.684.

Junior Freestyle Championship: GOLD – Carlos (Hannah Erbe) GER 81.625; SILVER – Dissertation (Semmieke Rothenberger) GER 78.975; BRONZE – FB Las Vegas (Febe van Zwambagt) NED 77.550.

Young Rider Team Championship: GOLD – Germany 221.842: Damons Satelite (Jil-Marielle Becks) 74.816, Ducati K (Anna-Lisa Theile) 73.947, Fuerst on Tour (Anna-Christina Abbelen) 73.079, Babylon (Leonie Richter) 70.842; SILVER – Netherlands 220.552: TC Athene (Jeanine Nieuwenhuis) 76.947, Vlingh (Jeanine Nekeman) 72.026, Esperanza (Jasmien de Koeyer) 71.579, MDH Ohio (Lotte Meulendijks) 70.737; BRONZE – Denmark 213.869: Kano (Maja Andreasen) 73.026, Uno lV (Michala Mejlgaard Jensen) 71.290, Daydream (Caroline Aarosin) 69.553, Brizard (Marie Skov Olesen) 64.632.
Young Rider Individual Championship: GOLD – TC Athene (Jeanine Nieuwenhis) NED 78.974; SILVER – Damon’s Satelite (Jil-Marielle Becks) GER 76.763; BRONZE – Babylon (Leonie Richter) GER 72.842.
Young Rider Freestyle Championship: GOLD – TC Athene (Jeanine Nieuwenhuis) NED 81.00; SILVER – Babylon (Leonie Richter) GER 78.675; BRONZE – Damon’s Satelite (Jil-Marielle Becks) GER 78.425.

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