Belgians Pull Out the Stops at 2012 CDI Pompadour
The Belgian delegation pulled out all the stops at the 2012 CDI Pompadour in the South of France on 29 June - 1 July 2012, sweeping the entire pony, junior and young riders classes as well as the Grand Prix. Achieving personal best scores of round 80% in the Kur to Music, youth riders Lavinia Arl and Jorinde Verwimp have proved themselves ready for the 2012 European Championships in a few weeks time.
Especially pony rider Lavinia Arl has proven incredible fitness at the gorgeous French international dressage event, which bathed in sunshine throughout the weekend. Aboard the Belgian Riding Pony gelding Equestricons Epiascer (by Ten Ankers Jerolianca), the Lanaken based Arl swept the boards producing incredible scores in all three FEI pony classes.
Arl and Epiascer won the Team Championship test with 75.299%, the individual test with 76.504% and the kur to music with a personal best score and one of the all-time FEI pony high scores of no less than 80.292!
"In all three tests Epiascer was relaxed and quiet, which made the walk part and simple changes come out very strongly," Arl explained. "I had good control in trot so he truly swung over the back. I'm very happy to have made the decision to go to Pompadour because it strengthened my confidence. I'm looking forward to the European Championships."
Trained by Carmen de Bondt, the 14-year old Lavinia Arl will be competing at her first European Pony Championships on 17-22 July in Fontainebleau, France. Her pony Epiascer has been a seasoned competitor with experience at the 2009 and 2010 European Championships and a sixth place finish in the Kur to Music Finals at the 2011 European Pony Championships.
Verwimp and Schepens Dominate Junior/Young Riders Classes
The junior and young riders classes were also an easy prey for the Belgian youth riders. Wiekevorst based Jorinde Verwimp was on strong form, despite a bad start in the team championship test in which her horse stepped on a stone and become unlevel. Verwimp had to retire her Dutch warmblood gelding Tiamo (by Lester x Hemmingway) but after a few minutes of walk the issue was cleared and Jorinde went on to win the individual test with 71.93% and Kur to Music with a massive 78.958%.
American born Belgian Alexa Fairchild was extremely consistent at the Pompadour show. With her sensitive Dutch bred gelding Totall Tip Top (by Metall) she won the team test with 70% and placed second twice in the indivual and kur with convincing scores of 70.65% and 74.500%.
Belgian Carole Schepens produced a hattrick in the Young Riders division with a triple victory aboard her gorgeous bright bay Velvet Dream, a 10-year old Hanoverian mare by Dream of Heidelberg x Amsterdam. Schepens scored the triple winning marks of 68.202%, 68.947% and 69.667%. Belgian Francesca Hoefnagels and her black Oldenburg Sir Cloud was the runner-up three times in a row.
Also at big tour level the Belgians put in a strong effort with Simon Missiaen achieving international personal best scores of 70.021% and 71.978%, winning the Grand Prix and Olympic Grand Prix Special aboard the Dutch bred Vradin (by Gribaldi). In the small tour Belgian Hannelore Volders topped the leader board with her experienced Oldenburg Real Magic (by Rubinstein). The pair scored 71.132% to dominate a field of 34 competitors. Volders had already placed third in the Prix St Georges and went on to finish second in the Kur to Music. In the young horse division Belgian Guillaume Ducos won the 6-year old Finals test aboard the Dutch warmblood Bestseller (by Ungaro x Ferro) scoring 83.200%.
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