Photo Report: Belgian Julie van Olst Wins Pony Individual Finals at 2008 CDI-P Weert

Sun, 05/18/2008 - 00:00
2008 CDI-PJYR Weert

Belgian pony rider Julie van Olst took the individual victory at the CDI-P Weert, The Netherlands. By winning the individual finals kur to music aboard her New Forest Pony gelding Haasendonks Sultan, the Belgian girl bested a field of top quality FEI dressage riders.

Belgian FEI Pony Dressage is on the rise. At the CDIO Saumur they won the team bronze medal in the CDIO nation's cup and in Weert they had two combinations in the individual finals. Watch out for the Belgians at the 2008 European Pony Championships in Avenches, Switzerland!

Dutch Antoinette te Riele won the Team championship test and individual test aboard the German Reitpony mare and Bundeschampionate champion mare Golden Girl. Purchased as a 3-year old at the Munster Elite Auction for 60,000 euro, Golden Girl is owned by Mr. Gordijn of the Ijzeren Man, the grand father of Te Riele and the owner of the premises where the CDI Weert was organized.

Golden Girl is a brilliant dressage pony with three stunning basic gaits. Te Riele won the two tests with a minimal point advantage to Dutch Maria van den Dungen on Dino P. Trained by Coby van Baalen, Antoinette is steadily improving with each rider. Unfortunately in the kur to music, Te Riele decided to retire when her pony spooked from the loud music and she could not get him calmed down.

Danny Boy B used to be Antoinette's number on FEI pony, but the young Golden Girl has definitely taken over that top place. Danny Boy was unable to truly shine in Weert, with bad walk (pacing) and many mistakes in the team test. The combination improved in the individual test (4th) but did not start in the consolation finals.

In the autumn of 2007, Maria van den Dungen purchased Sanneke Rothenberger's second pony Dino P (pictured right) and has taken over the ride on the German Reitpony gelding with great success. The pair has been scoring consistent 70% marks and is one of Europe's top combination at the moment. In the team and individual test, Van den Dungen placed second with only a few fractions of points behind Te Riele. In the Kur to Music, however, Dino P spooked from the music and became very tense. Van den Dungen bravely completed her test but placed 9th. Aboard her second pony Pan Tau B, Maria placed second in the consolation finals. With this black stallion she became the 2008 Dutch Indoor Pony Champion and she is currently in the lead with him in the 2008 Imperial Cup, a special show circuit in The Netherlands for FEI Dressage Ponies.

A very strong performance was produced by the Swedish Elin Aspnas in the Kur to Music finals. Aboard her veteran Tim, Aspnas scored 68,75% and finished second. Tim has been a fixed member of the Swedish pony team since 2003. He was previously competed by now young rider Emilie Nyrerod and by Victoria Bergh.

Sometimes a whole family gets caught up in the sport. The Spanish Barbancon-Mestre family is one example. Sisters Morgan and Alexandra are both competing at FEI pony level and have world class ponies at their disposal. The youngest sister, Alexandra, is competing Sanneke Rothenberger's Domino Dancing (pictured left) and is watched by her mother, trainer and father (pictured right). The Barbancons regularly train in Germany at Jan Bemelmans' place. With the Bundeschampionate champion Don't Forget Morgan Barbancon rides the pony tests and with the black Mr Q, she's consistently placing high at junior riders' level.

It's great to see Luxembourg has two new pony riders since the departure of Veronique Henschen and Noble Casper (she moved to JR-YR level). Both Wagner and Thill rode with fantastic softness and precision. Only a pity that Wagner has ended up buying a "horse" instead of a pony. Don't Thatch, an absolute top class dressage pony, has been on the market for a long time but did not sell earlier as he is renowned for his over-size conformation. It is doubtful that he will pass the measurement at the European Pony Championships. Wagner's Don't Thatch was not the only "horse" competing in the pony classes. Both Danes and Dutch both had several over-sized ponies competing at the CDI-P Weert, where no measurement was carried out!

Another veteran pony, Power and Paint, being competed by his fourth FEI pony rider so far in his career. The 11-year old Rachell Fokker showed nice things on the hot Power in the kur to music, but unfortunately, the dun pony was visibly lame in the extended trot and in several bends. Judge at C Fouarge came out of the judge's box to make a comment after her kur ride. Time has taken its toll on this medal winning pony, which is still as drop dead gorgeous as day one and a true schoolmaster for ambitious pony riders. The light weight of his young rider does him good! Fokker placed seventh in the kur with 62,50%. Her other scores were 68.95% and 67,75%.

Belgian Jorinde Verwimp had two ponies in competition. Left, Tonkawa SD, a white stallion which improved tremendously the last year. Verwimp placed third with him in the kur to music finals with 68,67.  Jorinde rode Bjirmens Tsjalling for his French owner in the CDN tour.

The smallest competitor in the pony division was 12-year old Estelle Wettstein who has taken over the ride on Rhythm n Blues from her sister Aurelie Wettstein. The later has chosen for show jumping and is now a member of the Swiss junior jumping team. Estelle is trained by her mother, Swiss Grand Prix team rider Marie Line Wettstein.

All photos copyrighted Astrid Appels/Eurodressage
No reproduction without permission/payment

All riders competing in the CDI-P pony classes were photographed by Astrid Appels. If you want to order photos, please email us with the name of the rider and pony and we'll send you proofs!

Related Link
Back to the CDI-P Weert Index