Te Riele Goes for Gold in Kur Finals at 2010 European Pony Championships

Sun, 08/01/2010 - 16:59
2010 European Pony Championships

Dutch Antoinette te Riele went for gold in the Kur to Music Finals on Sunday morning 1 August 2010 at the 2010 European Pony Championships in Bishop Burton, Great Britain. Her gold medal winning 78.450% result was set against very competitive scores of silver medallist Lena Charlotte Walterscheidt (77.900%) and bronze medallist Jessica Krieg (76.500%).

Te Riele and her grandfather Adri Gordijn's beauteous 8-year old Westfalian bred mare Golden Girl (by Don't Worry x Dancer) rode to Abba music in which custom made off-key vocals were inserted chanting "See that girl, this is my dancing Queen."

Te Riele's test was almost totally flawless. The halt at entry was not totally solid with her left hind hoof once again not fully on the ground. The first shoulder-in left was a bit quick and there was a slight loss of balance in the left volte but the trot half passes were gorgeous as well as the extensions. The collected walk was good but in preparation of the half pirouette Golden Girl misinterpreted the aids and swung to the left with her body. Te Riele fixed the issue quickly and made a decent half pirouette right. The extended walk was great. The canter work was better than usual as the simple changes, which are Golden Girl's bête noire, were executed with more care; the pony showed a clearer walk than normal. In counter canter the mare lost some flexibility in the body and got hasty in her strides but in general the canter work was lovely. By the end of her test Te Riele was ahead of her music.

The judges' technical marks ranged from a 73.500 from Belgian judge Leyman and German judge Plewa to a 78.500 from Dutch judge De Wolff van Westerode. On an artistic level the panel was more on the same wavelength with scores round 80 to 83%. She averaged 78.450% to win gold.

"I'm incredibly happy," Te Riele commented after the medal ceremony. "This is my last year at ponies and the test went really really well." Sixteen-year old Antoinette explained that the hiccup in walk was a misinterpretation of the aids. "She thought she had to canter instead of doing a pirouette."

Te Riele went in the test not knowing the scores of the other riders. "I want my kids to focus on their own ride and not be distracted by the scores of the others," explained Dutch chef d'equipe Tineke Bartels.

The Weert based Te Riele, who is trained by Coby van Baalen and aunt Gonnelien Rothenberger-Gordijn, will make the transition to Junior Riders level next year with the 10-year old Hanoverian mare Fleurie (by Florestan x Akzent II). Her uncle Sven Rothenberger acquired the black mare for her in exchange for Golden Girl, who will go to Sven's daughter Semmieke as future FEI pony. Te Riele's second junior rider's horse Future (by Florestan x Apart) is back with the Rothenberger family.

Walterscheidt and Deinhard B Progress to Silver

Lena Charlotte Walterscheidt and Sven Rothenberger's strapping 11-year old palomino stallion Deinhard B (by Dornik B x Golden Dancer) progressed to a silver medal after having won bronze in the individual test. The 13-year old student of Marion Schleypen rode to Coldplay on synthesizer and there were some inventively inserted vocals in the simple changes saying "Hide and Seek" (which unfortunately sounded like "I'm sick" on this soundsystem).

The test started out with some conservative riding. The onset to the shoulder in right was wobbly and there was some irregularity in the first volte right. A nice medium and extended trot was shown on two diagonals. The collected walk was excellent but in the extended walk there could have been more stride, even though the rhythm was clear. The lines in the test were pretty simple and Deinhard performed well balanced counter canter on 15 m circles. The final transition from canter to trot was bumpy.

Walterscheidt ended her test with an extended trot on the centerline. The entire ride was smooth and well ridden, but it lacked a bit of sparkle and Deinhard appeared fairly numb in the mouth. Lena Charlott was the 11th rider to go in the class but when her high score of 77.900% was posted, she was fairly certain of a medal.

"I'm very happy, he was brave," said Walterscheidt. Deinhard B is renowned for being spooky and last year at the 2009 European Pony Championships Sönke Rothenberger lost all chances for a medal in the kur due to Deinhard's constant spooking from a banner next to arena. Here in Bishop Burton the palomino stallion was distracted by the video camera at C in the team championship test, but Walterscheidt managed to steer him round without problems in the Kur. "When I went round the ring I rode him past it a few times and he no longer looked," said Lena Charlott. "So I was not nervous when I got in the ring. I wasn't afraid that he would look at it in the test."

Krieg Adds Bronze to Triple Coloured Medal Collection

Jessica Krieg and Werner Steinhauer's 7-year old palomino stallion Danilo (by Dornik B x Power Boy) finished in bronze medal position after a very powerful but mistake-ridden test. With Kur bronze, Krieg has collected the triple coloured medal set here at the European Pony Championships adding bronze to her team silver and individual test gold medal.

Krieg initiated her freestyle with very powerful trot work in which she made her pony truly dance. Engaged from behind and with super lift from the shoulder and bounce off the ground, Danilo is gifted with the best trot of all ponies at the Championships. A mistake in the rhythm in the medium trot was the beginning of a few bobbles that were to follow. In the trot extension the regularity from behind could have been better but the extended walk was superb with two hooves overtrack.

A major spook near C in the canter caught the rider off guard, though she restored herself really quickly despite the fact that the right canter on the track was haunches in. In general there was excellent self carriage in the canter and counter canter and the walk was clear in the simple changes. Another minor blow-up happened near B but Krieg kept her cool and had her pony centred again in seconds. The final halt was not fully stable on four feet.

The mistakes in her ride would have had a significant effect in the score, but Danilo showed the best paces of all ponies and the contact with the bit was sublime. The palomino was always up in the frame and light in the bridle. Their technical score ranged from 72.500 from Belgian judge Leyman to 76.500 from British judge Wessels. With top seventy percentage marks for artisticity, Krieg totaled 76.500% and got the bronze.

"He was scared of the music; it was too loud," Jessica Krieg explained after her ride. "He didn't feel very confident but I did the best I could at that moment. He did things that were really good and I got a good score for that."

Gallimore Finishes Pony Career With Fifth Place

British Claire Gallimore landed a fifth place as best Brit in the Kur to Music finals behind Dutch Maria van den Dungen on Rembrandt. The 16-year old Gallimore, who is trained by Daniel Sherriff and Jill Day at home as well as supported by team trainer Peter Storr, rode to filmic almost Steven Spielberg imitation-like music. Though there was little delineation of the individual movements, the flow of the sounds was entrancing.

Aboard the 12-year old chestnut gelding Gigolo, who is affectionately called The Beast, Gallimore started strongly with an immaculate halt at entry. Then there were big movements in canter with an uphill extension and very clean simple changes. The collected walk was very good, in the extended Gigolo got quick in his steps though the overtrack was decent. The technical difficulty was upped by performing a walk pirouette near G immediately followed by trot shoulder-in left and shoulder-in right on the same centerline. In the right half pass the hindquarters were trailing a bit. Though the connection was always soft, Gigolo could have been more up in the frame with the pole as highest point.

Gallimore scored 74.100% in total with technical marks ranging from 69.000 (De Wolff van Westerode) to 73.500 (Wessels) and artistic scores going from 75.000 (De Wolff van Westerode) to 79.000 (Plewa).

Linnemann and Van de Ven Place Sixth and Seventh.

It was not a "Mission Impossible" for Grete Linnemann and 7-year old White Gold B (by Golden Dancer) who rode to the theme song of that action flick as well as to James Bond soundtracks. The choreography of her test was too simple with only big lines and big circles which made it less challenging for her palomino stallion to lose his balance in the corners and circles. There was a slight hesitation in the half pass right and two simple changes were not as straight and smooth as they should be, but the combination scored with the superb extended walk and lovely extensions in canter. They finished sixth with 72.850%.

Dutch Suzanne van de Ven and Sjef op 't Hoog's Danish bred Welsh pony Majos Cannon (by Marchi) slotted in seventh with 72.400%. The liver chestnut stallion danced to the big band tunes of Glenn Miller. This small power pony has brilliant cadence and suspension in trot and moves uphill in the trot and canter extensions, but the 8-year old was not really tested by the low technical difficulty of his freestyle. In one volte he lost his balance and Majos Cannon really braked hard in the simple changes. The collected walk was pretty forward, but the pirouettes were very nice.

Fairchild Fares Well

Belgium's only finalist this year, Alexa Fairchild, fared well in the freestyle with an eight place. The 15-year old rode to fun kur music with eye for detail. Vocals saying "Here we go" marked the canter strike-off and the tempo of the music befitted the movements of her palomino stallion Stukhuster Ricardo Go for Gold. The American born did not shy a high degree of technical difficulty and was one of the very few riding trot half passes in a zig zag with flawless transitions. Ricardo's extended walk was the best of the day, but the counter canter lacked swing through the back and the simple change at F was short. The final transition from canter to trot was bumpy but Fairchild finished off her kur with a great extension on the centerline.

The judges quite differed on the technical appreciation of the test with Plewa stuck at 66.500% and Prain and De Wolff van Westerode both at 71.000%. She scored a total of 72.100%.

Text, photos, video © Astrid Appels/Eurodressage

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