Russian Anna Guseynova became the undisputed individual champion and gold medal winner at the second ever European Children Championships held during the European Junior/Young Riders Championships in Oliva Nova, Spain on 20 - 24 July 2016. Aboard the Westfalian bred Lauda she scored the gold medal with a 7% point advantage.
The 14-year old Guseynova and her bay gelding Lauda (by Laudabilis x Florestan) posted a score of 77.438% and referred Luxembourg's Célia Giorgetti to a silver medal position. The Russian Guseynova spends half a year training in Holland with Adelinde Cornelissen and the other half in Moscow where she gets coached by her mom. In Oliva Nova, Dutch coach Joyce Lenaerts was helping her out.
"It was my second European Championship and last at Children's level, so we were going for the medals," Guseynova told Eurodressage. "I was unbelievably happy winning the gold medals for myself and with my team. I'm so proud of my horse Lauda. He is such an amazing and brave horse! I enjoy watching at the other people and different levels at the Europeans and I learn a lot, from almost everything!"
Giorgetti rode Decoeur, a 10-year old Hanoverian by Don Frederico x Michelangelo) to a 70.375% score for second place. The 13-year old made her international show debut in April 2016 at the CDI Saumur, which was the only international competition she rode in preparation of the European Championships. She is trained by Luxembourg based Danish Grand Prix rider Rikke Svane.
The bronze went to Czech Eva Vavrikova aboard the 10-year old Dutch bred mare Belle Ennie (by Don Gregory x Grafiet) with 69.406%. Vavrikova is trained by Czech FEI rider Ema Kopuletá.
"I was very nervous on Sunday," said Vavrikova. "We got 69.4 and fortunately we had enough for a nice third place."
The individual test was judged by Soubbotina (RUS), Karkkolainen (FIN), Campos (ESP), Christensen (DEN), and Hamoen (NED). Spanish Juan Carlos Campos was the head judge for the individual finals and he praised the level of riding.
German 5* judge Katrina Wüst spoke highly about the general quality at these European Championship 2016. She stated that the new Childrens category still needs some more time to grow. "We did see promising combinations and surprising high quality, it is a great opportunity for the youngsters to show their knowledge already. I do believe in the success of this category," said Wüst.
Text and photos © Astrid Appels - No reproduction allowed
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Eurodressage coverage of the 2016 European Children, Junior and Young Riders Championships