EC Milan: jumper horses ready to rumble
Twelve KWPN horses, nine of which represent eight different teams and three set to compete individually, are ready for the first leg of the European Championship Jumping in Milan. This afternoon the starting signal is given at 13.15 hours. All horses passed yesterday’s vet check with flying colours and are deemed fit to compete.
The iconic and historic Ippodrome Snai San Siro, the running track in Milan, forms the dramatic backdrop of the battle for the team and individual medals. Three Olympic tickets are also up for grabs this week. 85 combinations make their appearance, the best 25 may come back on Sunday to compete in the final.
Reigning Dutch champion Highway TN is having a strong season with TeamNL rider Willem Greve. Besides the victory in the Grand Prix of Rotterdam, the Eldorado van de Zeshoek-son placed second in the Grand Prix of Falsterbo and Valkenswaard this summer. The KWPN-approved stallion is a member of the Dutch team, that also includes the KWPN-recognised stallion O’Bailey vh Brouwershof N.O.P. In hands of Maikel van der Vleuten this nine-year-old Darco-offspring demonstrated to belong at the highest levels. Milan marks the international championship debut for both Highway TN and O’Bailey vh Brouwershof N.O.P. Besides Highway TN, the KWPN-approved stallion Eldorado van de Zeshoek is represented by two more of his offspring this EC. The KWPN-recognised Kannan also sires three contenders in Milan.
Defending champion Leone Jei
The Swiss team is the current titleholder of the European Championship Jumping. Two years ago, Leone Jei and Martin Fuchs secured both team gold and individual silver in Riesenbeck. This top combination will also make their appearance this week. The Swiss have shown their flying form all summer and so did Leone Jei, the impressive Baltic VDL-son was part of the winning Nations Cup team in St. Gallen.
Baltic VDL makes his mark
The second Baltic VDL-son is also one to watch. None other than reigning Olympic champion Ben Maher saddles up his Faltic HB. The EC is the second championship for this dup. At the WC of Herning they obtained team bronze and an individual fourth position.
World champion competes aboard Iliana
The current world champion Henrick Von Eckermann has not brought his legendary King Edward to Milan, but his KWPN mare Iliana. This 10-year-old daughter of Cardento may not have any championship experience under her belt yet but has shown to be in great form.
All participating KWPN horses, the timetable, starting lists, and results can be found in a special media guide.
Photo Highway TN: Dirk Caremans