The individual final of the European Championship Jumping in Milan offered top-level sport, starring fantastic horses. The gold was won by Steve Guerdat, the silver medal went to Philipp Weishaupt and Julien Epaillard secured bronze. Faltic HB concluded his championship in the fourth position. 

Ben Maher and the Baltic VDL-son Faltic HB (out of Beloma B elite IBOP-spr sport-spr D-OC by Concorde, bred by H.A. Brinkman and M Huisman of Dalfsen) missed out on a podium spot by a hair. The pair had to settle for the fourth place, a replay of last year’s World Championship of Herning.  If not for a costly mistake in the first round today, Maher would have secured silver. Nevertheless, another fantastic championship for the 13-year-old gelding whose final clear round today marked a strong finish to the week. 


“He jumped fantastically all week”, responds Maher afterwards. “It did not feel like this championship was too taxing on Faltic, so I am very happy he can go home safely. I am disappointed we did not win a medal in the end, but we gave it our all”, shares Maher. 

Iliana leaves big impression

The 10-year-old debutant at an international championship, Iliana (Cardento out of Destiny vb by Gentleman, bred by J.A.M. Bocken of Weert) gave another phenomenal performance today. The athletic mare has got it all to take on the most advanced courses. During the first leg of today’s final the mare jumped around the course in a seemingly effortless manner, in the second round she knocked down one pole. As a result, Henrick von Eckermann and Iliana claimed the sixth position in the championship standings. “I am so incredibly proud of Iliana, she was so fantastic and she keeps on surprising me. She gets better, each and every time. I am looking forward to our future together.”

Very proud of Highway TN

Willem Greve was also full of praise for his partner in crime Highway TN (Eldorado van de Zeshoek out of Zelana V reg.A. PROK by Chellano Z, bred by P. Verdellen of Horst), with whom he placed tenth this afternoon. “I am very proud of Highway TN. This was his first major championship. The way he jumped her all days was amazing, he actually got better by the day. That bodes well for the future.” He continues: “The best rider won, and we got to enjoy beautiful sport. I must get more focused in the ring and not make any mistakes. Highway tries his hardest to leave all poles untouched.”

Looking forward to Paris

85 horses competed in the European Championship in Milan, including twelve KWPN horses, five of which qualified for the individual final. Martin Fuchs chose to withdraw Leone Jei (Baltic VDL out of Dara ster prest IBOP-spr PROK by Corland, bred by G.M. van Mersbergen of Udenhout), and therefore only four KWPN horse made their appearance today. Arezzo VDL-son Harwich VDL (Arezzo VDL out of Alba VDL stb-ext prest by Darco, bred by VDL Stud of Bears) finished his championship with a solid clear round and ranked 19th overall. His partnership with the Norwegian rider Johan-Sebastian Gulliksen is merely four competitions in. “I am very happy with Harwich, we are such a new combonation and neither of us had any prior championship experience. He jumped so well here and with such ease. I am looking forward to Paris next year.”

Eldorado van de Zeshoek influential in Milan

This championship put the spotlight on many young horses. The ten-year-old Dynamix de Belheme emerged victorious, silver was awarded to the nine-year-old Zineday, a son of the KWPN-approved Zinedine (Guidam x Heartbreaker), ten-year-old Dubai du Cedre placed bronze and the ten-year-old Iliana placed sixth. All made their international championship debut. The KWPN-approved stallion Eldorado van de Zeshoek was represented by two offspring in the final: Highway TN and the seasoned Electric Blue of Max Kuhner, who ranked seventh in the championship. The influence of Eldorado’s dam Bijou Orai proved even more extensive. Her ten-year-old daughter GL Events Dorai d’Aiguilly (s.Kannan), the half-sister of Eldorado van de Zeshoek), soared to the eight position with French rider Olivier Perreau. 

All participating KWPN horses, the timetable, starting lists and results can be found in the special media guide

Photo Faltic HB: Dirk Caremans 

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