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Longines FEI European Championships for Young Riders, Juniors & Children Fontainebleau 2018

Dutch’s riders and teams made a bonanza in Fontainebleau but on YR were the Germans to take the team gold.

Young Riders Individual Dressage Longines FEI European Championships™ Fontainebleau for CH-J-YR 2018 Podium Paulina Holzknecht GER, Esmee Donkers NED, and Febe Van Zwambagt NED
Photo FEI/Łukasz Kowalski

Young Riders

The Germans at last got the better of their Dutch rivals when lifting the Young Riders Dressage Team trophy, but only by another narrow margin. Lisa Weischof (Don Windsor), Alexa Westendarp (Four Seasons), Paulina Holzknecht (Wells Fargo) and Semmieke Rothenberger (Geisha) posted a final scoreline of 222.529 and the Dutch were close for silver medal spot on 221.410. Bronze went to Sweden on 212.792.

But The Netherlands’ Esmee Donkers set a new record in the Individual test with her lovely 11-year-old KWPN mare Chaina when scoring 77.294, her team-mate Febe van Zwambagt (FS Las Vegas) taking silver and Germany’s Welschof claiming the bronze. And Donkers then went on to post 80.500 to add the Freestyle title ahead of German team gold medallist Holzknecht in silver and Zwambagt in bronze.


Longines FEI European Championships™ Fontainebleau for CH-J-YR 2018
Junior Teams Dressage Podium GER,NED,DEN.
Photo FEI/Łukasz Kowalski

The Dutch also had it all their way in Junior Dressage, with Milou Dees (Francesco), Kimberly Pap (Vloet Victory), Thalia Rockx (Golden Dancer) and Daphne van Paperstraten (Greenpoint’s Cupido) finishing with a three-point advantage over Germany in silver while Denmark clinched bronze. Taking the lead in the individual standings, van Peperstraten paid tribute to her country’s Eventing coach who passed away suddenly at the weekend.

“We started this championship with a lot of sadness after the death of Jan van Beek, but it brought the team together and made us strong, and we did our best to honour him today” said  Dutch Europen Champion Daphne van Paperstraten who will turn 18 later this week. And she went on to pin two of the German team members, Valentina Pistner (Flamboyant) and Romy Allard (Summer Rose) into Individual silver and bronze.


Children Individual Dressage Longines FEI European Championships™ Fontainebleau for CH-J-YR 2018 PodiumLara Van Nek NED,Sanne Buijs NED, and Kenya Schwierking.
Photo FEI/Łukasz Kowalski

The Dutch gold-rush began with victory in Children’s Team Dressage where Lilli van den Hoogen (Woodstock), Lara van Nek (Fariska), Sanne van der Pols (Excellentie) and Sanne Buijs (Happy Feet) pinned their German rivals into silver medal spot by a two-point margin while France claimed the bronze. Dutch Chef d’Equipe, Monique Peutz said she felt “20 years older!” after the team competition, but there was plenty more to come. Underpinning the supremacy of The Netherlands side, the 13-year-olds Buijs and van Nek went on to clinch individual gold and silver, and it was the second year in a row for Buijs to take double-gold. Germany’s Kenya Schwierking (Dinos Boy) lined up third for bronze.

by Louise Parkes