The 2022 FEI European Championship for Ponies (yes, for ponies) wrapped up in Poland last weekend, crowning new champions across Olympic the disciplines of eventing, show jumping, and dressage.
In eventing, the Irish stepped up to claim team gold. Irish riders Ben Connors with Cornafest Fred (Gwennic de Goariva – Cornnafest Nora), Josh Williamson with Ardeo Fireman (Tinka’s Boy – Darracks Babe), Matthew Love with Lucky For Some (Dunlewey Seamus – Gifted Sister) and Claire O’Ryan with Carhu Melody (I Love You Melody – Lickeen Star) took the lead after cross-country. On the final day, three knockdowns and an added 12 penalties could not threaten their win. On a final team score of 104.1, the young Irish took home the gold medal. The best one of them was Ben Connors, who was clear in the final jumping and finished with the silver individual medal (28.9).
Team silver went to Germany, with the result of 107.6. They kept their second position through all of the trials. Team member Merle Hoffmann with Penny Lane WE (Calido G – Piorett, by Prince Thatch xx) finished with the bronze medal individually (31.0).
The French, defending their last year’s title, lost their dressage lead in the cross-country after one of their riders had a run-out at the last combination and that knocked them down into third. On the final day, the Germans added 8 penalties to the score, but that kept them in the bronze medal position, finishing with the score of 108.9.
The best of the Germans was once again Mae Rinaldi aboard Boston Du Verdon. The dressage leader delivered a double clear cross country and flawless show jumping to finish at 25.6. “It’s amazing. My pony was fantastic all week,’ Mae commented. “Yesterday’s cross-country was long, with demanding fences and combinations, but Boston was great as always. Today we were under a lot of pressure, but my pony jumped great and I’m really happy to win the European Championships for the second time in a row!”
We can’t ever have enough pony eventing action, so enjoy a few missives from social media, and I’ll also link to the FEI TV live stream replays at the bottom of this post if you want to relive the action on your own!
Show Jumping Live Stream Replay:
Cross Country Live Stream Replay: