The 2019 European Championships: Your Guide to Form, Function (and Fun Facts)

Welcome to the 2019 Longines FEI European Eventing Championships (Aug. 29-Sept. 1), which send us in a dizzying tailspin back to Luhmühlen, that wonderfully odd theatre of dreams in northern Germany, where nothing is ever quite as it seems — least of all the weather forecast. It was scarcely two months ago that we were knees-deep in the five-star here — and its poorly-timed flood — but now, we’re back with a very different competition on our agenda. Dust off your flag of choice, dig out the facepaint, and start learning the second verse of the national anthem — it’s Championship time, folks.

Seventeen nations are bringing forward riders, and crucially, twelve of those nations will be battling it out for one of two spots at Tokyo next year. It truly is crunch time now for our unqualified nations — once these two spots have been claimed, there’s just one last chance to qualify. That’s by taking top honours — or top of the unqualified countries, at least — in the 2019 FEI Nations Cup series, which culminates at the Netherlands’ Military Boekelo CCIO4*-L in October.

But that’s then, and this is now. Want to take a closer look at the horse and rider combinations you’ll see in Germany? Need to keep track of who’s in the hunt and who’s booked their tickets to Japan? Curious about speed ratings and dressage averages? Or just after some totally pointless insider knowledge? It’s all here for you, folks, courtesy of a couple of rabid chinchillas, some weißbier, and our partners-in-crime at EquiRatings. Wir sehen uns auf der anderen Seite.

We’re glad you asked. Our form guide is taking a slightly different shape for the Europeans, and it’s absolutely jam-packed with stats from the very clever bunch at EquiRatings. Each team has a quick breakdown, which is very straightforward — are they qualified for Tokyo? What’s their Europeans form like? And how did they get on at Tryon?

After we look at the team, we’ll delve into its members. The first piece of information you’ll get is the 6RA. The 6RA, or ‘six run average,’ is a simple metric that’s been designed to help predict a dressage performance based on the average score achieved in a combination’s previous six runs. The concept of calculating an average over historical performances isn’t a new one, but EquiRatings has done the heavy lifting here to find the most effective way to do it — and as it turns out, six is the magic number. (Incidentally, this is something you can adopt really easily to analyse your own performances — more on that, and the science behind six, here.)

Then, we’ve taken the speed rating as calculated by EquiRatings and turned it into a star system. One star signifies that the horse and rider combination are in the slowest 25% of the field, while four stars indicates that they’re in the fastest 25%. We’ll add an extra star — because, you know, five-star is the gold standard — to those horses and riders who have blazed their way into the top ten speediest combinations in the field.

Finally, we’ll be taking a look at showjumping form. This one should be simple enough — do we think they’ll go clear, pull a rail, pull two…?

It wouldn’t be an EN form guide without some fun facts, so keep your eyes peeled for those, too, which will be liberally sprinkled throughout.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1…have a great ride.

To skip directly to your country of choice, click here: Austria|Belgium|Czech Republic|Denmark|Finland|France|Germany|Great Britain|Hungary|Ireland|Italy|The Netherlands|Norway|Poland|Spain|Sweden|Switzerland

(Oh, and heads up – when we refer to championship experience, we’re not including the Young Horse World Championships.)

Are they qualified for Tokyo?

Nein.

How do they usually do at the Europeans? This is actually the first time they’ll be fielding a team since 2007 — in the meantime, they’ve been working hard behind the scenes to create an infrastructure for the sport. In 2011, they worked with Lucinda Green to solidify their top riders’ training systems, and although they didn’t ultimately achieve their goal of heading to the Europeans and the London Olympics, their efforts will have been a crucial piece of the puzzle.

Where did they finish at the World Equestrian Games? They didn’t send anyone.

HARALD AMBROS AND LEXIKON 2

Ten-year-old Brandenburg gelding (Levistano x Playback K). Owned by the rider.

6RA: 34.1

Speed rating: 

Showjumping prediction: One rail.

Have they got championship experience? Harald brings forward the most significant championship experience of the Austrian team members, with a resume that includes trips to four senior European Championships (2003, 2005, 2007, and 2009), two World Equestrian Games (2006 and 2010), and three Olympics (2004, 2008, and 2012). The subsequent injury of his London 2012 ride O-Feltiz meant that it took Harald until 2018 to re-establish himself at the CCI4* (then three-star) level. This will be a championship debut for Lexikon 2, though.

REBECCA GEROLD AND SHANNON QUEEN

Nine-year-old Trakehner mare (breeding unknown). Owned by Arnulf Gerold.

6RA: 39.4

Speed rating:   

Showjumping prediction: One rail.

Have they got championship experience? Yes, at the Young Rider level. Rebecca has made her way through the ranks, competing at Pony, Junior, and Young Rider Europeans, and her last appearance on the team, at Fontainebleu last year, was aboard Shannon Queen. They finished in the top twenty after adding just six time penalties to their 34.7 dressage score.

KATRIN KHODDAM-HAZRATI AND COSMA

Ten-year-old Brandenburg mare (Canterbury x Farah). Owned by the rider.

6RA: 37.9

Speed rating: 

Showjumping prediction: One rail.

Have they got championship experience? They sure do. In 2017, they headed to the Strzegom Europeans as individuals, jumping clear around that fiendishly tough Pierre Michelet track to finish 24th overall. The most impressive part? Cosma was just an eight-year-old at the time.

Are they qualified for Tokyo?

Nee. (That’s Flemish for no, pals.) This really is the last chance saloon for Belgium, too – they’re currently languishing in sixth place on the Nations Cup leaderboard, and unlikely to catch up with Italy and Sweden at this late stage.

How do they usually do at the Europeans? They’ve won three team bronze medals. The first was in 1999 at Luhmühlen, the second in 2003 at Punchestown, and the third was in 2009 at Fontainebleau. Constantin van Rijckevorsel was a member of all three teams, Karin Donckers the latter two, and Joris Vanspringel the final. At Strzegom, they finished sixth.

Where did they finish at the World Equestrian Games? Unlucky 13th.

KARIN DONCKERS AND FLETCHA VAN’T VERAHOF

Fourteen-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Vigo d’Arsouilles x Southern Queen xx). Owned by Joris de Brabandere, Carl Bouckaert, and the rider.

6RA: 27.6

Speed rating:     

Showjumping prediction: Clear.

Have they got championship experience? Karin is easily the most experienced rider on the squad, and her partner, the fourteen-year-old Fletcha Van’t Verahof, the most experienced horse. Karin has competed at six Olympics (1992, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016, the latter of which was with Fletcha Van’t Verahof), seven World Equestrian Games (1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018 – the final two with Fletcha Van’t Verahof), six FEI World Cup Finals (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2009), and eleven senior European Championships (1993, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2015, and 2017. In 2015 and 2017, she rode Fletcha Van’t Verahof).

LARA DE LIEDEKERKE-MEIER AND ALPAGA D’ARVILLE

Thirteen-year-old Belgian Sport Horse gelding (Wunder Boy van de Zuuthoeve x Mooney Raaphorst xx). Owned by Larga SPRL.

6RA: 36.7

Speed rating:   

Showjumping prediction: Two rails.

Have they got championship experience? It’ll be a fourth senior Europeans appearance for Lara de Liedekerke-Meier, who competed at Strzegom in 2017 with Alpaga d’Arville, finishing 29th. They then went on to the 2018 World Equestrian Games – Lara’s third – and finished 42nd.

LAURA LOGE AND ABSOLUT ALLEGRO

Eleven-year-old Holsteiner mare (Quintero ASK x Toscana 124). Owned by the rider.

6RA: 33.9

Speed rating: ☆ 

Showjumping prediction: Two rails.

Have they got championship experience? Nope – this is a championship debut for both.

CONSTANTIN VAN RIJCKEVORSEL AND BEAT IT

Thirteen-year-old KWPN gelding (Quidam de Revel x Hinanda). Owned by Mr and Mme van Rijckevorsel.

6RA: 35.1

Speed rating: 

Showjumping prediction: One rail.

Have they got championship experience? The rider certainly does – he’s contested three Olympics (1996, 2000, 2004) in which he’s recorded two top-ten individual finishes, three World Equestrian Games (1998, 2010, 2014), and six Europeans (1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2009). This is only the former showjumper Beat It‘s second full season of eventing, but he’s proving an exciting prospect.

KRIS VERVAECKE AND GUANTANAMO VAN ALSINGEN

Thirteen-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Wandor van de Mispelaere x Tine van Steenkerke). Owned by BVBA Alsingen.

6RA: 33.7

Speed rating: 

Showjumping clear rate: Two rails.

Have they got championship experience? He contested the World Equestrian Games way back in 1998, and in more recent history, he’s gone to three European Championships (2001, 2011, and 2017).

Are they qualified for Tokyo?

Ne (that’s Czech! Don’t say we never teach you nuffin’.) They won’t qualify a team — they simply don’t have enough riders. This means they’re eligible to potentially send up to two individuals – but it’s not as straightforward as that. Once all fifteen team places have been claimed, the seven regional groups will each be allocated two individual slots, the provenance of which is decided based on FEI ranking. Clear as mud, right? Basically, if the Czech Republic wants to send an eventer to the Olympics, that eventer needs to be one of the two highest-ranked from a non-qualified country in the Central and Eastern European/Central Asian zone. Phew.

How do they usually do at the Europeans? They haven’t won their first medal yet. In 2017, their sole rider — Miroslav Prihoda Jr. — finished 36th individually with Captain Hero.

Where did they finish at the World Equestrian Games? They didn’t send anyone. The Czechs are very much a ‘developing nation’ where eventing is concerned, so it’s great to see them coming forward at championships like this one — they might not be on the hunt for a medal just yet, but each appearance gives them valuable experience that they can use to help the sport grow at home.

ELISKA OPRAVILOVA AND DUNKAS A

Sixteen-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Pharaon xx x Unka A II). Owned by the rider.

6RA: 38.4.

Speed rating: 

Showjumping prediction: Three rails.

Have they got championship experience? It’ll be a championship debut for Eliska, who’s also a keen polo player. Dunkas A, for his part, has rather a lot of experience: Eliska is his fifth international partner, and he’s been ridden under four flags. In 2010, he finished 35th in the Seven Year Old World Championship under Belgium’s Paul Laurijssen, before Dutch rider Raf Kooremans took the reins for the first half of the 2011 season, successfully moving the horse up to four-star (then three-star) in the process. That September, Marc Rigouts of Belgium took the ride over, and i n 2012, he piloted Dunkas A at the London Olympics, although they retired in the showjumping. After sitting out the 2015 season, Dunkas A spent 2016 with Germany’s Jörg Kurbel before heading to his current rider.

Are they qualified for Tokyo?

Ingen (seriously, Denmark?), and nor are they likely to rectify that — the Scandi nation is much better known for its dressage prowess (and for prolific ground jury member Anne-Mette Binder, who will be hard at work on this year’s ground jury).

How do they usually do at the Europeans? They’ve only ever won a medal at the Euros once — but it was a gold one, and it was in a year in which the event was held at Luhmühlen. In 1979, Nils Haagensen took the title with his horse Monaco, beating Britain’s Rachel Bayliss and Gurgle the Greek (best known for going under a trakehner at Badminton) and Germany’s Rüdiger Schwarz on Power Game, a fitting mount for a man who would go on to design fiendishly tricky cross-country tracks.

Where did they finish at the World Equestrian Games? They didn’t send anyone.

IRENE MIA HASTRUP AND CONSTANTIN M

Fifteen-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Concetto I x Granny). Owned by the rider.

6RA: 35.8

Speed rating:     

Showjumping prediction: Three rails.

Have they got championship experience? They’ll contest their third European Championships here. They were part of the team at the 2017 Strzegom iteration, and competed as individuals in 2015’s Championship.

Are they qualified for Tokyo?

Ei. Look, that sounds like it should mean yes, but it doesn’t – unfortunately, we’ve committed too hard to trying to look cultured to turn back now.

How do they usually do at the Europeans? We’ve been digging through the archives, and we can’t actually find any evidence that Finland has ever fielded a team for a championship. So this is unprecedented – and hugely exciting. They’re in safe hands, as they’re coached by top trainer Lizzel Winter FBHS, but with just three members, they’ll all need to start to be eligible as a team.

Where did they finish at the World Equestrian Games? They only sent an individual. Pauliina Swindells and Ferro S were unfortunately eliminated on cross-country.

ELMO JANKARI AND DUCHESS DESIREE

Fourteen-year-old Oldenburg mare (Don Primero x Aronja). Owned by Sanna Siltakorpi, S. Hacklin and the rider.

6RA: 30.3

Speed rating:   

Showjumping prediction: Two rails.

Have they got championship experience? Sure do. Elmo competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics, the 2014 World Equestrian Games, Senior Europeans in 2015, and Young Rider Europeans in 2012 and 2013, all with Duchess Desiree.

SANNA SILTAKORPI AND BOFEY CLICK

Ten-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding (Chirlon x Ballybofey xx). Owned by TMI Ratsuvalmennus and the rider.

6RA: 34.2

Speed rating:   

Showjumping prediction: Four rails.

Have they got championship experience? Sanna is, perhaps, the rider with the most championship experience on the squad – she’s competed at two World Equestrian Games (2010 and 2014), four senior Europeans (2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015), two Young Rider Europeans (2007 and 2008), and a Junior Europeans (2005). The ten-year-old Bofey Click makes his championship debut at Luhmühlen.

PAULIINA SWINDELLS AND FERRO S

Fourteen-year-old Polish Half-Bred gelding (Talent x Fantazja). Owned by Sharon Graves, Jari and Pirjo Martilla, James Swindells, and the rider.

6RA: 32.3

Speed rating: 

Showjumping clear rate: Two rails.

Have they got championship experience? Pauliina and Ferro S headed to Tryon last year and the Strzegom Europeans the year prior to compete as individuals, although they’ve had a quiet 2019 season, with just two international runs.

Are they qualified for Tokyo?

Oui! A team bronze at the WEG saw to that, giving the 2016 Olympic champions the chance to defend their crown.

How do they usually do at the Europeans? They’re the third most-medalled country in the history of the Championships. They had a bit of a rough run at Strzegom, finishing 11th, but they were on the podium for three consecutive runnings prior to that.

Where did they finish at the World Equestrian Games? In bronze medal position, with a team that included two of this year’s Europeans squad. Though the line-up is missing some major names (Astier Nicolas, Maxime Livio, and Mathieu Lemoine, to name just a few), it should still be a formidable one.

JEAN-LOU BIGOT AND UTRILLO DU HALAGE

Eleven-year-old Selle Français gelding (Kara du Halage x Colline du Halage). Owned by Florence Assar.

6RA: 35.5

Speed rating:         

Showjumping prediction: One rail.

Have they got championship experience? It’ll be a long-awaited return to the squad for Jean-Lou Bigot, who we last saw at a championship in 2005, at the Blenheim Europeans. Prior to that, he received the Olympic call-up once (Sydney 2000, where he finished 12th with Twist la Beige), the World Championships call-up twice (Rome 1998, 16th and The Hague 1994, sixth, both with Twist la Beige), and the Europeans call-up five times (Luhmühlen 1999, eighth, Burghley 1997, eighth, Pratoni 1995, seventh, and Achselschwang 1993, which he duly won. All of these were with Twist la Beige; at Punchestown 1991 he finished 26th with Pass).

ALEXIS GOURY AND TROMPE L’OEIL D’EMERY

Twelve-year-old Selle Français gelding (Imprevu de la Cour x Dagana de Vauberon). Owned by the rider.

6RA: 33.1

Speed rating:         

Showjumping prediction: One rail.

Have they got championship experience? It’s a senior championship debut for 24-year-old Alexis Goury, who took home the bronze medal at 2016’s Young Rider European Championships, and finished seventh in his first five-star at Pau last year. On both occasions he rode his selected horse.

KARIM LAGHOUAG AND PUNCH DE L’ESQUES

Sixteen-year-old Anglo Arab gelding (Hermes d’Authieux x Gaia of Ultan). Owned by Agnes Celerier.

6RA: 35.1

Speed rating:         

Showjumping prediction: Clear.

Have they got championship experience? Karim is an experienced member of the French team – he was part of the gold medal-winning team at the Rio Olympics, he’s ridden at two WEGs (2006 and 2010), and this will be his fourth European Championships. He competed in 2009, 2013, and 2015. It’ll be a second championship for Punch de l’Esques, who he rode to a team bronze at the 2013 Europeans.

CHRISTOPHER SIX AND TOTEM DE BRECEY

Twelve-year-old Selle Français gelding (Mylord Carthago x Jessy Landaise). Owned by François and Juliane Souweine.

6RA: 29.7

Speed rating:   

Showjumping prediction: One rail.

Have they got championship experience? Non – this is a debut for them both, although we saw them finish 17th at Aachen last month.

NICOLAS TOUZAINT AND ABSOLUT GOLD HDC

Nine-year-old Selle Français gelding (Birkhof’s Grafenstolz TSF x Belle Meralaise xx). Owned by Haras de Coudrettes.

6RA: 30.4

Speed rating:         

Showjumping clear rate: One rail.

Have they got championship experience? Although we haven’t seen him on a championship team since 2015, Nicolas is a double European Champion (2003 and 2007), and has helped his team to gold once (Athens Olympics, 2004), silver four times (2003, 2005, 2007 and 2011 Europeans), and bronze once (2013 Europeans). This will be a championship debut for Absolut Gold HDC.

THIBAUT VALLETTE AND QING DU BRIOT ENE HN

Fifteen-year-old Selle Français gelding (Eolien II x Henriette). Owned by Institut Francais du Cheval et de L’Equitation.

6RA: 26

Speed rating:     

Showjumping prediction: One rail.

Have they got championship experience? Thibaut has plenty of team experience, all in partnership with the Cadre Noir-owned Qing du Briot ENE HN – they took team and individual bronze at the 2015 Blair Castle Europeans, and they were part of the gold medal-winning team at the Rio Olympics, where they finished 13th individually. At the 2017 Europeans in Strzegom they failed to medal, though finished 10th individually, and at last year’s World Equestrian Games they took home team bronze and individual sixth.

Are they qualified for Tokyo?

They were born qualified for Tokyo. (No, we kid, they managed that at the WEG, despite delivering a performance that was slightly less formidable than we’ve become accustomed to.)

How do they usually do at the Europeans? They’re the second most-medalled country in the history of the Championships, which might surprise you — but this powerhouse nation did go through rather enough turmoil in the latter half of the 20th century, without having to worry about kicking ass and taking names in equestrian competitions. In more recent history? From 2011 through to 2015 they dominated the podium, winning team gold medals at Luhmühlen (2011), Malmö (2013), and Blair Castle (2015), while Michael Jung took individual gold at each. In 2011, the individual podium was solely made up of Germans. They might not be the reigning Champions — in fact, they lost their silver medal after a positive drug test — but they have one in their midst: Ingrid Klimke won individual gold at Strzegom in 2017.

Where did they finish at the World Equestrian Games? Fifth, after a slightly lacklustre performance that belied the strength of their first-phase scores. Who can forget that Julia Krajewski test? Equally, who can forget the final fence falling for Ingrid, costing her the gold medal? It was a team without Ze Terminator, Michael Jung, which is a phenomenon we hadn’t seen in a very long time, and we expect the Germans to be firing on all cylinders on home turf. So what if they’ve already qualified? They’ll be out for gold, and gold alone.

SANDRA AUFFARTH AND VIAMANT DU MATZ

Ten-year-old Selle Français stallion (Diamant de Semilly x Heralina). Owned by Nikolaus Prinz von Croy.

6RA: 30.7

Speed rating:     

Showjumping prediction: One rail.

Have they got championship experience? Viamant du Matz made his championship debut at least year’s WEG, though he didn’t complete. Sandra, though, has plenty of squad experience: she’s a double individual silver medallist at the Europeans (2011 and 2015, at which she also took team golds), and was double gold medallist at the 2014 World Equestrian Games, too. She took home individual bronze and team gold at the London Olympics, and was part of the silver medal-winning team at Rio.

ANDREAS DIBOWSKI AND FRH CORRIDA

Ten-year-old Hanoverian mare (Contendro I x Expo). Owned by BG Corrida.

6RA: 30.8

Speed rating:         

Showjumping prediction: Clear.

Have they got championship experience? FRH Corrida made her debut at the WEG last year, finishing 28th. Dibo, for his part, has competed at six Europeans (1997, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2011, and 2013), three World Cup Finals (2003, 2006, and 2009), four WEGs (2002, 2006, 2010, and 2018), and three Olympics (2000, 2004, and 2008).

FELIX ETZEL AND BANDIT 436

Eleven-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Betel xx x Penelope). Owned by the rider.

6RA: 28.3

Speed rating:     

Showjumping prediction: Two rails.

Have they got championship experience? Nope – this will be a championship debut for both.

MICHAEL JUNG AND FISCHERCHIPMUNK FRH

Eleven-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Contendro I x Havanna 71). Owned by the DOKR, Klaus Fischer, Sabine Fischer, and Hilmer Meyer-Kulenkampff.

6RA: 22.7

Speed rating:     

Showjumping prediction: Two rails – although it’s important to remember that this combination’s numbers are affected by some early-partnership teething problems, including a four-rail round. It’s more likely to be one.

Have they got championship experience? Not together, but separately? Yeah, a little bit. Michi remains the only person ever to hold the European, World, and Olympic titles simultaneously – he’s won gold medals at three senior Europeans, with three different horses (2011 – La Biosthetique Sam FBW, 2013 – Halunke FBW, 2015 – FischerTakinou), and has taken a Young Rider gold too, in 2003. In his other two senior European appearances, he finished on the podium as well — he was a silver medalist at Strzegom and a bronze medalist at Fontainebleau in 2009. He’s also taken three European team golds. Michi competed at two World Cup Finals, in 2008 and 2009, finishing fourth in the first and winning the second. He’s been the World Champion (2010) and reserve (2014). He’s been to two Olympics and won them both (2012, 2016), taking team gold at the first and silver at the second. Chipmunk made his championship debut at last year’s WEG with Julia Krajewski, and although he picked up an unfortunate 20 there, he’ll be one of the hot favourites to challenge for a medal at Luhmühlen.

INGRID KLIMKE AND SAP HALE BOB OLD

Fifteen-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Helikon xx x Goldige). Owned by the rider.

6RA: 21.3

Speed rating:         

Showjumping prediction: One rail.

Have they got championship experience? 

HA HA HA. Yes, they do. In fact, they’re our current European Champions, after taking gold at Strzegom in 2017. That was their second Europeans appearance — they also went to Blair in 2015, finishing fifth individually and helping the team to gold. An infuriating final rail lost them the gold medal at last year’s WEG, where they settled for bronze instead, and they took home team silver at the Rio Olympics. With other horses, Ingrid has contested six Europeans (1999, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013), a World Cup Final (2002), three WEGs (2006, 2010, 2014), and four Olympics (2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012). The reigning European champion is your likeliest bet to top the individual podium in Luhmühlen.

JORG KURBEL AND JOSERA’S ENTERTAIN YOU

Eleven-year-old Hanoverian gelding (El Bundy x dam unknown). Owned by Nico Hauf.

6RA: 32.6

Speed rating:     

Showjumping prediction: Clear.

Have they got championship experience? Nope – it’s a debut for them both.

NADINE MARZAHL AND VALENTINE 18

Twelve-year-old Hanoverian mare (Valentino x Vienna). Owned by Heike Kikuth.

6RA: 30.3

Speed rating: 

Showjumping prediction: Clear.

Have they got championship experience? Nadine was part of the gold medal-winning team at the 2002 Young Rider Europeans, but this will be her senior debut and a debut for Valentine, too.

KAI RUDER AND COLANI SUNRISE

Thirteen-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Chico’s Boy x Larissa). Owned by Bernhard Reemtsma.

6RA: 29.1

Speed rating: 

Showjumping prediction: Clear.

Have they got championship experience? They finished sixth at the Strzegom Europeans and 33rd at last year’s WEG. Kai has also been to the Olympics way back in 2000, the 2002 Jerez WEG, and four World Cup Finals (2005, 2006, 2008, and 2009).

ANNA SIEMER AND FRH BUTT’S AVONDALE

Twelve-year-old Hanoverian mare (Nobre xx x Heraldik’s Amelie). Owned by Prof. Dr. Volker Stdeinkraus.

6RA: 31.4

Speed rating:     

Showjumping prediction: One rail.

Have they got championship experience? It’ll be a senior championship debut for Anna, who was the Young Rider silver medallist in 2004, and a first call-up for FRH Butt’s Avondale, too.

JOSEFA SOMMER AND HAMILTON 24

Seventeen-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Heraldik xx x Fiorella). Owned by Florian Appe.

6RA: 30.6

Speed rating:     

Showjumping prediction: One rail.

Have they got championship experience? They finished twelfth at the Strzegom Europeans.

ANNA-KATHARINA VOGEL AND DSP QUINTANA P

Twelve-year-old German Sport Horse mare (Quality 9 x Lady Sunshine P 2). Owned by Karin Vogel and the rider.

6RA: 33.3

Speed rating:         

Showjumping prediction: One rail.

Have they got championship experience? Not at this level — Anna was part of the German Pony and Junior squads, though, back in 2011 and 2013, respectively.

CHRISTOPH WAHLER AND CARJATAN S

Ten-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Clearway x Kajenna). Owned by the rider.

6RA: 29.5

Speed rating:     

Showjumping prediction: One rail.

Have they got championship experience? It’s a senior championship debut for Christoph, who cut his teeth in the junior and young rider rankings, riding at two Junior Europeans (2010 and 2012) and three Young Rider Europeans (2013, 2014, and 2015). Carjatan S, with whom he won the Nations Cup at Houghton this year, makes his championship debut this week.

Are they qualified for Tokyo?

Yep, they managed that one in fine style when they took the gold medal at last year’s World Equestrian Games.

How do they usually do at the Europeans? Pretty well, all things considered. They’ve only failed to finish on the podium twice since the Championships’ inception in 1953, and they’re the reigning gold medallists, too. They’ve won 82 medals at the Euros over the years – their closest competitors, Germany, have only won 39. (And yes, that does include the separate Germanies, for those of us old enough to remember such a thing.)

Where did they finish at the World Equestrian Games? Just a cheeky double gold, nothing major. But despite being safe in the knowledge that their place at Tokyo is secure, they’ve chosen to send a strong and experienced field to Luhmühlen — they’re obviously hoping to retain the title and psych out the competition ahead of next year.

LAURA COLLETT AND LONDON 52

Ten-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Landos x Vernante). Owned by Karen Bartlett, Keith Scott, and the rider.

6RA: 26.9

Speed rating:     

Showjumping prediction: Clear.

Have they got championship experience? This is London 52’s first call-up, but it’ll be a third senior Europeans appearance for Laura, who competed as an individual in 2011 and 2015. Before that, she rode on Young Rider teams in 2009 and 2010, winning individual gold in 2009, Junior teams in 2006 and 2007, winning individual gold in both, and the Pony team in 2005, in which she won individual bronze. In 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2010 she took home team golds, too, and in 2006 she nabbed a team silver. She’s also ridden at a World Cup Final back in 2008, where she finished thirteenth. Her exclusion from last year’s WEG team was certainly one of the hot talking points of the year.

TINA COOK AND BILLY THE RED

Twelve-year-old German Sport Horse gelding (Balou du Rouet x Simply Red). Owned by Elisabeth Murdoch.

6RA: 32.5

Speed rating:         

Showjumping prediction: Clear – in fact, Billy The Red has the best showjumping form in the field.

Have they got championship experience? Sure do, my friend. They finished ninth while competing as individuals at last year’s WEG, and fourth when riding for the team at the Strzegom Europeans. With other horses, British team stalwart Tina has been to three Europeans (2003, 2009, and 2013), three WEGs (2002, 2010, and 2014), and two Olympics (2008 and 2012). She took individual and team bronze in 2008 and team silver in 2012. Oh, and she was the European Champion with Miners Frolic in 2009.

PIGGY FRENCH AND QUARRYCREST ECHO

Twelve-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Clover Echo x Royal China). Owned by Jayne McGivern.

6RA: 28.3

Speed rating:       

Showjumping prediction: Clear.

Have they got championship experience? Yep — they were part of the gold medal-winning team at Tryon last year, where they finished 10th individually, and they were individuals at Strzegom, too, finishing 27th. Prior to partnering with Red, who has turned into an ultra-consistent machine of a horse, Piggy went to the 2010 WEG, the 2009 and 2011 Europeans, and the 2001 Young Rider Europeans. In 2009, she took individual silver with Some Day Soon, in 2013, she helped the team to bronze, and in 2001, she nabbed herself a team gold.

PIPPA FUNNELL AND MAJAS HOPE

Twelve-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Porter Rhodes xx x Brown Sue). Owned by Marek Sebastek and the rider.

6RA: 33.4

Speed rating:   

Showjumping prediction: One rail.

Have they got championship experience? Majas Hope, who acted as pathfinder at Badminton this year, doesn’t – but Pippa is one of the most experienced championship riders in the field. She’s been European Champion twice – at Luhmühlen in 2009 and Pau in 2011, both with Supreme Rock – and has ridden at the Euros on five other occasions (1997, 2003, 2005, 2013, and 2015). She’s also been to two WEGs – 2002 and 2010 – and three Olympics (2000, 2004, and 2016). She’s got a very well-stocked cabinet of medals, and she’ll be aiming to add to it this week.

KITTY KING AND VENDREDI BIATS

Ten-year-old Selle Français gelding (Winningmood x Liane Normande). Owned by Diana Bown, Sally Eyre, Samantha Wilson, and Sally Lloyd-Baker.

6RA: 28.8

Speed rating:     

Showjumping prediction: Clear.

Have they got championship experience? ‘Froggy’ doesn’t, but Kitty does — she’s ridden at two senior Europeans before (2005 and 2015) and the Rio Olympics. She also had a very successful junior career.

OLIVER TOWNEND AND COOLEY MASTER CLASS

Fourteen-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Ramiro B x The Swallow). Owned by Angela Hislop.

6RA: 26.8

Speed rating:       

Showjumping prediction: Clear.

Have they got championship experience? Not together, despite back-to-back Kentucky wins. Oliver does, though — he was the British pathfinder for the Strzegom Europeans, and competed in four prior to that (2005, 2007, 2009, and 2015). Across those five Europeans, he’s contributed to three team golds. He’s also been to two WEGs, in 2006 and 2014, although he rode as an individual at both. In 2009, he rode at the World Cup Final.

Are they qualified for Tokyo?

Nem. Like the Czechs, they won’t be able to — they simply don’t have enough riders and horses at the level. That doesn’t make appearances like this any less crucial, though — sure, they can fight for an individual spot next year, but more importantly, they can use the trip as a fact-finding mission to help build the sport in Hungary. There’s an impressive and committed effort going on behind the scenes to help build the central European nation into one of the eventing greats of the future, and they’ve hosted a championships on home soil, too — in 2009, they welcomed the CCI3* European Championships for Rural Riders to Nagykanizsa. (Hungary has a long and fascinating history of horsemanship — if you’re ever in Budapest, do check out the Museum of Hungarian Agriculture, which has a fascinating exhibition on how horses helped shape the country. Also, some terrible taxidermy.)

How do they usually do at the Europeans? 55th individually at the last iteration, though that was Orsolya Szabó, not Petér Tuska.

Where did they finish at the World Equestrian Games? They didn’t send anyone.

PETER TUSKA AND BEN BENDEGUZ

Fourteen-year-old Hungarian Sport Horse gelding (Le Cou Cou x dam unknown). Owned by Zoltan Prutkay.

6RA: 41.2

Speed rating: 

Showjumping prediction: Three rails.

Have they got championship experience? Péter represented his homeland at Junior and Young Rider level, but his appearance at Luhmühlen will mark his first senior call-up.

Are they qualified for Tokyo?

They are indeed — they nabbed one of the six available spots at the WEG.

How do they usually do at the Europeans? They haven’t won a team medal since 1995, which marked the end of a spate of podium finishes at the Championships. They won individual gold that year, too, when Lucy Thompson delivered an unsurpassable performance with Welton Romance. But even if 1995 seems like ancient history, they’re a team that’s undeniably on the up.

Where did they finish at the World Equestrian Games? Team and individual silver marked a remarkable upswing in the fortunes of the Irish team, who have been working hard to make their results match their legacy as horsemen. Consistency was, as it tends to be, key, allowing them to move up into the runner-up spot from seventh after dressage.

CATHAL DANIELS AND RIOGHAN RUA

Twelve-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare (Jack of Diamonds x Highland Destiny). Owned by Frank and Margaret Kinsella.

6RA: 34.1

Speed rating:          – Cathal and Rioghan Rua have the best speed rating in the field. Vroom vroom.

Showjumping prediction: One rail.

Have they got championship experience? They do. They helped the team to silver at last year’s WEG, and they’ve been two to Junior Europeans (2013 and 2014) and a Young Rider Europeans (2015) together. In 2014, they won individual silver and team gold, and they took team gold in 2013, too. In 2015, they were team bronze medallists. Cathal also went to the 2012 Pony Europeans, where he was the double gold medallist, and in 2017, he finished just outside the medals with Sammy Davis Jr.

SARAH ENNIS AND HORSEWARE WOODCOURT GARRISON

Ten-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Garrison Royal x Davitt Star). Owned by Breda Kennedy.

6RA: 36.4

Speed rating:   

Showjumping prediction: One or none.

Have they got championship experience? The horse doesn’t, but Sarah does — she was part of last year’s WEG team, finishing fifth individually with Horseware Stellor Rebound. She also went to the 2014 WEG, and rode at both the 2013 and 2017 Europeans.

CIARAN GLYNN AND NOVEMBER NIGHT

Thirteen-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare (Bonnie Prince xx x Coolnalee Kate). Owned by Susanna Francke and Peter Cole.

6RA: 35.3

Speed rating:     

Showjumping prediction: One rail.

Have they got championship experience? Ciaran made a trip to the 2009 Europeans, but he’s still a relatively fresh face on the squad, while November Night will make her championship debut at Luhmühlen.

TONY KENNEDY AND WESTERIA LANE

Fourteen-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Rantis Diamond x Salem Spirt). Owned by Con Kennedy.

6RA: 35.5

Speed rating:         

Showjumping prediction: Two down.

Have they got championship experience? Yes — but not at senior level. They’ve competed at three Young Rider Europeans (2013, 2014, and 2015), winning team bronze on their last appearance.

SAM WATSON AND TULLABEG FLAMENCO

Ten-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding ( x). Owned by Vahe Bogossian.

6RA: 34.3

Speed rating:     

Showjumping prediction: One rail.

Have they got championship experience? Sam certainly does — he was on the silver medal-winning WEG squad. You might have heard him mention it? That was his third WEG — he also made the trip in 2010 and 2014. He’s also been to four senior Europeans (2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015), a Young Rider Europeans (2006), and two Junior Europeans (2002 and 2003).

Are they qualified for Tokyo?

No. (Also, no, we haven’t forgotten about language lessons — the Italian for ‘no’ is…no.) But they’re hedging their bets, with an impressive team for Luhmühlen and a committed campaign for the top spot of the Nations Cup leaderboard, which they currently hold by a small margin. At this rate, we’re expecting them to get there one way or the other.

How do they usually do at the Europeans? There have been three medals taken home by Italians in the history of the Championships — they took team bronze in 2001 and 2007, and team silver in 2009.

Where did they finish at the World Equestrian Games? 12th.

VITTORIA PANIZZON AND SUPER CILLIOUS

Ten-year-old British-bred Sport Horse gelding (Deanes San Ciro Hit x Lady Priscilla). Owned by Lucy Allison, Deborah Bevan, Juliet Donald, and the rider.

6RA: 32.2

Speed rating:       

Showjumping prediction: One rail.

Have they got championship experience? Vitto has represented Italy in two Olympics (2008, 2012), a World Equestrian Games (2014), four senior European Championships (2005, 2007, 2013, 2017) and two Young Rider Europeans (2003, 2004), as well as innumerable Nations Cups. Her ride at Luhmühlen isn’t top horse Borough Pennyz, but rather the British-bred Super Cillious, who makes his championship debut.

MARCO BIASIA AND JUNCO CP

Fifteen-year-old Anglo-Arab gelding (Ebene de Montagne x Dunabell). Owned by Campeagro Sat.

6RA: 34.8

Speed rating: ☆

Showjumping prediction: One rail.

Have they got championship experience? Marco has a wealth of team experience: he’s competed at four senior European Championships (2001, 2003, 2007, and 2011) and four World Equestrian Games (1998, 2002, 2006, 2010), though this will be a first call-up with new ride Junco CP, who finished 24th at last year’s WEG with Spain’s Carlos Diaz Fernandez.

PIETRO ROMAN AND BARRADUFF 

Seventeen-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Carroll House xx x Crested Vesta VII). Owned by Antonella Ascoli.

6RA: 31.7

Speed rating:       

Showjumping prediction: Two rails.

Have they got championship experience? Indeed — they’ve competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics, last year’s WEG, and two European Championships (2015, 2017).

ARIANNA SCHIVO AND QUEFIRA DE L’ORMEAU

Fifteen-year-old Selle Français mare (Iolisco de Quinhon x Isabelle du Brulot). Owned by Thomas Bouquet and the rider.

6RA: 34.2

Speed rating: 

Showjumping prediction: One rail.

Have they got championship experience? Sure thang — Arianna and Quefira de l’Ormeau have been to all the same championships at Pietro and Barraduff.

SIMONE SORDI AND AMACUZZI

Sixteen-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Marcuzzi x Amara). Owned by Maria Giovanna Mazzocchi.

6RA: 32

Speed rating: 

Showjumping prediction: One rail.

Have they got championship experience? They’ll be making their second championship appearance — they started at, though didn’t complete, Tryon last year.

GIOVANNI UGOLOTTI AND NOTE WORTHY

Fifteen-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Limmerick x Camedia xx). Owned by Bizzy Loffet and the rider.

6RA: 31

Speed rating:     

Showjumping prediction: Two rails.

Have they got championship experience? Gio has amassed some crucial team experience, riding for Italy at the 2014 World Equestrian Games and both the 2013 and 2015 European Championships, but it’ll be a first championship call-up for new ride Note Worthy, previously piloted by Oliver Townend. They head to Luhmühlen off the back of an eighth-place finish at Camphire, which helped the Italian team to third place in the Nations Cup.

Are they qualified for Tokyo?

Nee. They’re fourth in the Nations Cup standings, 80 points behind current leaders Italy, so they really need to make it happen at Luhmühlen.

How do they usually do at the Europeans? They’ve won two European medals — a team silver in 1989, when they fielded a three-rider line-up, and individual bronze for Eddie Stibbe in 1993.

Where did they finish at the World Equestrian Games? Tenth — so close to a Tokyo nod, but yet so, so far.

MEREL BLOM AND CHICCOLINO

Twelve-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Chico’s Boy x D-Casino Lady). Owned by M.C. Blom-Muilwijk and J.M.J. Boom.

6RA: 37.1

Speed rating:   

Showjumping prediction: Two rails.

Have they got championship experience? The Dutch line-up yields a couple of surprises – namely, that the incredibly experienced Merel Blom isn’t named with her usual partner-in-crime, Rumour Has It N.O.P. Instead, the rider who at just 33 has competed at three senior Europeans (2011, 2015, and 2017), two World Equestrian Games (2014 and 2018), and the Rio Olympics, is named with Chiccolino, who will make his championship debut after returning from injury in the latter half of 2018.

LAURA HOOGEVEEN AND WICRO QUIBUS N.O.P.

Twelve-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Quasimodo Z x Rupiedante Z). Owned by Crimould B.V. and the rider.

6RA: 33.3

Speed rating: 

Showjumping prediction: Two rails.

Have they got championship experience? This will be a senior championship debut for both — Laura rode on the Junior team in 2012 and the Young Rider team in 2015.

ILONKA KLUYTMANS AND IMAGE OF ROSES

Eleven-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Sheyenne de Baugy x Querida Mia van Paemel). Owned by V.H.C. Erkamp.

6RA: 36.8

Speed rating: 

Showjumping prediction: Three rails.

Have they got championship experience? Nope — this is a championship debut.

TIM LIPS AND BAYRO

Thirteen-year-old KWPN gelding (Casantos x Vanya). Owned by Lips Stables, H. Meulendijks, C.V. Ham, N.V. Splunder, and W. Holdout.

6RA: 24

Speed rating:     

Showjumping prediction: One rail.

Have they got championship experience? This combination have earned themselves the title of Dutch National Champions for the last two years on the trot, and they finished just outside the top twenty at the Rio Olympics, too. Before Bayro, Tim represented the Netherlands at four senior Europeans (2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015) and two World Equestrian Games (2010 and 2014, the second of which saw the team earn a bronze medal). He also went to two Olympics prior to Rio — he was on the team for London 2012 and rode as an individual at Beijing 2008.

ALIENE RUYTER AND BOMBA

Thirteen-year-old KWPN gelding (Verdi TN x Orsina II). Owned by the rider.

6RA: 32

Speed rating: 

Showjumping prediction: Three rails.

Have they got championship experience? Not in the senior ranks — Aliene was on the 2016 and 2017 Young Rider squads.

Are they qualified for Tokyo?

Nei. It’s that age-old story once again — they’re just not quite there yet in terms of numbers.

How do they usually do at the Europeans? They fielded their first-ever team at the 2017 Championships. Unfortunately, they only had a three-person team, so when one member failed to complete, they had to accept the 1000-point penalty, which dropped them to the bottom of the leaderboard – but to improve, you’ve got to take part, and it was great to see them tick that box.

Where did they finish at the World Equestrian Games? Their sole individual, Heidi Bratlie Larsen, was eliminated on cross-country.

HANS BAUER AND PRÆSTEGAARDENS LEOPOLD

Thirteen-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding (Londonderry x Praestegardens Athene). Owned by Blakstad Rideklubb.

6RA: 34.8

Speed rating:   

Showjumping prediction: Three rails.

Have they got championship experience? Hans and the thirteen-year-old Danish Warmblood — his only international ride — helped make Norwegian eventing history in 2017, when they were part of Norway’s first-ever Europeans team. The year prior, they were in the Scandinavian country’s first Nations Cup team, too, following it up with another team appearance at the series finale at Boekelo. Though their mid-30s dressage scores will stop them from competing with the likes of Ingrid Klimke and Michael Jung, Hans and his stalwart partner have proven their consistency across the country over and over again: they’ve produced the goods over some seriously tough courses, with an 86% clear rate over their international career.

Are they qualified for Tokyo?

They are indeed – they nabbed a coveted spot in the team competition at Baborówko CCI04*-L at the end of May, which saw them head off their fellow C group competitors from Russia and Belarus.

How do they usually do at the Europeans? Hmm. Well, they took a bronze team medal in 1981 at Horsens, and Marien Babirecki took the individual gold riding Volt at the 1965 Moscow championships. But this iteration isn’t do-or-die for them — with that Tokyo qualification in the bag, they’ll be using it as a chance to prepare the team for next year.

Where did they finish at the World Equestrian Games? They didn’t field a team, but individual competitor Pawel Spisak finished in 22nd place on Banderas, jumping quick and clear across the country and tipping two unfortunate poles to finish on a score of 39.4.

MALGORZATA CYBULSKA AND CHENARO

Ten-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Chequille 2 x Dayenne). Owned by Marzenna Walden.

6RA: 30.1

Speed rating: 

Showjumping prediction: One rail.

Have they got championship experience? Malgorzata makes her senior squad debut after a fruitful under-21s career, which saw her contest two Young Rider Europeans (2017 and 2018) and two Junior Europeans (2015 and 2016).

JAN KAMINSKI AND JARD

Nine-year-old Polish Half-Bred gelding (Czuwaj x dam unknown). Owned by Marcin Kaminski.

6RA: 34.2

Speed rating:   

Showjumping prediction: Two rails.

Have they got championship experience? Jan notched up some experience when riding on the Polish Young Rider squad in 2012 and 2013, but this will be a senior debut.

Are they qualified for Tokyo?

No (yeah, again, that is actually the Spanish word, sorry). Just three riders will come forward for Spain, and so all three will need to start — and, ideally, finish — if the up-and-coming eventing nation is to remain in the hunt for a Tokyo ticket. The Nations Cup slot isn’t an option for them – they’ve contested just two legs, so they can’t catch up now.

How do they usually do at the Europeans? They’ve won one medal — an individual bronze in 2001, thanks to Enrique Sarasola Jr. and Dope Doux.

Where did they finish at the World Equestrian Games? 14th after their best-placed rider, Gonzalo Blasco Botin, was eliminated on cross-country.

ESTEBAN BENITEZ VALLE AND MILANA 23

Fifteen-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Medoc x Morka). Owned by Jose Canedo Angoso and the rider.

6RA: 39.6

Speed rating:       

Showjumping prediction: Three rails.

Have they got championship experience? Esteban’s first senior Championship experience came in 2017 — he’d ridden at the Junior Europeans in 2007 and 2008, and the Young Rider Europeans in 2010. Now, his fifteen-year-old mare Milana 23 will make her own championship debut after jumping a quick and classy clear around the CCIO4*-S at Strzegom in June.

MARIA PINEDO SENDAGORTA AND CARRIEM VAN COLEN Z

Sixteen-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Canabis Z x Sexy Vergoignan X). Owned by Santillana Paddocks S.L.

6RA: 36.1

Speed rating: 

Showjumping prediction: One rail.

Have they got championship experience? Maria and Carriem Van Colen Z finished 54th after delivering a slow clear at last year’s WEG, and they went to the 2017 Europeans, too. Maria also competed at the Blair iteration in 2015, the last Luhmühlen Euros in 2011, and Normandy’s World Equestrian Games in 2014.

MANUEL SENRA CHOVA AND CRUISING

Thirteen-year-old Westphalian mare (Calido I x dam unknown). Owned by Yeguada la Horcajada.

6RA: 34.5

Speed rating: 

Showjumping prediction: One rail.

Have they got championship experience? Much the same as Maria, they went to WEG – finishing 55th – and Strzegom. Manuel also went to the 2011 Europeans.

Are they qualified for Tokyo?

Nej. (Quite a good one, actually, well done Sweden.) Like Italy, Sweden has also been heavily targeting the FEI Nations Cup series as an alternative route to the Olympics. With five of the series’ seven legs complete, they currently sit second in the rankings. But their squad for Luhmühlen represents an interesting cross-section of experience and young talent, and the Scandinavian nation is one of the hot favourites to take one of the two available tickets to Tokyo.

How do they usually do at the Europeans? Quite well, actually — they’re the sixth most-medalled country, just behind Ireland. They’ve taken home eleven medals in total, and two of them were gold. They were the team bronze medallists at Strzegom, with a team that looked very similar to this one.

Where did they finish at the World Equestrian Games? Ninth, which put them just two slots away from securing their qualification.

EBBA ADNERVIK AND CHIPPIEH

Seventeen-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Carnaby GL x Copenhagen). Owned by Sara Sjöborg Wik.

6RA: 31.6

Speed rating:       

Showjumping prediction: Two rails.

Have they got championship experience? Ebba will be making her senior Championship debut after a busy young rider career that included a trip to the Junior Europeans (2014) and two to the Young Rider Europeans (2015, 2017). Her mount, though, has plenty of experience on the world stage – Chippieh competed at the London Olympics with Japan’s Kenki Sato as well as the 2014 Young Rider Europeans with Hedvig Wik.

MALIN JOSEFSSON AND GOLDEN MIDNIGHT

Eleven-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding (Goldmine xx x Duva). Owned by Karin Berglund.

6RA: 37.2

Speed rating:     

Showjumping prediction: One or none.

Have they got championship experience? Malin follows up on her 2017 Europeans debut with Allan V by partnering her Badminton mount Golden Midnight at Luhmühlen.

NIKLAS LINDBACK AND FOCUS FILIOCUS

Twelve-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding (Feliciano x Blue Bells). Owned by Tun Albertson.

6RA: 31.9

Speed rating:     

Showjumping prediction: One rail.

Have they got championship experience? Together, they jumped clear around last year’s WEG for 35th place. Niklas has four senior Europeans under his belt: he was part of the silver medal-winning team in 2017 with Focus Filiocus, contested the 2015 Championships with Cendrillon, and rode Mister Pooh in 2009 and 2013. He clocked up a top-ten finish in the FEI World Cup at Malmö in 2006 and completed both the 2010 World Equestrian Games and the 2012 Olympics.

PHILIPPA MAGNUSSON AND CESAR

Nine-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding (Crelido x Coco Chanell TH). Owned by the rider.

6RA: 35.7

Speed rating:   

Showjumping prediction: Two rails.

Have they got championship experience? Nope — this is a debut for them both.

LOUISE ROMEIKE AND WAIKIKI 207

Thirteen-year-old Holsteiner mare (Quinar x Sila). Owned by Hans Thomsen and the rider.

6RA: 28.7

Speed rating:       

Showjumping prediction: One rail.

Have they got championship experience? Louise and Waikiki finished 29th at last year’s WEG. Louise has competed at two senior European Championships (2017, with Wieloch’s Utah Sun and 2015, with Viva 29) and two Pony Europeans, in 2005 and 2006.

LUDWIG SVENNERSTÅL AND EL KAZIR SP

Fifteen-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Capriano x Katella). Owned by Shamwari 4 Ltd.

6RA: 31.1

Speed rating:     

Showjumping prediction: One rail.

Have they got championship experience? Ludwig has amassed a significant amount of team experience too, though this will be a first championship appearance for El Kazir SP, who Ludwig started riding in 2017, and who was originally selected for Tryon. The prolific Swede began his team career in the young rider ranks, during which he contested two Junior and two Young Rider Europeans (2007 and 2008, and 2010 and 2011, respectively). He’s been on senior Championship squads ever since, including three senior Europeans (2013, 2015, and 2017), two Olympic Games (2012, 2016), and last year’s World Equestrian Games.

Are they qualified for Tokyo?

Nein. They’re currently in third place on the Nations Cup leaderboard, behind Italy and Sweden, so they have something of a back-up plan if Luhmühlen doesn’t go as they hope.

How do they usually do at the Europeans? They’ve picked up five medals in total, and were one of just two teams to make it to the very first Championships in 1953. Their last team medal was a silver one, back in 1981, and their last individual medal came that year, too — Hansueli Schmutz took gold with Oran.

Where did they finish at the World Equestrian Games? 16th out of 16. But rather than accepting defeat, they’ve fought it head on – they recruited the legend that is Andrew Nicholson in December to help them suss the cross-country, and some footage of his boot camp sessions has escaped into the wild. He’s certainly putting them through their paces, and it’ll be very interesting indeed to see how profound a difference he’s made.

CAROLINE GERBER AND TRESOR DE CHIGNAN CH

Twelve-year-old Swiss Warmblood gelding (Cape Canaveral x dam unknown). Owned by Claude Gerber.

6RA: 46.6

Speed rating:   

Showjumping prediction: Two rails.

Have they got championship experience? Nope, they’re championship debutantes.

ROBIN GODEL AND GRANDEUR DE LULLY CH

Eleven-year-old Swiss Warmblood gelding (Greco de Lully x dam unknown). Owned by Jean-Jacques Fünfschilling.

6RA: 33.2

Speed rating:   

Showjumping prediction: Two rails.

Have they got championship experience? They went to the WEG last year, where they finished 60th, and they recorded a top 20 finish at the 2017 Young Rider Europeans, too. Prior to that, Robin rode at three Junior Europeans (2014, 2015, and 2016). You might remember them from this epic save in Tryon.

ROXANE GONFARD AND OPI DE SAINT LEO

Seventeen-year-old Selle Français gelding (Baie de Villeclare x Rigolette). Owned by the rider.

6RA: 34.9

Speed rating:   

Showjumping prediction: Two rails.

Have they got championship experience? No — it’ll be a championship debut for both.

CAMILLE GUYOT AND ULSAN DE LACOREE

Eleven-year-old Selle Français gelding (L’Arc de Triomphe x L’An de Pepinvast). Owned by the rider.

6RA: 34.1

Speed rating: 

Showjumping prediction: Two rails.

Have they got championship experience? Camille rode on the 2015 Europeans team, but it’ll be a championship debut for Ulsan de Lacoree.

TIZIANA REALINI AND TOUBLEU DE REUIRE

Twelve-year-old Selle Français gelding (Mr Blue x La Guna de Reuire). Owned by Samuel Siegenthaler and Heinz-Günter Wickenhäuser.

6RA: 33.3

Speed rating:       

Showjumping prediction: Two rails.

Have they got championship experience? Not together. Toubleu de Reuire went to Strzegom with Sandra Leonhardt-Raith, while Tiziana has ridden at the 2008 Olympics, the 2007 Europeans, and the 2004 Young Rider Europeans.

FELIX VOGG AND COLERO

Eleven-year-old Westphalian gelding (Captain Fire x Bonita). Owned by Jürgen Vogg.

6RA: 29.5

Speed rating:   

Showjumping prediction: One rail.

Have they got championship experience? They do. Felix and Colero went to Tryon, although they didn’t have much luck, finishing 70th after some problems on course. They haven’t finished outside the top six in an international since, though, and they looked very good indeed at Kentucky this spring. Felix has also ridden at the Rio Olympics, the 2014 WEG, and two previous senior Europeans (2013 and 2017). He had a prolific junior career that included three Young Rider Europeans (2008, 2009, and 2010), a Junior Europeans (2007), and three Pony Europeans (2003, 2004, and 2006).

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