The Ultimate Guide to the 2023 FEI European Eventing Championships

We’re well and truly en route to the 2023 FEI European Eventing Championships now, so to help you prepare for this key week of the eventing season, we’ve collated everything you need to know into one handy hub. Bookmark this page and check it whenever you want to know the latest updates –- we’ll be adding news, article links, and coverage updates daily to ensure you don’t miss a thing. First up: the need-to-know basic info.

EN’s coverage of the FEI European Championships for Eventing is brought to you with support from Kentucky Performance Products.

THE DATE: The FEI European Championships for Eventing will take place from Wednesday, August 9, to Sunday, August 13, 2023.

THE LOCATION: We’ll be spending the week in Haras du Pin, the French National Stud tucked away in rural southern Normandy, in the north of France. The country has a number of national studs, or ‘Haras nationaux’, but Haras du Pin is the oldest of them: it was built in 1715 under royal orders, with the site chosen for the superior quality of its pastures. In modern terms? It’s got great ground – which is helpful, because it can be prone to extreme temperatures in August.

Haras du Pin as a competition venue is no less storied: it hosts FEI competitions annually, and has also been the site of 2010, 2011, and 2012 Eventing World Cup legs, the host of the cross-country at the (very wet) 2014 World Equestrian Games, and the European Championships in 1969.

The stud and chateau itself remain open for visitors to tour – and, fittingly, it’s often colloquially referred to as ‘Versailles for horses’. Consider this the Diet Olympics.

THE COMPETITION: The Europeans are set at CCI4*-L level – different to the World Championships and Olympics, which have their own level, which is effectively a short four-star long with some five-star technicality sprinkled in. The competitors will be riding FEI 4* Test B.

THE FORMAT: Unlike the Olympics, with its three-to-a-team set-up, the Europeans follows the classic format: four to a team, with one drop score. Each nation can also bring two individuals. Most countries will wait until after the first horse inspection to announce which of their horses and riders will be on the team, and which will ride as individuals, though some do reveal this earlier.

WHAT’S AT STAKE: Medals, hugely coveted titles, and, crucially, qualifying spots for the 2024 Paris Olympics. The two highest-placed as-yet-unqualified teams at the end of the week will book their place at next year’s Paris Olympics. These will be chased down by Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, and Austria – but Spain, also on the hunt for a qualification, are conspicuous only by their absence, choosing instead to focus on trying to earn valuable Nations Cup points. They’ll be hoping for series leaders Belgium to finish well at Haras du Pin, and, no doubt, for current series runners-up Italy to nab a spot, too – a turn of events that would put the Dutch at the forefront of the race for the single Nations Cup qualification on a current score of 380 and the Spanish, currently fourth on 350, into second and ready to fight for further points at Arville’s leg the week after the European Championships, when their competitors’ top horses will be expected to be on holiday after the exertions of the championships.

THE TEAMS: There are ten full teams in the running this year, and a total of 14 nations represented across 58 entries. The teams are Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, France, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, and Switzerland, while Hungary, Poland, Denmark, and Finland will bring forward individual competitors. There’s no qualification process for countries to take part – all European nations are invited.

Drawn Order
Team Form Guide
Individual Form Guide

THE OFFICIALS: The President of the Ground Jury – and thus, the dressage judge at C – will be Great Britain’s Judy Hancock, assisted by Austria’s Katrin Eichinger-Kniely and Finland’s Seppo Laine. All three are hugely experienced ground jury members, and will preside over the horse inspections, take on the dressage judging, and fulfil other crucial duties during the event, including approving and signing off the cross-country course.

That cross-country course will be designed by France’s Pierre Le Goupil, who has 25 years of experience designing at the venue – but more importantly, he’s also the course designer for next year’s Paris Olympics. This will be the first time many riders and spectators will get the chance to see his particular flavour of design, and will mean that the continent-specific competition has significant global appeal. Tune in and take notes, folks!

France’s Quentin Perney will design Sunday’s show jumping track, which will be held on a manicured surface. Perney is no stranger to championship competition – he was the course designer at the recent European Jumping and Eventing Championships for Ponies, and he’s also designed at prestigious jumping venues including the Rolex-sponsored La Baule in France. He’ll be assisted by Jean Pierre Meneau in Haras du Pin.

The FEI Technical Delegate for the week will be Germany’s Mathias Otto-Erley.

THE REIGNING CHAMPIONS: Great Britain took gold in 2021 in Avenches in Switzerland – and all three individual medals, too. They return as the hot favorites to win again this year — though a disappointing team result at Pratoni last year means they’ll need to bring their A-game. We’ve got a couple of the Avenches team up to bat in Haras du Pin: Kitty King returns with Vendredi Biats (ninth in Avenches), former World Champion Ros Canter is back, though this time with Badminton winner Lordships Graffalo, and reigning World Champion JL Dublin will return to defend his title – though this time, it’s with Tom McEwen aboard, rather than Nicola Wilson, who piloted him to that victory in 2021.

#Euros2023 : Website | Live Stream | Entries | Startlists & Scoring | EN’s Ultimate Guide | EN’s Form Guide | EN’s Coverage

[Times are listed in Central European Time. For further global time zones, keep scrolling!]

Wednesday, 9 August:

  • 13.30 p.m.: First horse inspection
  • 18.30 p.m.: Opening ceremony

Thursday, 10 August:

  • 10.00 a.m. – 11.30 a.m.: Morning dressage session
  • 14.30 p.m. – 17.10 p.m.: Afternoon dressage session

Friday, 11 August:

  • 10.00 a.m. – 11.30 a.m.: Morning dressage session
  • 14.30 p.m. – 17.10 p.m.: Afternoon dressage session

Saturday, 12 August:

  • 12.00 p.m. – 16.30 p.m.: Cross-country (team and individual)

Sunday, 13 August:

  • 9.00 a.m.: Final horse inspection
  • 11.30 a.m. – 12.30 p.m.: Showjumping, part one
  • 14.00 p.m. – 15.00 p.m.: Showjumping, part two
  • 15.00 p.m.: Medal ceremonies

1. Ireland
2. Belgium
3. Germany
4. Netherlands
5. Italy
6. Switzerland
7. Sweden
8. Poland
9. Denmark
10. France
11. Great Britain
12. Austria

INDIVIDUAL ORDER OF GO: View start lists here.

WHERE TO WATCH: You certainly can’t go wrong with watching in person, because Haras du Pin, with its chateau and palatial grounds is a particularly beautiful, vibrant spot for fans of the sport – and one that’s very easy to get to, particularly if you’re coming across from the UK by ferry. The Portsmouth – Caen line docks around an hour away, while Dieppe is just over two hours’ drive. Tickets are still available here.

If you want to follow along from afar, there’ll be a live stream available for each phase via ClipMyHorse.TV. You’ll need a subscription to access the stream, which starts at $17.03/month — but this will also get you access to the entirety of their global streaming schedule, including all the European Championships this summer, plus a jam-packed archive of competitions and programs.

HOW TO FOLLOW: No matter where in the world you are, you’ll never be starved for content from the European Championships, which promise to be enormously well-attended by the continent’s media heavyweights. Here are some of the Instagram accounts and hashtags you’ll want to follow to see the competition from all angles…

Hashtags: #lepin2023, #harasdupin, #lepinauharas, #eventinglife, #FEIeventing, #eventingeuropeanchampionships#twohearts, #eventersofinstagram

Accounts: Haras du Pin 2023, Horse&Hound, FEI Eventing, British Equestrian, Eventing Ireland, and the Italian Equestrian Federation are among the boots on the ground.

Don’t forget to follow EN, too – we’ll be bringing you all the insanity in the middle you could possibly need, with Tilly Berendt on site in France and a full team behind the scenes.

Want to know the juiciest stats throughout the competition? Make sure you follow EquiRatings.

Friday, August 11:

Jung Guns Blazing in Second Day of European Championships Dressage

Five Horses We Can’t Wait to See at the European Championships

Thursday, August 10:

Yas Ingham’s On Top of the World (or Europe) on Day One of European Champs

Wednesday, August 9:

Two Horses Held; All Accepted in European Championships First Horse Inspection

The Europeans Draw: Ireland To Pathfind, While Hot Favourites Great Britain Penultimate Nation

Tuesday, August 8:

Finishing Touches for France: Social Media Round-up Ahead of European Championships

Must-Read Guides:

European Champions, At a Glance: Meet the Horses

Ready, Steady, Go: Your Guide to the Horses and Riders of the European Championships

How to Follow the 2023 European Championships – Wherever You Are!

The State of the Nations: Your Guide to Each of the Teams Tackling the 2023 European Championships

Team Announcements:

A Continental Showdown: Your First Look at the European Championships Definite Entries

Belgium Names Combinations Traveling to FEI European Eventing Championships

Sweden Reveals Team for 2023 Europeans

Germany and Ireland Name Final Squads for FEI European Championships

Zut Alors! Serious Home-Side Team Announced for European Eventing Championships + Nominated Entries Revealed in Full

Reigning Champs Great Britain Announce European Championships Line-Up

Switzerland Announces Team for European Eventing Championships

Pre-Event Coverage:

Reserve Combination Called Up for French Squad Ahead of European Championships

“The Equestrian Versailles”: Inside the Horsey History of Haras du Pin

European Titles and Olympic Tickets Up for Grabs at Haras du Pin

Germany Unveils Long List for 2023 FEI European Eventing Championships

British Equestrian Announces Nominated Entries for FEI Eventing European Championship

Two Months ’til the Euros: Taking Stock at Haras du Pin

The 2023 European Eventing Championships in Numbers

European Championships Tickets Go On Sale (with Christmas Discounts!)

EN’s coverage of the FEI European Championships for Eventing is brought to you with support from Kentucky Performance Products.

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