Belgium may be a small country, but it has the skill when it comes to reining, as shown by taking the senior team gold medal ahead of Germany and Austria at the 2016 SVAG FEI World Reining Championships in Givrins, Switzerland.
In a field of 44 riders, it was only when the last rider of the day Belgium’s NRHA Million Dollar Rider Bernard Fonck performed, would the final placings be determined. Riding Smart N Sparkin, Bernard posted the top score of the day of 222, making his final team score rise to 661.5, a mere one and a half points higher than team Germany. “The pressure was on because I knew that our final standings would depend on my run,” said Bernard.
Cira Baeck and Whizasunnysailor BB was the second highest score for Belgium with 220. “I just love this horse! His big heart and talent never cease to amaze me and placing this medal around his neck is the best thing that I could have ever hoped for,” said Cira.
No strangers to the pen, are the German’s who have left their mark in more than one FEI competition. Alexander Ripper (Hollys Electricspark), Dominik Reminder (GR Hug A Jewel), Grischa Ludwig (Gwhiz Im Smart) and Verena Klein (Olena Joe Cody) gave it all they had until Bernard Fonck turned the cards on the table, meaning Germany took silver. “We are really proud of the result achieved here today,” said German team coach Nico Hörmann.
With a total score of 653.5, the Austrian team settled for third place claiming the bronze medal, while Italian team were fourth.
The team competition was also the first qualifier for the individual competition that will be held on Saturday. Riders that did not automatically qualify will have a chance to earn a spot in the consolation held today prior to the SVAG FEI European Reining Championships for Young Riders and Juniors team competition.
For results visitwww.worldreiningchampionships2016.com/en/start