By Ramona BillingEuropean ChampionshipAugust 20, 2013
AQHA Professional Horseman Alexandra Jagfeld of Germany rides My Final Say (My Final Notice-Designed In The Dark by Dynamic In The Dark) to the senior hunter under saddle win at the 2013 European Championships for owner Elisabeth Seif of Austria. (Photo by Art & Light)
The 2013 Federation of European Quarter Horse Associations European Championship of American Quarter Horses, August 10-18 in Rieden-Kreuth, Germany, perhaps was the best ever – at least as far as the huge number of high-class horses is concerned.
Never before have there been so many top-quality horses and runs, or so thought the judges, said AQHA Director of International Affairs David Avery.
Ann Dennis designed the European Championship trail courses for the fourth time.
“These European trail exhibitors are so good that I could give them more difficulties this time,” she said. “It was a tough course, but they handled it really well. There were quite a number of horses that could go to the AQHA World Championship Show any time. The margin between the U.S. and Europe is really narrowing.”
Multiple European champion Sylvia Jackle, who was judging the event for the first time, added: “The trail classes were extremely good – but so were the senior western pleasure and amateur reining. And then there were those huge youth shows with top rides. This show was a real pleasure to judge! Working together with the other judges was fun; the results were usually very similar across the board, and we got along very well. The show management did a great job as usual, as did David Avery, who was busy giving all the support you might need. And it was a great decision to include the finals again, since they make the European Championship something special.”
In 2013, the European Championship featured six AQHA shows plus finals, which gave back the former prestige to the event. The event attracted huge media attention – not only from the worldwide horse media, but also from regional newspapers, radio and television. Even the “Bayerische Rundfunk,” the leading TV station of Bavaria and one of Germany’s leading altogether, attended the show on the final weekend to report about the show in their sports section.
For this year’s event, 305 horses from 12 nations had been entered, which is less than the year before, due in part to a major reining event running at the same time in Austria, as well as the Americana following right after the European Championship. However, entries had increased again: almost 1,800 in contrast to last year’s 1,700. The total purse (prizes and money) exceeded € 50,000 and included the beautiful European Championship buckles. Exhibitors really appreciated FEQHA’s sponsorship of one box stall per youth exhibitor. Also, FEQHA took on a share of the box stall fees for amateur exhibitors.
“FEQHA did a great job of giving back something to the exhibitors,” said Avery, who has been at every single European Championship since 2006. “Service and exhibitor friendliness are all what it’s about. Show management tried to change this horse show due to the exhibitors’ wishes and also due to the concerns of the welfare of our friend, the American Quarter Horse. The change was well received and much improved the event.”
Visit www.ecqh.eu to view full results from the 2013 European Championship.
FEQHA Amateur and Youth Team Cups
The European Championship hosted the FEQHA Amateur and Youth Team Cups this year. The classes were run class-within-a-class during the second go-rounds of the various disciplines, with the exception of trail, which was an extra class and ended the second day of the finals.
In the Amateur Team Cup, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the Czech Republic competed with teams. The German team bested the field with a total of 157 points, with Austria following in second place (95) and Switzerland in third place (91).
In the Youth Team Cup, for which Austria, Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, France, Norway, Belgium and Luxemburg had entered teams, Germany also took first place with a total score of 261 points. Norway followed in second place (172) and Austria in third (171).
View full results from the Amateur and Youth Team Cups at www.ecqh.eu.
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