European Championship

The 20th European Championship of American Quarter Horses in Germany boasted quality horses and top-notch competition.

"(It was) the best I've seen so far."

That was according to David Avery, AQHA director of international affairs, speaking of the 20th European Championship of American Quarter Horses in Kreuth, Germany, August 15-23, 2009.

“The quality of horses was amazing,” Avery added. “We had a fine team of international judges that included Ricky Bordignon from Italy and Sylvia Katschker from Austria this time. And

the professional management of Rainer Maierhofer and his team made us all feel welcome here at this beautiful facility.”

The 20th European Championship was a festival celebrating the American Quarter Horse. More than 450 Quarter Horses from across Europe gathered for this event, together with the best riders and trainers. Admission was free, and the competition was available on the Internet via live stream video. The show received a lot of attention from the local media who admired the versatility and character of the breed as well as from international horse magazines.

Here are some competition highlights:

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Repeat Win - 2008 European champion performance halter stallion Only Invitational repeated the win in 2009. Owned by Monica von der Osten-Sacken of Germany, the 2002 son of Invitation Only was shown by Sylvia Jaeckle also of Germany.

Medals for Croatia - For the first time, Croatia competed at the European Championship. Horses owned by Ranch V Visnjica earned two gold medals, one silver and one bronze. Their palomino Light The Way Mr, by Enlightened and out of a Mr Yella Fella mare, was European champion yearling stallion. Hez To Hot To Handle, a black son of I Am A Hot Topic and out of a Kid Clue mare, was European champion 2-year-old stallion and stood grand champion stallion. The Ranch also owns RV Playin To Win (reserve European champion weanling mare) and RV Black Magic (third in weanling mares).

Cattle Events

Two for Kiss My Cat - As usual, the crowd filled the Veranstaltungshalle for the cutting finals. Kiss My Cat, ridden by owner Juergen Doering of Germany, won both the senior and amateur cutting. The 2008 amateur European cutting champions Roosters Dream and owner Gerold Dautzenberg of Austria placed second in the senior and third in the amateur. Dautzenberg also won the amateur reserve with Peppys Lil Ricochet.

Coolest Horse in the Barn - Karel Spacil of the Czech Republic won the junior cutting with Snorty Little Lena (Karel won the 2008 junior cutting with Elans Magic). Owners Qeep A.S. bought the mare in Texas in January. Previously trained by Shannon Rust, Karel only had her for three months, and this was her second show. “She is a very smart, quiet mare with a big heart,” Spacil said, “a very nice mare and the coolest horse in our barn!”

Fourth Time Around – German Wolfgang Dalick’s Slidin On Diamonds dominated the working cow horse with Philipp Martin Haug riding. It was the 2000 stallion by Little Bo Badger’s fourth European title in senior working cow horse. Haug has been the horse’s only trainer. Gerold Dautzenberg won reserve with Smart Rip. Haug also won the European junior working cow horse championship with A Smarty Pants owned by Simone Salzer of Germany.

Women Win – The top spots in amateur working cow horse were won by women. Sabine Brasche of Germany rode her homebred Lil Peptorella to the European championship, and Jeanine Burkart and Beat This Enterprise took reserve. Both competitors train with German Arno Gorgasser. Gerold Dautzenberg and Smart Rip placed third.


Capping a Successful Year - Angela Bauer’s Lilpeppy Dunit Right and Rudi Kronsteiner scored a 223 to win the European championship in senior reining. The 8-year-old dun stallion by Hollywood Dun It out of a Peppy San Badger mare was bred by the Legacy Ranch LLC of Pilot Point, Texas. In 2009, the stallion was the limited non pro champion at the Slide Away; placed third in intermediate non pro at the European Futurity; was limited non pro champion both at the National Reining Horse Association Easter Show and the NRHA Breeders Derby, and was NRHA European reserve champion in intermediate non pro.

Two for Lil Ruf Starlet - Both the amateur and the junior reining were won by Lil Ruf Starlet owned by Selina Schultheiss of Switzerland. In the amateur, the two tied for first place with Fabienne Suter and Siri Shine Whizme, also of Switzerland. In the rein-off, Lil Ruf Starlet scored a 214 to win. In the junior, Daniel Schloemer rode the palomino mare by Whizen Jac to a 215 and the European championship. Katja Jungfer’s Dun It On The QT and Rudi Kronsteiner, who had won all the go-rounds, took reserve with a 214.5.

Rail Classes

Nite Chip Again – Nite Chip, by Zips Chocolate Chip and out of a Coosa Lad mare, won his third European championship in senior western pleasure. Owned by Jens Erik Udsen of Denmark, Hubertus Jagfeld rode the 2000 chestnut stallion to the win; they also won the senior western riding. In the junior western pleasure, Italian Sibyl von der Schulenburg’s Winning Wisely repeated her 2008 win with Matteo Sala riding; Karin Prevedel and Grey Asset won reserve.

Giraudini Success – Mirjam Giraudini won the European championship in junior hunter under saddle with the family’s homebred CPR Valentine Blaze, a 2004 bay stallion by Blazing Hot. The two won the amateur hunter under saddle European championship in 2008.

Absolutely Won – Absolutlycaptivating and Valerie Nalbantian of the United Kingdom won the European championship in amateur hunter under saddle. The 6-year-old mare by The Last Captive also won the senior hunter under saddle with Sylvia Jaeckle riding.

Italian Trail – The senior trail top spots were filled with Italian riders. Sara D’Imperio won with her gelding Make A Whis; Karin Prevedel took reserve with Blazing Ryanna (owned by Austrian Sandra Schaefer); Matteo Sala and Miss Zippo Principle (owned by Italian Guglielmo Passoni) placed third. Prevedel also won the junior trail with Stefano Giacomazzi’s Grey Asset, scoring a 222.

Germany Wins Nations Cup

Nine nations had nominated teams for the second edition of the Nations Cup at the European Championship. In the end, Germany and Austria tied for first place. The better trail result decided the winner, and this was largely due to German Carolin Lenz’ performance. The other German team members included Anna Limmer (horsemanship), Benjamin Willersinn (reining) and Maike Schauch (pleasure). With Austria taking silver, Italy placed third.

Catch all the results available now at

--By Journal special contributor Ramona Billing