FEQHA European Championship of American Quarter Horses

Riders from 16 countries put in top performances August 5-14 in Rieden/Kreuth, Germany.

From the European Championship of American Quarter Horses

View more photos from the 2016 European Championship at www.ecqh.org. (Credit: Figure Eight)

For 10 days, the western riders and their highly skilled American Quarter Horses from 16 countries exhibited top performances at the Ostbayernhalle in Rieden/Kreuth, Germany. At the 27th European Championship of American Quarter Horses that took place from August 5 to 14, riders from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Hungary, Denmark, England, Finland, Norway, Switzerland and the USA competed for different titles.

Roughly 5,000 entries 
Overall, there was a total number of 270 participants with 310 horses taking part in the show. There were 352 entries in the Open Classes, 76 of them in Halter, 512 entries in the Amateur Classes, 64 of them in Halter, 183 entries in the Youth Classes, 16 of them in Halter. And there were 55 entries in Amateur Select Classes. 338 entries were in the finals. In 14 disciplines, such as Trail, Western Horsemanship, Western Riding, Hunter Under Saddle, Hunter Hack, Showmanship at Halter or Longe Line, and in front of five judges, participants gave an overall number of approximately 5000 AQHA entries. 34 European Championship titles were handed out to riders and horses in the Performance Classes. The Amateur Trail had the most participants with a total number of 43 competitors. Following in second place are the Western Horsemanship Amateur and Senior Trail Open Classes, each with 36 competitors.

High Score in Trail 
Riders and horses were well trained and performed at a very high level. This is also underlined by the fact that in some cases, the judges awarded scores up to the number of 80. Cora Kümmerling from Sweden with her 16-year-old gelding Dont Skip It Up reached the highest overall score of 226 in the Youth Trail Class. In the Senior Trail Open, the winning team had an overall score of 221.5.

Ride/Walk The Pattern 
For a second time in Germany, “Ride/Walk the Pattern” workshops were offered to Novice Riders, adolescents and amateurs to intensively prepare them for assessments. AQHA steward and judge Butch Carse explained to interested participants what the judge is looking for during assessments. There were up to 30 riders taking part in the free workshops. This mini program was offered in the Western Horsemanship, Showmanship at Halter and Hunt Seat Equitation classes.

The Best Riders and Horses from Europe 
Michaela Kayser, show manager of the European Championship of American Quarter Horses, is very pleased with the outcome: “We have seen 10 days of top-level equestrian sport at its finest. The best riders and horses from Europe took part in this competition to win one of the hand-made trophies by Ellen Welten. Some of them even managed to take home several trophies. Riders and horses have been showing a considerable increase in performance over the past years. While it was a relatively small group of riders competing for medals a few years ago, this year, the number of front runners for the title was significantly higher. Every finale was very exciting and suspenseful!”

International Show Team 
The show team was very multicultural as well. The judges were from the USA, Italy and Germany, the ring stewards from Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic, the stewards from the USA and England and the team of helpers also included two Slovenian colleagues. 

The 27th European Championship of American Quarter Horses 2016 has now come to an end. For nine days, riders and horses exhibited major sporting achievements. Having come from 16 different countries, they were all unified in a big community because of their passion for western riding. Participants and spectators of the European Championship saw excellent horse riding, an international atmosphere and the tangible passion for this sport.

View more photos and videos from the 2016 European Championship at www.ecqh.org