European and World Reining Championships 2017

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By Simona Diale

The SVAG FEI World Reining Championships for Young & Junior Riders/FEI European Reining Championships were held in Givrins, Switzerland, August 9-12, 2017.

Team Belgium is no stranger to the highest step of the podium in FEI competition. On August 12, 2017 Belgian rider Bernard Fonck won the coveted individual gold medal at the  European Reining Championships for Seniors in Givrins, Switzerland. Bernard Fonck (BEL) had dominated the competition, riding the athletic American Quarter Horse stallion Smart N Sparkin, owned by Golden Paint Ranch. Fonck performed an outstanding pattern which earned him a 225 score.

“I’ve had this horse since he was a two-year-old and have won quite a few major titles in the reining circuit with him. Since I knew that the competition here was tough and the level high, I was aiming for the podium, but was not sure if we would be able to claim the gold. After the first part of the pattern, I felt that we could actually make it. I asked and he delivered! I am thrilled for this very first individual gold medal for Belgium.”

Germany claimed both the silver and bronze medals thanks to the 222 posted by Dominik Reminder (GER) on Dun It With A Splash, owned by Manuela Moser, and to the 221 scored by Julia Schumacher (GER) riding Coeurs Little Tyke for owner Georg Holzwarth.  Both riders were part of the German silver team medalists, with team bronze going to the previous title holders Italy.

Full results and all competition information available at:  

FEI World Reining Championship for Juniors and Young Riders

The ‘dream team’ of Gina Schumacher (GER) and her Gotta Nifty Gun scored a winning run in the Young Riders competition. The German athlete reined her blue-eyed companion to an amazing 224.5 to take the individual gold medal. The duo also secured the gold for Germany in the team competition and lit up the stands by performing a superb demonstration of reining at its very best.

 “I love my horse. We understand and take care of each other every single time we compete and he always gives me all he has. Whenever I’m nervous, he calms me down and vice-versa!”  said Germany's double gold medalist, Gina Schumacher. 

It took a run-off to determine the silver and bronze medalists. Nico Sicuro (ITA) riding Iam Sailors Brother and Dino Lulli (ITA) riding Sun Dreamin Star both posted a 219.5. The two fellow countrymen went back to the show arena and, once the last maneuver was performed, Sicuro and the 11-year-old stallion’s run was worth a score of 219. Lulli and his mount also gave all they had, but their final 217.5 score put them behind and they settled for the silver medal.

Last to go in the Junior individual competition, Axel Pesek (FRA) and Uncle Sparky performed an incredible pattern #9. They had the crowd cheering, and rode to the gold medal thanks to their high score of 221.5. In the Junior team competition, the 16-year-old French rider’s performance secured the bronze medal for Team France.  Taking the silver medal with a 218.5 score was Matteo Bonzano (ITA) riding his High Point Reiner. The bronze went to Italy thanks to Gabriele Landi’s performance aboard Spirit Spanish. The duo closed with a 217.5 score. Once the curtain fell on the stage of the inaugural FEI World Reining Championship for Juniors and Young Riders, seven medals were held by Italy.

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