By Louise Parkes
Italian riders claimed three of the four titles on offer at the FEI European Reining Championships for Juniors and Young Riders 2013 at Manerbio, Italy last weekend. Only Germany’s Gina Maria Schumacher managed to break the host nation’s stranglehold when clinching the Junior Individual title. Italy swept to gold in both the Junior and Young Rider team events before Giovanni Masi de Vargas and Manuel Cortesi claimed Young Riders Individual gold and silver.
For Italian team coach, Filippo Masi de Vargas, it was nothing short of a triumph. “All the athletes were simply great. I am really tired but very, very proud of them all!” he said as the event drew to a close.
The Team medals were the first to be awarded and the Juniors were first onto the podium. Enrico Sciulli riding Gunner King scored 217.5, Linda Rebecca Martinelli and Playgirl On the Rocks scored 212.0, Maddalena Esti and Rickashay Ray scored 208.0 and Carlo Ambrosini and Kachina Tag posted 213.0 to close the winning Italian tally at 642.5 for gold.
The Dutch side of Miranda Kant (Its Dun Time), Giomani Puts (Color Me Cuervo), Zen de Witt (Great Kid Whiz) and Alissa Leloux (Little Smart Jameen) racked up a finishing total of 617.5 for silver. And bronze went to Great Britain’s three-member side of Tabitha Sternberg Allen (Yelena My Way), Fiona Howard (Spookanic) and Isobel la Pla (Wimpys Little Gal) with a total mark of 599.5.
And when the Italian Young Riders team pipped Germany for Young Riders Team gold, the temperature just kept rising. Manuel Cortesi and The Slide Surprise scored 216.0, Lara Lorengo and Boemil Twin Robotop posted 215.5, Giovanni Masi de Vargas and Remins Remedy scored 215.0 and Martina Roasio and West Coast Oakie put 207.5 on the board for a team total of 646.5 which left them almost 20 points clear of their German rivals.
The German scores were 212.5 for Nicole Nuerner (Pepto Sugar Time), 208.0 for Franziska Zschau (Shes Lil Dunit), and 206.5 for Fabienne Kraemer (Hot Chic Dream) while Jennifer Luhmer (Peppys Lil Dreamer) registered a zero, for a team total of 627.0.
Bronze went to the three-strong Austrian team with 623.0. Anna Lisec (Whizable) posted 211.0, Alexander Nestelberger (Shining Step) posted 207.5 and Julia Gaupmann (Cody Rooster Delmaso) posted 204.5. The Dutch finished outside the medal placings when putting 599.5 on the scoreboard.
The golden double was all the more pleasing for the Italian coach, as his team had to settle for silver at the FEI European Reining Championships for Seniors at Augsburg, Germany just a few short weeks ago. However it was the result of his Junior side that particularly impressed him last weekend.
“I am really happy and very pleasantly surprised with the Junior Team” he said. “This is their first major FEI event and they all took the pressure and reacted in a very professional manner, both out and in the show arena.” He also praised his Young Rider side - “I am just as proud of the Young Riders who all did a great job. We are now very much looking forward to the Individual competition, and I know all my athletes, who have worked so hard, will once again fight for the gold”, Masi de Vargas added.
It wouldn’t be all plain sailing for the Individual medals however as, from a starting field of 20 riders, it was Germany’s Gina Maria Schumacher who topped the Junior podium after posting 214.5 with Gunners Enterprise. “As always, my horse was great and I am very proud to have been able to take the individual gold medal for Germany” Schumacher said. Silver went to The Netherlands’ Zoey Kant with Its Dun Time - her second silver as she was also a member of the Junior silver medal winning team.
Italy was back on the podium when Enrico Sciulli steered The Gunner King into bronze medal spot with a score of 212.5. “Once again my horse was there all the way for me. Maybe I could have done better in the left circles, but his stops were great!” said the rider who was experiencing his very first FEI competition. No mean feat then to be taking home two medals on his debut - European Team gold and Individual bronze.
A total of 15 horse-and-rider combinations contested the Young Riders Individual title and it was Italy’s Giovanni (Dido) Masi de Vargas who clinched it with the best ride from Remins Remedy for a score of 218.5. “I still can’t believe it!” he said afterwards. “Winning two gold medals - in the team and individual competition -is something that doesn’t happen every day! In the pen my horse was perfect, and I am really happy to have been able to show this great horse to the best of his ability today” he added.
Fellow-Italian, Manuel Cortesi, was thrilled to take the silver with The Slide Surprise who posted 216.5. “Showing today felt like going back to the days when I was really small and first started showing - I was so emotional! My mare always gives me her best and lady luck was on our side. I knew that we couldn’t beat Dido’s score, but I did my best” Cortesi said.
It took a run-off to determine the destination of the bronze medal when both Anna Lisec of Austria, riding Whizable, and Italy’s Lara Lorengo, riding Boemil Twin Robotop, closed their run with a score of 215.5. Lisec came back to score 216 at her second attempt to clinch it. “At last, the first FEI medal has come to Austria!” she said, after clinching her second bronze medal of the weekend.
FEI European Junior Team Reining Championship: GOLD - Italy 642.5: The Gunner King (Enrico Sciulli) 217.5, Playgirl on the Rocks (Linda Rebecca Martinelli) 212.0, Rickashay Ray (Maddelena Esti) 208.0, Kachina Tag (Carlo Ambrosini) 213.0; SILVER - Netherlands 617.5: Its Dun Time (Miranda Kant) 208.0, Color Me Cuervo (Giomani Puts) 20.5, Great Kid Whiz (Zen de Witt) 202.0, Little Smart Jameen (Alissa Leloux) 197.5; BRONZE - Great Britain 599.5: Yelena My Way (Tabitha Sternberg Allen) 206.0, Spookanic (Fiona Howard) 199.0, Wimpys Little Gal (Isobel La Pla) 194.5.
FEI European Junior Individual Reining Championship: GOLD - Gunners Enterprise (Gina Maria Schumacher) GER 214.5; SILVER - Dun Time (Zoey Kant) NED 213; BRONZE - The Gunner King (Enrico Sciulli) ITA 212.5.
FEI European Young Riders Team Reining Championship: GOLD - Italy 646.5: The Slide Surprise (Manuel Cortesi) 216, West Coast Oakie (Martina Roasio) 207.5, Boemil Twin Robotop (Lara Lorengo) 215.5, Remins Remedy (Giovanni Masi de Vargas) 215; SILVER - Germany 627.0: Pepto Sugar Time (Nicole Heubner) 212.5, She’s Lil Dunit (Franziska Zschau) 208.0, Hot Chic Dream (Fabienne Kraemer) 206.5, Peppys Lil Dreamer (Jennifer Luhmer) 0; BRONZE - Austria 623: Whizable (Anna Lisec) 211.0, Shining Step (Alexander Nestelberger) 207.5, Cody Rooster Delmaso (Julia Gaupmann) 204.5.
FEI European Young Riders Individual Reining Championship: GOLD - Remins Remedy (Giovanni Masi de Vargas) ITA 218.5; SILVER - The Slide Surprise (Manuel Cortesi) ITA 215.6; BRONZE - Whizable (Anna Lisec) AUT 216.
The Italian team of Enrico Sciulli, Linda Rebecca Martinelli, Maddalena Esti and Carlo Ambrosini claimed the Junior Team title at the FEI European Reining Championships for Juniors and Young Riders 2013 in Manerbio, Italy. Photo: FEI/Andrea Bonaga.