2014 NRHA European Affiliate Championship
9-13 July, Le Pin, France
By Simona Diale (NRHA European Affiliate Championship) - The first day of the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) European Affiliate Championship (EAC) opened with the Rookie Professional and closed with the Snaffle Bit Non Pro and Snaffle Bit Open classes.
25-year-old Jolien Rottiers of Beglium won the Rookie Professional with a score of 138.5. Jolien, assistant trainer for Mathias Gobert (who trains for Koen Brutsaert) showed for the first time in the EAC. It is also her first time showing in France. Her mount, Lil Ruf Wimpy, is a 6-year-old who she has been showing for the past two years. “This place is just super!” she commented following her win. “Since I was pretty nervous before going in, I really did not think I would place first. I now look forward to showing my horse in the EAC Rookie Professional finals.”
Winning the NRHA Youth 13 & Under was Belgian Nimroid Vannietvelt who scored a 140 with Slide N Spook between the reins. Nimroid also so tied for second place riding Toosexy For Ricochet along with Jinke Stevens riding Don John Escapes BB. They both scored a 139.
In the Youth 14-18, two riders tied for first place: Giomani Puts and Gilles Hughe. Both posted a 140 riding Color Me Cuervo and Docs Lil Gun respectively.
The Youth riders are looking forward to riding for the European Affiliate Championship titles and for the Youth Competition!
CRI***: The Podium is for France!
The last qualifying French CRI*** prior to the Alltech World Equestrian Games took place yesterday afternoon. 17 riders representing 6 nations (Belgium, France, Great Britain, Morocco, Sweden and The Netherlands) took part in the FEI competition.
Taking first place honors, with a 216, was French rider Romuald Poard riding Peppys Ruf Sailor. Quentin Gallière, also from France, posted the same score riding BH Most Wanted, but did not want to run-off and gave up the championship to Poard. Sliding to the third step of the podium, with a score of 215, was Grégory Legrand of France riding BHB Mr Wimpys Royal.
Guy Duponchel, coach for Team France, said, “I am happy with how this last CRI went. We had a really productive meeting yesterday evening where we decided what each rider’s goal was in this last competition before the Games. The vast majority of the French riders is qualified and today we also saw some great runs. Keeping the team spirit high is a reason to be happy because it’s important for how things will work out in the future. I will send out the long list before July 22 with all the qualified horse-rider combinations, just in case anything happens to one of them. The short list will be out by August 14.”
Snaffle Bit Non Pro
Piet Mestdagh & Sheza Spook Lil Step
For Piet Mestdagh of Belgium winning the Snaffle-Bit Futurity, open to 3-, 4- and 5-year-old horses, was twice as sweet. “We bred this mare ourselves and winning with a ‘home-made’ product is always special,” he said. “I showed her at the French Futurity last year, where I won the non pro division. Quentin (Galliere), my trainer, was reserve champion open at the same show.” Sheza Spook Lil Step is a 4-year-old mare by Spooks Gotta Gun and out of ND Jazzy Step On It (by Wimpys Little Step).
Following their win, Piet and Quentin decided that she would take a well deserved rest – a rest which lasted until two weeks ago when the talented horse was back in training. “Showing her here was not in the plans but Quentin insisted that I should show her, especially since her spins are now a lot better that they were last year. He was right to convince me!”
Plans for this horse now include the 4-year-old Beglian, German and French futurities. Plans for Piet at the European Affiliate Championship include showing his WEG qualified Spat Man O War and BH Most Wanted.
Snaffle Bit Open
Sigfried Weber & CDs Ruby Shines
Taking home the win in the Snaffle Bit Open Futurity, open to 3-year-old horses, was Sigfried Weber riding CDs Ruby Shines for owner Laurent Deniel. The pair scored a 212.
“I am really happy with the way she showed today,” said Sigfried who broke and trainer the mare himself. “We came here as we wanted to see how she would be without putting any pressure on her. We couldn’t be any happier, she just cruised through the pattern and she acted exactly how I expected. She has always been quiet and easy to train, and once again proved how good she is today.”
Owner and breeder of this horse by RS Rambolena and out of Rs Bonnie Jac (by Mcjac Flash), couldn’t be any happier. “ This is an incredible horse. She’s good minded, quiet, very strong and always gives you what she has. Winning with a horse bred at home is always special. We now look forward to showing her at Equità Lyon and maybe at the Belgian Futurity.”
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For further information, visit the NRHA of France official website (www.nrha.fr) and the official Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/events/1416009135312994/?fref=ts).
Photos courtesy of Greg Niro