Bologna, September 18, 2023 – The iconic ‘Piazza di Siena Arena’ at the Centro Militare in Montelibretti was the perfect frame today for the decisive jumping test of the FEI Eventing J/YR European Championship that gave rise to an exciting atmosphere, rich in concentration and rewarded with the large audience appreciation.
There’s no doubt that the teams that won medals have more reasons to celebrate, but in Montelibretti what really won was the sport and the passion for horses that united all 123 participants representing 19 flags.
Aside the joy for hosting the continental event, for Italy today will be unforgettable, with the gold medal won by the Young Riders Team, the first ever in this category, and the individual silver on the neck of junior Leopoldo Petrini.
In the history of the European Youth Eventing Championships, Italy thus rises to 48 medals won!
Exciting and uncertain until the very last jump. The Young Riders’ challenging show jumping course – only one clear – was quite thrilling, with continuous changes in the leading positions both as a team and as individuals.
In the team competition, Italy finally prevailed over its rivals, winning a historic gold medal (122.60). Italian Army Corporal Major Matteo Orlandi with Quality in Time (4th place individually; 37.80), Camilla Luciani on Athina Quandolyn (8th; 42.30), Edoardo Fortini on Cooley Showtime (9th; 42.50) and Pasquale Migliaccio on Myvatn de Remella (24th; 55.30) are the four brilliant eventers who made Italy great today.
Ireland, silver medallist (123.30) and Germany, bronze (125.20) completed the podium.
The individual European YR Champion title just landed in France thanks to Charlotte Bordas on Firewall des Aucels Z. The pair performed the only clear round today and was also the only one to finish on the dressage score (28.60).
Silver to Germany’s Kaya Thomsen with Cool Charly Blue (33.90) and bronze to Ireland’s Alannah Kellyriding Cooley Bounce (37.70). Ireland’s double medal mitigates some of the bitterness caused by the withdrawal of Comte Ligniere Z, Chloe Fagan’s partner, after the pair had been leading provisional ranking after the cross-country.
As it happened in 2021, Germany double-topped the competition, scoring both individual and team gold medal.
The star among the juniors was Smilla Maline Philipp (23.50). She confirmed the first position she had achieved after the dressage test and deservedly retained it yesterday after the cross-country. Completely at ease in the show jumping test as well, she rode the experienced 15-year-old Sir Boggles in a fine clear round, taking individual gold, but also contributing to Germany’s team title. Smilla Maline Philipp left the jumping arena with the first medals of her career.
Clear round also for the other riders on the podium: Italian Leopoldo Petrini on Emerald Jonny (24.80) took the silver medal while French Jeanne Brunel on Dexter (24.90) had the bronze one.
Smilla Maline Philipp, Leopoldo Petrini and Jeanne Brunel were among the 19 pairs who reached the end of the competition with the only points collected in the dressage test.
Behind Germany (81.30), Great Britain (81.70) and France (88.60) placed second and third respectively on the team podium.
Smilla shines in Gold
Gold among continental junior eventers: what an achievement for Smilla Maline Philipp! The 16-year-old from Elsdorf, riding Sir Boggles, a 15-year-old dark bay German, took part in her first European Championships last year in Hartpury, where she came first in the dressage test, just as she did this time in Montelibretti. But there is a huge difference between the two championships: at Hartpury, Smilla finished only ninth, whereas this time she hit the top goal: «In these days, during the competition, I can’t remember not even a moment of worry but only a lot of joy. Sir Boggles was fantastic. His experience (the horse had previously been ridden by Peter Thomsen, one of the big names in the discipline in Germany – ed) was very precious. I still can’t believe I left the prize-giving ceremony with a double lap of honour and two gold medals around my neck. I’s a dream» she said visibly moved as she dismounted from the saddle. Her parents and the entire German team that won the team competition were all there to embrace her. «I go back to Germany and to school really happy».
Smilla, 17 in October, would like to pursue her sports career in the future and also dreams of becoming a teacher.
Charlotte Bordas, more than a promise for Team France
Charlotte Bordas is in her third participation in a European eventing championship. As a junior at the 2021 European Championships in Sweden, she distinguished herself by taking tenth place with As Boy de Kappa, the same horse with which she participated in her first under-21 championship last year. Charlotte lives near Saumur, the temple of the École nationale d’équitation, where she was invited by the French Federation as an athlete of federal interest to participate in a two-year training course. She currently trains with french champion Thomas Carlile.
« knew I could strive for a good result with Firewall des Aucels Z. He is a Belgian horse of great quality and we’ve been working together for three years now, but only during this last season he has been ready for commitments at this level. He is not an easy horse and it took some time to find the feeling that led us to this result. He has enormous potential in show jumping and this, as today’s competition showed, is a big plus point for an eventing horse. But he has also become very competitive in dressage and cross-country».
Major events organized by Centro Militare di Equitazione in Montelibretti:
2023 / 2016 – FEI Eventing European Championship for Juniors and Young Riders
2023 / 2020 / 2014 / 2013 / 2012 – FEI Eventing Nations Cup
Germany 2 Gold; 1 Silver; 1 Bronze
Italy 1 Gold; 1 Silver
France 1 Gold; 2 Bronze
Great Britain 1 Silver
Oreland 1 Silver; 1 Bronze
ALL THE NUMBERS OF 2023 CHAMPIONSHIPS
- 123 athletes competing
- 19 nations represented
- 94 women competing
- 18 horses 15 years old and more competing
- 2 horses born in 2004 (Space Jet, ridden by Leonie Sagner AUT; Hakunamatata 9 ridden by Wynja Eriksdotter Rubin SWE)
- 1 horse born in 2017 (Magnolia Double Diamond, ridden by Anna Balcarova CZE)
- 75 athletes representing 19 nations
- 12 nations competing with a team
- 60 clear rounds in time in the cross-country test
- 19 pairs finished their competition whit the same negative points scored in the dressage test
- 48 athletes representing 10 nations
- 8 nations competing with a team
- 17 clear rounds in time in cross-country
- Only one pair finished its competition whit the same negative points scored in the dressage test