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European Championships 2021
Aug 25, 2021

European Championships 2021 - Final press release/Ramona Billing

FEQHA European Championship 2021:

310 Horses from all over Europe and 4,268 Entries

"Something Special" – that’s what the FEQHA European Championship of American Quarter Horses habe been, but this year especially so. Corona & Co. presented considerable challenges to all involved, especially FEQHA Vice President Markus Müller. He had taken over the organization of the European Championship for the first time. "Because of Corona, we had very little time for preparation," said Müller. "Under these circumstances, it was only possible with a very experienced team. I had the ideal partners for this in Renate Gruber and Rainer Maierhofer. Nevertheless, the effort was considerable, because there were only three of us involved in the entire planning. Corona restrictions made things even more difficult. But in the end, everything worked out amazingly well. If a problem arose somewhere, we always found a solution somehow, simply because we wanted to and wanted to be there for the participants."

4268 Entries and 310 Horses

The enthusiasm and joy of finally being able to show one's horses on a large stage again could be felt everywhere at this show. 310 American Quarter Horses from all over Europe were entered for this European Championship. Alone in the Level 1 classes with two judges (Vreni Schmid, SUI and Cedric Leroux, BEL) there were 1000 entries, in the 4 AQHA shows another 3268 entries. A considerable number, which unfortunately also extended the schedule further than planned. But also here the team around Markus Müller found a solution: A fifth judge had to be found! This was Helga Hommel, who spontaneously agreed and made her way to Kreuth together with her husband.

Big Trail and Western Riding Classes – superb American Quarter Horses

Especially the disciplines Trail and Western Riding were in great demand at this European Championship. Where else in this country can you find a Green Trail with 60 and a Senior Trail with 50 horses, or a Green Western Riding with 43? But also the Western Pleasure and Hunter classes as well as the Showmanship were in high demand - and even higher in quality! What outstanding horses these were!!! Markus Müller also had to admit that the quality of the horses had once again increased considerably. For example, there were even scores of 80 in the Trail. Gold in the Senior Trail was claimed by Sabine Lohninger from Austria aboard Lope For The Blues (they also won the Covid Trail), in the Junior Trail by Nina Drangmeister aboard Black N Silver Only, in Trail Amateur by Mirja Bassing aboard Only Guns N Roses and in Youth by Alexandra Mascher and KH Corona Kid.

With all the many outstanding sporting achievements, not all can be mentioned here. Therefore, only a few are mentioned as representatives. For example, Austrian rider Christina Gruber managed to win gold twice, demonstrating her versatility: in Senior Reining Open with Thomas Blechinger’s 9-year-old mare MS Sesolita Fury and in Junior Western Riding Open aboard Laura Kraak’s 4-year-old gelding Jet Settin Moonlite. For Christina Gruber, who already rode very successfully for Austria as a youth rider, this was not the first European Championship success - just think of her gold ride with Grizzoom at the 2018 European Championships. Christina, who worked for Karin Prevedel for a long time, is currently working as an independent trainer in Rohr / Freystadt and will move to a newly built facility in Austria next year.

There were a total of four medals in the Amateur Select classes for Pia Schorno and her 10-year-old QH mare A Good Sunset: the two won gold in Trail, silver in Horsemanship and two bronze medals in Western Pleasure and Showmanship.

High Quality in Halter Classes

The Halter classes were well attended and with outstanding horses. Rojo Solo Cup won two gold medals: the 2011 red roan stallion (Born To Be Blazin x Such Good Potential), owned by Philipp Roos, became European Champion Stallions 3 and over (presented by Alexandra Jagfeld) and with his owner European Champion Amateur Halter. In addition, the two took gold in Western Pleasure Select Amateur.

Also for the Kaiser family the way to Kreuth was worthwhile: in the Halter Shows Marko Kaiser won four gold medals with his horses: with Move Over Darling (Classically x Malibukini) he won the Ages Mares Amateur as well as the Open and with My Secret Luv the 2-year-old Mares Amateur and Open. His wife Judith claimed the European Championship Stallions 2 & under Open with her Xcuse My French.

The largest Halter class was the Geldings 3 & over Amateur with 15 horses. European Champion was the 5-year-old bay Iota Wisely Invested (Investing Wisely x Iota Be An Asset), shown by his owner Katharina Schulze. The gelding was bred by multiple DQHA Leading Breeder Horst Müller.

4 European Championship Titles in Longe Line and Trail in Hand

A novelty at this European Championship were the young horse classes Longe Line and Trail in Hand, each for 2 and 3 year old horses. These classes will not become official AQHA classes until 2022. But the FEQHA had anticipated the development and already awarded four European Championship titles this year.

NSBA Futurity and FEQHA Youth Team Cup

Also the NSBA held its Western Pleasure and Hunter Futurity again in the context of the European Championship and shone with strong and remarkable classes. Another highlight was the FEQHA European Team Cup. The Amateur Cup was unfortunately cancelled due to lack of participation, but there were four strong youth teams. In the Youth Team Cup, Germany (with five participants) claimed the title with 211 points with Italy following on second place with 172 points. Switzerland came in a close third (171). Both nations had four participants each at the start. The Dutch, who had only three participants instead of the allowed five, came in fourth with 62 points. In a very emotional award ceremony, which (like all award ceremonies) was personally conducted by Markus Müller and FEQHA Treasurer Stephan Göb as well as FEQHA President Andrew Dren, the successful youths were celebrated.

AQHA with service personally on site

The American Quarter Horse Association was again personally on site (AQHA Director of International Activities Sierra Kane and AQHA Manager of Multilingual Resources and Communication Ashley Baller) and provided special service, which was actively used by the members.

All European Champions and more: