Kristian Roberts is for us at the Europeans, where he collected impressions from the first day. What you will need today are the starting lists & the livestream link (here & here). At ten a’clock Austria will open the championships followed by the squad of Switzerland.
You could feel the excitement in the air today; the vaulting segment of the 2015 FEI European Championships is about to begin! Many of the vaulters arrived this morning for the vet check which went very well for all the horses. I met up with a few of them including Thomas Brusewitz and Francesco Bortoletto who both expressed their enthusiasm for competing in the Deutsche Bank Stadion where the 2006 World Equestrian Games were held. “I feel really fit and the championships are in Germany, It is great!” said Brusewitz this afternoon. The vaulters went into the stadium in aproximately ten minute increments for their practices. Some did routine run-throughs, others vaulted more for the horse if it was a bit nervous. The training seemed to go well, the horses adjusted to the large open stadium and most were calm. A few vaulters also trained in the Albert Hall where the CHIO competition is normally held for vaulting.
Besides the start of vaulting, jumping was the highlight of the day with the Prize of Turkish Airlines jumping competition. The horses were fast, the jumps were high and the competition was fierce! Nintyfour riders and horses took on this tough course in a bid to win the first prize of 1,000,000 Turkish Airlines miles, as well as prize money. The French rose to the challenge with Penelope Leprevost and her horse Flora de Mariposa taking first place with a time of 67.67 secs and zero penalties! Just 1.5 seconds behind her was Ludger Beerbaum of Germany and his horse Chiara 222 running a clear 69.17. Taking the bronze today was Joe Clee of Great Britain and Utamaro d’Ecaussines, the pair running an unbelievably close 69.67 just 2 seconds behind first place!