Thieme becomes 2021 Longines FEI Jumping European Champion

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NEWS | Jumping

With DPS Chakaria Andre Thieme won the Longines FEI Jumping European Championship 2021 in Riesenbeck, Germany. Silver went to Martin Fuchs and Leone Jei while bronze was for Peder Fredricson and Catch me Not S. 

The rider rose from being in silver position into the gold medal after the first two final rounds. Here, he fought against Martin Fuchs and Leone Jei while Sweden’s Olympic team gold and individual silver medallist at the Olympic Games, Peder Fredricson, took the bronze. 

The new champion was not holding back his excitement. At a press conference filled with laughter he claimed he was as much in love with his horse as he was with his wife. Martin Fuchs had teased him by calling Thieme “one of the happy ones!”.

Course designer Frank Rothenberger ensured drama and excitement would be part of the Longines FEI Jumping European Championship final. Fuchs started in the lead, but when Leone Jei hit the oxer after the water at fence nine, he opened a chance for his German rival who performed a clean round. 

An exciting jump-off

Only the top 12 then went for the second-round medal decider. Fuchs was lying fourth on a score of 5.31. Ioli Mytilineou and Levis de Muze from Greece were in third, Fredricson was in second just two points behind Thieme. 

Martin Fuchs lowered the first element of the triple combination, and it seemed as if his chances were gone. However, this same fence was problematic to other riders as Mytilineou and his stallion decided to retire after complications in this fence. 

Fredricson hit the second fence and Fuchs moved up into silver. Thieme however could not allow any mistakes and went all in at the triple combination. He kept his nerve and finished clean to the delight of his home crowd. 

Martin Fuchs and his horse had already won the team gold at the Longines FEI Jumping European Championship. 

Tributes were paid

During the press conference all riders unanimously agreed on the high level of the courses built by Frank Rothenberger. They described them as very intelligent although delicate, and admitted they required constant precision from the first to the last jump. 

All horse and rider combinations showed great sportsmanship throughout the tests, as is the case of the Greek talent Mytilineou. Show President Ludger Beerbaum paid tribute to Mytilineou when things did not go right for her. According to the Show President, the young rider made a mature decision when withdrawing.

“She showed us how a trusting relationship between a rider and a horse can make such difficult courses look easy. And the way her horse jumps, your heart starts smiling by watching it.” -Ludger Beerbaum. 

Fuchs was disappointed with the outcome but congratulated Thieme on his performance. The Swiss rider is still happy to take home two medals, one gold (team) and a silver (individual). Martin Fuchs was the defending 2019 champion. 

Speaking for all the riders, Martin Fuchs thanked Ludger Beerbaum and all who contributed to the organization of the event for the amazing job done. 

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Images from FEI

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