Eyes are set in Eventing as the competition turns to Avenches in Switzerland for the FEI Eventing European Championships 2021 where Klimke will try to set a new record by winning the individual title three times in a row.
This is the third time the event is hosted in Switzerland since the Championships were first staged in Badminton (GBR) in 1953. Only two more riders have won the Individual title three times in succession: Great Britain’s Ginny Elliott in 1985, 1987 and 1989 and Michael Jung in 2011, 2013 and 2015.
Ingrid Klimke stood on the podium for the first time in Strzegom (Poland) in 2017. Then, the eventing rider achieved victory at Luhmuehlen, Germany. Now she seeks her triple victory in Avenches. She is currently the defending Team and Individual champion and will be competing with the same horse that gave her the double Individual victory - SAP Hale Bob.
The 17-year-old gelding has an extraordinary career including the European team gold at Blair Castle (GBR) in 2015 as well as the Olympic team silver in the 2016 Rio Olympics. This will be an awaited victory for the pair after the rider suffered a nasty fall from her mare Cascamara and had to cancel her attendance to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Standing in her way, Great Britain has a fantastic record at these Championships. They won 18 individual gold medals and 22 team victories. This adds up to 40 gold medals claimed by British riders during the 68-year history of this event.
The reigning world champions are also British: Ros Canter and Allstar B claimed the double-gold at the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018 in Tryon. Recently she finished second in the CCI4-L* at Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials.
Overall, there will be 13 nations competing for the Teams category while Denmark, Finland, Lithuania and Poland add to the list for the Individuals. The Swedish will be led by 2012 Olympic Individual silver medallist Sarah Algotsson Ostholt, while the Swiss squad have been receiving the expertise of the Olympic champion and five-time Burghley winner, Andrew Nicholson.
We ride into competition in Avenches, the former capital of Roman Helvetia. Considered one of the most beautiful villages in Switzerland, it drives the attention of the international equestrian community.
Today horses will undergo their inspection followed by Dressage on Thursday and Friday. Cross-country will take place on Saturday and the final show jumping Grand Prix on Sunday.