Laliscia Takes Individual Gold and Spain by Team at
Meydan FEI Endurance European Championship
A new generation of endurance stars took their place on the European stage at the 2019 Meydan FEI European Championship at Euston Park in Suffolk, England on Saturday, August 17.
Clear skies and moderate temperatures greeted the 63 riders representing 20 countries in the 160-km championship ride.
The individual gold went to Italy while Spain captured the individual silver and bronze.
The team standings were suspenseful until the end, with Spain, France, and Germany receiving gold, silver and bronze respectively.
Gold for Costanza...
Costanza Laliscia of Italy riding Sacha El Kandhaar, a 13-year old grey gelding owned by F3 Stables, won the individual gold medal. She draped her arms around her horse’s neck in a celebratory hug as it passed the final veterinary inspection.Costanza rose through the young rider ranks, and earned her top spot in the Meydan FEI Endurance European Championship.
“I am really emotional, it is incredible to be the individual European champion,” she said. “My horse was top notch from the first kilometer to the last. I want to thank my team, crew, and Italy for their support.”
Costanza was one of many young riders in the competition at 20-years old, but is no stranger to FEI endurance competition. Her father, Gianluza Laliscia, represented Italy in endurance as well, and won gold in 2004 at the World Equestrian Games (WEG). Costanza represented Italy ten years later at WEG in Normandy, and was the youngest endurance competitor in the event that year at 14-years old.
“A new generation coming through,” said Gianluca Laliscia after her gold medal finish.
Silver and Bronze
Paula Muntala Sanchez of Spain, riding T’aime De Coeur, was the silver medal winner. Gold and silver averaged 22 km/h on the course. T’aime De Coeur is a 12-year old chestnut gelding, owned by Jumas Team SL. At age 24, Paula was very happy completing her fist European Championship as a senior rider, and said her horse was strong throughout the event.
Paula Muntala Sanchez
Jaume Punti Dachs of Spain took the bronze medal with Echo Falls after Carolina Tavassoli Asli (*) of Italy, who led for the first five phases on Sequinte, was eliminated after the final veterinary inspection. Echo Falls is a 13-year old gelding also owned by Jumas Team SL.
Jaume Punti Dachs and Omar Blanco Rodrigo
Tactical Teamwork Leads to Medals
Spain was tactical throughout the Championships, riding as a team, and winning the team gold for the third European Championship in a row.
Omar Blanco Rodrigo finished fourth and Angel Soy Coll in fifth to secure the team gold medal. Riders used team strategy to work through the six phases of the event. Teams from the 20 countries represented were riding together much of the competition.
France and Belgium vied closely for the silver medal in a tense competition that was neck and neck throughout the day. The French rode together the entire competition, and the tactic was critical in winning the silver medal.
Riders used Team Strategy
Josephine Thomas, Nicholas Ballarin, and Roman LaFaure of France finished sixth, seventh and eighth. Louna Schuiten and Celine Just of Belgium followed them in ninth and tenth.
Ultimately, Germany took the bronze medal with riders finishing in 16th, 17th, and 18th after Belgium riders finished in 9th, and 10th with the other team members eliminated.
Tom MacGuinness of Ireland, the senior rider on course, was eleventh. Michaela Supekova, age 20, of Slovakia rode Girola De Quercus to a twelfth place finish after riding with the leaders for the first three loops.
Mother-daughter team of Rachael Atkinson and Kate Atkinson were on the team for Great Britain, finishing 23rdand 26th respectively. At 22-years old, Kate also has a bright future in endurance.
Competition was exciting from start to finish at the 2019 Meydan FEI Endurance European Championships as these talented horses and riders worked through the course. These horse and athlete combinations have a bright future as they demonstrated exceptional horsemanship, the bond between horse and rider, and amazing athleticism.
The Championship had a completion rate of 49% and the final riders came home in darkness to an appreciative crowd, some 14 hours 16 minutes after the 07:00 hrs start. A true feat of endurance!
Home nation Great Britain saw four out of five starters successfuly home and registered their first successful team finishes since 2010.
Nick Brooks-Ward, Event Director:“What an incredible day of sport! Euston Park was absolutely electric today with so many fans supporting the riders and teams and a competition that kept everyone guessing until the end. All horses came home safely and it was evident that their welfare was paramount to everyone involved. “
I am hugely grateful to all of the officials and stewards who worked so hard all day, and to the competitors and their teams who brought such a great spirit to this Championship.”
Manuel Bandeira de Mello, FEI Endurance Director:“It’s been a fantastic day of endurance riding and I have been delighted to see such a fair competition with excellent standards of horse-care and some very happy horses.”
*Carolina Tavassoli Asli was disqualified under FEI Endurance Rules (812) – minimum weight.
Text by Stacey Stearns / Photo credit: EustonParkEndurance and Martins Images