Lucy Amy top 14 on final day of FEI U25 European Championships
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British U25 rider Lucy Amy and her long-time ride, Rudy, performed brilliantly in today’s U25 Grand Prix Freestyle at the FEI U25 European Championships in Pilisjászfalu, near Budapest in Hungary. The duo had already produced a super result in the U25 GP to qualify for the final stage of the Championships, where today they achieved 14th place amongst Europe’s elite.
British riders have achieved promising results this week, in both the U25 and Children on Horses divisions. Following two days of hard-fought Grand Prix 16-25 competition, when a set of Individual FEI medals was awarded and Lucy placed inside the top 18 to qualify for the final stage of the championships, this morning all eyes were on the U25 Grand Prix Freestyle at the Unikoris Lovarda venue.
The first combination down the centre line was the home nation’s Benedek Pachl and the eight-year-old mare Hexagon’s Joella who set the early standard at 70.505%, later surpassed by the Netherlands’ Febe van Zwambagt and the nine-year-old For Compliment son Fernandell MS on 71.660%.
Great Britain’s Lucy Amy followed with her partner of eleven years, the 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding Rudy. Already with an Inter II PB in the bank earlier this week and a strong U25 Grand Prix to qualify for today, Lucy and Rudy (pictured) rounded off their week with a beautifully presented, enjoyable freestyle earning just shy of 71% from the panel of Christof Umbach (LUX) at E, Thomas Lang (AUT) at H, Ulrike Nivelle (GER) at C, Hans Voser (SUI) at M and Orsolya Hillier (HUN) at B, putting them into provisional second place.
An expressive performance, set to a collection of uplifting Queen hits, was brimming with highlights from the first halt to the final centre line, “I was really pleased with the passage today, and our one-tempis and half passes were really good,” commented Lucy. “I had a bit of a mistake in one of the pirouettes, and also in the two-tempis, but he felt amazing. He’s a lovely horse to ride and he always tries for you.
“He was better today than in the Grand Prix yesterday,” she continued. “He went really well and managed to keep good energy today after a long week. It was a very good way to end the Championships and my last year in U25s. I’m really really happy.”
As Lucy reports, Rudy coped admirably with the blistering weather conditions that affected the region all week. “I knew it was going to be hot here,” she explained. “Luckily, it’s been crazy hot in England too, so back home I rode him in the heat of the day, rather than early morning, to help him acclimatise. Also he has a nice easy warm-up routine with a lot of stretching, which certainly helps as it doesn’t over-exert him.”
About the duo’s Queen compilation, produced by Lucy herself, she says, “It’s good fun, upbeat and nice to listen to. I did it myself, which is quite useful as I do like to make changes to it when necessary.”
Germany’s Raphael Netz proved unassailable all week, adding the U25 Freestyle gold medal to the Team and Individual gold already hanging around his neck. His partnership with Ferdinand BB may only be months old – the European Championships being only their second international appearance together – but already they’re an incredible team.
Raphael navigated the 13-year-old Hanoverian son of Florencio 2 through an intricate programme, very aptly featuring Hungarian Dance No. 5, amongst other fitting pieces, that perfectly matched the horse’s elegance and elasticity. A big smile from the young man from Germany and a punch of the air preceded the announcement of 79.435%, which ultimately proved untouchable.
Spain’s Alejandro Oliva Lazaro and Décor rode a fabulous programme set to a Tina Turner medley. Already with the Individual silver under the Spaniard's belt, today he pulled out all the stops. Super piaffe and double pirouettes, canter half pass left into piaffe into canter half pass right, one-tempis into a pirouette - all executed with precision and ease, and blemished only by a mistake in the two-tempis on a circle. A fantastic new PB of 78.345% sealed them their second individual silver of the week.
Thea Bech and the 14-year-old Dutch gelding Dionisos, the final combination down the centre line, took the Freestyle bronze medal for Denmark with a confident, upbeat and energetic performance that earned a new PB score of 76.670%.
With all scores in, it was confirmed that Lucy Amy and Rudy had moved up the leader board from 16th in the U25 Grand Prix to 14th in the Freestyle amongst Europe’s best – a tremendous achievement and a fitting way to complete their successful U25 career.
“It’s been a fantastic week, and I’d like thank Caroline Griffith (Chef d’Equipe). It’s been amazing to have Caroline here, and also our team vet Alice Croxford,” concluded Lucy, who trains with Gareth Hughes and whose next stop, after returning home to the UK and a well-deserved rest for Rudy, will be the Grand Prix at next month’s LeMieux National Championships at Somerford Park.
GOLD - Raphael Netz and Ferdinand BB, 79.435% (GER)
SILVER - Alejandro Oliva Lazaro and Décor, 78.345% (ESP)
BRONZE - Thea Bech and Dionisos, 76.670% (DEN)
4. Laura Kristine Thorup and Blue Hors Veneziano, 75.355% (DEN)
5. Jessica Poelman and Chocolate Cookie RDP, 74.595% (NED)
6. Thalia Rockx and Verdi de la Fazenda, 74.130% (NED)
7. Karoline Rohmann and Jakas Don Louvre, 74.020% (DEN)
8. Jazmin Yom Tov and For Joy 37, 73.955% (HUN)
9. Nico Nyssen and Farrington, 73.715% (BEL)
10. Alexa Westendarp and Four Seasons FRH, 73.685% (GER)
11. Alina Schrader and Paola OLD, 73.170% (GER)
12. Febe van Zwambagt and Fernandell MS, 71.660% (NED)
13. Adrian Roldan Narvaez and Floyd, 71.650% (ESP)
14. Lucy Amy and Rudy, 70.865% (GBR)
15. Benedek Pachl and Hexagon’s Joella, 70.505% (HUN)
16. Evelina Söderström and Cilantro, 69.195% (SWE)
17. Lauranne Lammens and Hilcara van het Vijverbos, 69.145% (BEL)
18. Laura Luyten and J2L Lamborghini, 67.975% (BEL)
Photo © Łukasz Kowalski