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Para Dressage Grade III Individual Champion

In a tense competition for the grade III Para Dressage Individual Championship Test, the scores were still changing the medal results right up until the penultimate rider.

Para Dressage Grade III Individual Champion
© PSV Photos

The gold medal was won by the current European individual champion, and leading rider throughout the grade III competition here at La Prairie racecourse, 51 year old German Team member Hannelore Brenner with her 19 year old mare Women Of The World. “It was a wonderful feeling to ride her in this test, it is beautiful to ride such a horse,” Hannelore said, “Most of the time I have parts I would like to improve, but today I am completely satisfied with us both and will just have to see what the other riders do now.”

Hannelore, a spinal injury sufferer, showed perfect harmony with her Hannoverian mare throughout the test but confessed that due to the age of Women Of The World, this may be the last championships that they contest. “This competition gave me a special feeling because she is now 19 years old,” she said, “so I am very emotional about our results right now, more so than in other years.”

Retaining her overnight silver medal position was 28 year old Dutch rider Sanne Voets on board her 12 year old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Vedet PB N.O.P. “A silver medal means a lot,” she said, and it was so nearly gold as she finished less than half a percent behind the leader, “In Herning [European Championships] I won a silver in the same test but the difference between mine and Hannelore’s scores was quite big, but we are getting closer every time so it will be exciting for the Freestlye.”

Sanne was happy with her tests over the two days of competition but feels she has elements to improve on for the Freestyle, “I was happy [in the last test] but today was even better,” she remarked, “maybe the extensions in the trot were not as good but the silhouette of the horse and his energy was really great.” The pair exuded confidence as they rode the test, “He says with his body language that he’s the best and everybody is here for him,” Sanne said, “and this gives me confidence when he is like this. He really is my special friend and I couldn’t ask for more.”

Climbing up the leader board from fourth at the half way stage to claim the bronze medal was Denmark’s Susanne Jensby Sunesen riding her 16 year old Danish Warmblood mare, Thy’s Que Faire. Susanne, a spinal chord injury sufferer, was elated with her move up the results table, “I am pleased, this was better than last time,” she said, “I had her more with me in the arena and we got to show some of the things we are good at but we just had two little mistakes.” Susanne is looking forward to contesting the Freestyle on Friday, “I am starting to enjoy it here now I am relaxed!” she smiled, “The music has a lot of power in it and I love the song so I cannot wait.”

The third placed rider at the half way point, Annika Lykke Risum, dropped to fifth after some costly mistakes in her Individual Championship Test which propelled Susanne onto the podium and allowed Canada’s Roberta Sheffield to move up one place into fourth. The home nation, France, did not manage to qualify either of their grade III riders for the Freestyle test at the end of the week.

Individual Championship Test Scores

  1. Hannelore Brenner (GER) – 73.610%
  2. Sanne Voets (NED) – 73.146%
  3. Susanne Jensby Sunesen (DEN) – 71.976%

CLICK HERE for the full Individual Championship Test results.

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