International flavour to online horse show

The German Horse Center Challenge 2012 awarded virtual ribbons to the winners.
The German Horse Center Challenge 2012 awarded virtual ribbons to the winners.

A virtual dressage and jumping competition with 75 riders from nine countries has concluded, with organisers declaring the initiative a resounding success.

The German Horse Center Challenge 2012 on Facebook enabled riders to receive feedback from top trainers and world-class riders, and virtual ribbons were also awarded.

Riders from Canada, New Zealand, Greece, Brazil, the Czech Republic, USA, Belgium, Denmark as well as a large number from Germany took part.

The showjumping tests were judged by Reitmeister FN and 1988 Olympic bronze medalist Karsten Huck, and double Pferdewirtschaftsmeister Franz Schulze Schleithoff, while the dressage tests were judged by World Cup rider Helen Langehanenberg, and Pferdewirtschaftsmeister Sebastian Langehanenberg. Pferdewirtschaftsmeister is the highest level of training in Germany.

The judges made a big effort to do justice to every rider. One of the challenges was that a video sometimes does not show as much as a live performance, especially as not every rider starts under the same condition.

“The idea of connecting riders throughout the world with a joint event via the internet has worked out fantastically. It was interesting to see the same test was ridden on grass in New Zealand, on dry soil on Rhodes or with tropical birds twittering in Brazil,” said Tanja Uredat, managing director of German Horse Center.

“The many event onlookers proved that it was not only us who were fascinated: 18,000 new Facebook fans were connected to German Horse Center during the event.

Judges Helen and Sebastian Langehanenberg said the riders made a tremendous effort. “Of course this kind of online event does not substitute for a real competition but it certainly makes a good chance as a training check before the competition season gets under way or in countries with not so many riding competitions within a reachable distance.”

Karsten Huck said: “The most important thing is that corrections and tips are valuable to the participants and in this way everyone was able to get feedback from an outside expert.”

His jury colleague Franz Schulze Schleithoff added: “It was very exciting to see videos from various countries and to recognize that overseas’ riding standards are improving considerably and people ride very well throughout the whole world.”

Janina Cöllen, Germany, who entered the preliminary and medium dressage tests, said the online competition was a great chance, without investing too much effort, to check her horse’s performance level as well as her own.

“The jury was very well selected and the comments were very professional, comprehensible and especially very practically orientated and based on classical schooling. It was good fun to get an insight into other rider’s training in different countries via video. I think it is a great idea which should most definitely be pursued,” Cöllen said.

Videos from participants and comments from judges are here.


Preliminary Dressage Test
Rank 1: Lisa Schmid, Germany with Donington, Score: 8.1
Rank 2: Sandie Gray Gaines-Beddard, United States with Flairance, Score: 7.9
Rank 3: Friederike Martin, Germany with Donna Felicia, Score: 7.7
Medium Dressage Test
Rank 1: Damiana Konka, Germany with RPZ Diamiro, Score: 7.9
Rank 2: Carlotta Söffing, Germany with Femke, Score: 7.5
Rank 3: Friederike Martin, Germany with Dark Velvet, Score: 7.2
95 cm – Style Jumping
Rank 1: Zoe Ryan, Canada with Omen, Score: 8.0
Rank 2: Hanna Fantin, Canada with Just Jack, Score: 7.8
Rank 3: Stephanie Lutter, Germany with La Luna, Score: 7.7
1.10 m – Style Jumping
Rank 1: Alina Hagemann, Germany with Leo, Score: 8.5
Rank 2: Mackenzie Edwards, Canada with Ludwig, Score: 7.9
Rank 3: Charlotte Kondrup, Denmark with Centibetia, Score: 7.6

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