Austria was represented in Le Pin au Haras in northern France by Erich Pürstinger and Michaela Schöftner (single) and Lothar Zebisch (pair). Erich Pürstinger had surely figured out the greatest chances for a top placement. At the international two-star tournament in Lauchheim-Hülen (GER), the Upper Austrian competed in second place with his pony stallion Steendieks Perfect Mind – just five points behind the Swiss Vice World Champion of 2019, Cédric Scherrer.
Unfortunately, Pürstinger was unable to build on this success at the championship in France. Once again, dressage proved to be the Achilles’ heel, with the successful red-white-red team dying with 64.01 points and a clear gap to the top-placed participants: they finished in 27th place.
Erich Pürstinger then showed a world-class performance in the marathon. While other participants with the very tightly built obstacles had their hardships, the Austrian team shone, proved their class with the fifth best run and worked their way up to 18th place. The race to catch up that began in the marathon could not continue in the last World Cup partial competition. Although the team remained flawless at the obstacles, there was not enough time for a top result. With 9.02 time error points, it finally came 20th for Pürstinger and his stallion.
Michaela Schöftner with her pony Capri ensured the best red-white-red result in this discipline. The reigning Austrian champion was on the top ten course after dressage (position 11) and marathon (position 15). However, the necessary bit of luck was missing between the cones. One drop and 7.6 time penalty points threw the 22-year-old Upper Austrian back to 17th place. So the 8th place of the duo at the 2019 World Cup remains the best placement at a championship in the general class for the time being.
The new world champion in single horse pony is the Swiss Cédric Scherrer, who ensured the best run in both dressage and marathon. In obstacle driving, fourth place was enough for the 2019 vice world champion to win. The Dutchman Brent Janssen went silver, bronze went to the host nation with Berengere Cressent.
Netherlands clean up
The Tyrolean Lothar Zebisch showed a constant performance with his ponies Smara, Antigone and Belluni in the World Championship for Pairs. With places 18 (dressage), 20 (marathon) and 22 (bowling), the reigning Austrian champion in pony pairs finished his second world championship in 20th place.
The Dutch defending champion Rodinde Rutjens took the win with a wafer-thin lead over the Briton Roger Campbell and the Frenchwoman Louise Fillon.
There was also gold for the Netherlands in the four-in-hand championship. Here Vice World Champion Marieke Hammink prevailed after strong performances in all three sub-competitions against the Swiss Yannik Scherrer and her compatriot Jan de Boer.
And the Dutch anthem rang out again this weekend: The Oranje riders won the Nations Cup: inside superior with 446.61 points, silver went to the team from Switzerland (461.75), the bronze medal went to the Belgians (479, 72). Defending champion Germany (483.17 points) had to be content with sheet metal this time.
All results in detail there is here.