DEFENDING champion Ingrid Klimke from Germany regained her title at the European Evening Championships in Luhmühlen, Germany, ahead of teammate Michael Jung, while 22-year-old Galway rider Cathal Daniels won the individual bronze medal.

The competition wasn’t decided until the final horse entered the arena. When Jung and fischerChipmunk FRH faulted at the second part of the double near the end of the track, Klimke and SAP Hale Bob OLD moved into the gold medal position.

Irish eyes were smiling when Cathal Daniels jumped a clear round with the wonderful Jack of Diamonds-sired Rioghan Rua and moved to the top of the leaderboard as the combinations that followed faulted.

Daniels and the 12-year-old mare, who is owned and bred by Frank and Margaret Kinsella, opened with a dressage score of 29.0 and lay in 13th place after that first phase. They rose to sixth after a brilliant clear round inside the time across the country, and today’s show jumping clear meant they finished on that score of 29.0.

“I am so happy with the way my horse performed here in Luhmühlen. The atmosphere was electric today and I am proud I could win the medal for my team,” Daniels said afterwards.

Klimke kept her cool and repeated her success from Strzegom two years ago, completing on her dressage score of 22.90 points. “I am unbelievably happy and thankful to have had my show jumping coach Kurt Gravemeier here with me today. Warming up with him, gave me confidence for the show jumping. Bobby jumped brilliantly and I still can’t believe we did it again,” Klimke said afterwards.

Michael Jung was disappointed about the fault which cost him the gold medal: “Of course I am a little annoyed about the fault. However, I am very happy about Chipmunk’s performance all week here in Luhmühlen. He was fit and jumped great, which makes me look forward to the future with this wonderful horse.”

Germany win gold

Germany won the team gold medal on a score of 82.50. Their team of Klimke, Jung, Andreas Dibowski and Kai Rüder led from the front after the dressage phase. Defending champions Britain had to settle for silver (104.80) ahead of Sweden in bronze (105.10), who secured their Olympic qualification along with Italy, who finished fifth.

The Irish team of Daniels, Sam Watson, Sarah Ennis and Ciaran Glynn finished sixth on a score of 125.0. Ciaran Glynn withdrew November Night before this morning’s show jumping, saying she was not quite right after cross-country, where they were clear inside the time.

Full coverage from Margie McLoone in Saturday’s The Irish Field.