FEI Eventing World Championships 2022, by Louise Parkes
On the thrilling final day of the 2022 FEI Eventing World Championship, Team Germany reigned supreme as Britain’s Yasmin Ingham produced another stunning performance from her 11-year-old gelding Banzai du Loir to win the individual title ahead of Germany’s Julia Krajewski in silver and Tim Price of New Zealand in bronze.
A total of 68 horse-rider combinations started on Italian course designer Uliano Vezzani’s 13-fence jump course, and it would have a significant influence if just 12 returned without penalties. It seemed that individual gold was destined for Germany’s Michael Jung for the second time in the career of this phenomenal athlete. But after leading the first two phases, he had to settle for fifth place in the final analysis, leaving the first element of the double bogey at fence 11 on the ground with the final boards.
Her final score of 26.8 would still count towards the German total of 95.2, but when defending individual Olympic champion Julia Krajewski (Amande de B’Neville) and Christoph Wahler (Carjatan S) jumped clear, discarding the 12 unusual faults collected by the 2014 world. champion Sandra Auffarth (Viamant du Matz).
At the start of the day, Team USA’s Tamra Smith (Mai Baum), Boyd Martin (Tsetserleg TSF), William Coleman (Off the Record) and Lauren Nicholson (Vermiculus) were already in the silver medal after a superb run of cross-country yesterday as the dressage chiefs of Great Britain were in bronze.
But the luck of the British did not last, and although the turnarounds temporarily relieved them this afternoon, they were passed by the New Zealanders at the end of the day and had to settle for fourth place. Kiwi husband and wife Tim and Jonelle Price (Falco and McClaren) both put in spectacular show jumping performances and Monica Spencer (entertainer) made the incredibly long trip from the southern hemisphere well worth it by joining Clarke Johnstone (Menlo Park) on the third step of the podium.
There were seven qualifying places for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games up for grabs and Germany, the United States, New Zealand and Great Britain now have those reserved, along with Ireland, Sweden and Switzerland who occupied the next three places.
Third Tag Team Title
This is Germany’s third team title in 15 FEI World Eventing Championships. They first won at home in Aachen in 2006 and did it again at Caen in Normandy, France in 2014 with Auffarth and Jung also on that side.
For Jung, it was a day of mixed emotions.
Auffarth said she found the final stages really exciting. “It was cool for everyone to watch because it was so high and low for all the teams. I didn’t do the best course, I have a very good show jumping but today he wasn’t concentrated and impressed by the atmosphere so afterwards we fought, but we were very happy at the final to have succeeded!”, she underlined.
Krajewski’s clear notebook with his beautiful mare helped her land it and it gave her enormous satisfaction. “She popped her socks! My goal was to finish on my dressage score and I did. I knew she could jump flawless, but you really had to pull yourself together today because it was a tough course,” she said, knowing she also had the individual money in the bag.
The Americans hadn’t made the team podium at the world championships since their second victory in the event’s history in 2002, so today’s success was very important.
As Boyd Martin said, “For us to have five clear rounds in cross country yesterday was awesome. I’ve been on several of those championship teams and it was so close again and again today, so that’s a huge sigh of relief!
Two fewer fences proved costly for Tamra Smith as she moved from individual bronze to ninth place, but she was still happy with her result and USA’s final spot. “We came here to do our best and we all knew we could medal, but we’re pleasantly surprised. Looking at the results, we’re within 0.4 of third place, and that shows the quality of the field – I’m honored to be here,” she said.
The last time the Kiwis won a world team medal was bronze at Kentucky in 2010, so today’s ranking was a big moment for them too. And for Tim Price, also winning the individual bronze was a very big moment.
“It’s not a position we’ve been used to for a while,” he said. “Andrew Nicholson came over and said you’ve waited long enough for this – well done! It’s incredible, we had a great week, everything is very solid, and what a finish! And he was very proud of his horse, Falco. “We’ve trusted him from the start, he’s always been a jumper in his own right, but to come into Sunday and use him in the best way is just amazing. We worked so hard for it, we focused on it for years, this kind of major event with the team behind us and the nation behind us says it all!
Meanwhile, individual gold medalist Yasmin Ingham has spoken about her incredible achievement on her league debut. “I’m so proud to win this for Great Britain but I’m also proud to do this for the Isle of Man!” she said today. She was born and raised on the small island located between England and Ireland which covers an area of just 572 square kilometers with a population of 85,000.
She has enjoyed a hugely successful career at youth level and was crowned Isle of Man Sportswoman of the Year in 2013 after winning team and individual gold at the European Pony Championship in Arezzo, Italy and in 2018 she posted her first top ten in a CCI4*L U25 at Bramham. She was awarded the Godman Cup that year for the most points earned by a British rider in eventing aged 21 and under. She won Blenheim last year and finished second at Kentucky earlier this year with Banzai. She’s only 25 and the rider who lives with Sue Davies and Janette Chinn in Cheshire, England, already has the world at her feet.
“It was amazing to have the opportunity to compete here with a British team of seasoned professionals, so I learned a lot. The support team was fantastic and a big thank you to them. Banzai is the best horse I have ever sat on and I don’t think I will ever sit on a horse like him again. He’s amazing in dressage, he’s got so much presence, he’s fast on the cross country, he’s agile, he’s brave and then coming into show jumping today he showed everyone that he was jumping a clear course and there were no two ways to do it! I wouldn’t want to be sitting on another horse,” she said.
. Germany win gold by team British Ingham crowned champion world individual