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A historic European coronation for Ruben Delaunay in Kaposvar

The Hungarian town of Kaposvar hosted the rising stars of aerobatics for the FEI Junior and Youth European Championships from 27 to 31 July. It was the very first time that the Young Voltigeurs category was present at the European Championships, and everyone will remember France’s historic victory, thanks to the performance of Ruben Delaunay, crowned European champion!

Ruben Delaunay in Kaposvar.

© Peter Andrassy/FEI

Ruben Delaunay, licensed at the Petit-Dan stables in Hérouville-Saint-Clair, flew on Orlof de Condé (BWP, Lord Leopold x Flemmingh), owned by Cécile and Yannick Kersulec and flanked by Yannick Kersulec. Last weekend in Kaposvar, Hungary, the twenty-year-old Norman had a good start to the European Young Voltigeurs Championship, obtaining a score of 7.457 during the Imposed program, synonymous with provisional fourth place. He then continued to climb the rankings. Thus, he signed the best performance in the second stage, the Technical program, obtaining a score of 7.969. A great performance which allowed him to take the second provisional place in the championship with an average of 7.713, behind the Austrian Philip Clement, at 7.866. On Saturday, this championship ended with the essential Free program. Ruben once again caused a sensation with the judges, as well as with the public, obtaining the very good score of 8.644, bringing his average to 8.179. Philip Clement’s 8.051 was not enough to keep him at the top of the rankings and Ruben Delaunay was finally crowned European champion! Philip Clement finished in silver, ahead of his compatriot Fabian Lipp, bronze medalist.

“I was more aiming for a podium”, Ruben Delaunay

“I’m very happy because I was aiming for a podium rather than the gold medal!”commented the gold medalist. “It’s a great way to end my years with the Youth. I was a little disappointed with my Imposed program because I could have done better and Orlof was really on top. On the other hand, I’m delighted with my Technique: I think it’s the best presented this season! In Free, I could have done better, but I’m obviously happy because I won and my horse was really great during the three events. Orlof only started vaulting two years ago, and I’ve only been riding with him since March because I had another horse before. It matches very well between us! Next year, I’m going to BTS in Angers and I’m going to join the French pole of the French Horse Riding Federation (FFE) in September, based on the Saumur site of the French Horse and Horse Institute. riding, to move into the Seniors category. My objective is therefore to make a good start in this category, always accompanied by Orlof – I hope so. I would particularly like to thank the FFE and the federal staff, as well as the entire Petit-Dan stables team who allowed me to get here.”

This victory is shared with the horse and its length. “We bought Orlof two years ago and quickly launched him into aerobatics because he has a good head. He quickly turned out to be serious and regular. The more he competes, the better he performs, he really likes that. I am very happy with his behavior and to share this victory with Ruben”, reacted Yannick Kersulec. The national coach in charge of Juniors and Youth, François Athimon, draws an obviously positive conclusion from this great first. “It’s a great performance from Ruben, Orlof and Yannick. We have been talking with them for several months to prepare for this deadline and try to figure well in this category. In particular, we had worked during a preparation course bringing together Juniors, Young people and Seniors at the Pôle France de Saumur. It was very interesting and rich. This allowed us to forge links and make the final adjustments, in particular with Romain Bernard, choreographer, and Bamdad Memarian, technical and physical trainer for the France division. We knew that Ruben could go for a medal, and are obviously very happy with the color of this one! He showed acrobatic qualities and great regularity and reliability. He did not commit any fault. The horse and the longeur showed a lot of serenity and reliability, which gave confidence to the trio throughout the championship. This new Young Voltigeurs category is interesting to ensure the transition to that of Seniors. We are delighted that the first title is for a Frenchman. Ruben makes history!”

Orlof de Condé, Yannick Kersulec and Ruben Delaunay in Kaposvar.

Orlof de Condé, Yannick Kersulec and Ruben Delaunay in Kaposvar.

© Peter Andrassy/FEI

Baptiste Terrier not far from the podium

Charlotte Lhommeau, licensed at the Cercle d’Or stables, in Maine-et-Loire, represented France with Casares van het Cauterhof, owned by Charlotte and Gersende Lhommeau, mother of the athlete, who took charge of the lanyard. After a good start to the championship, the young Frenchwoman suffered a disappointment in the Free program which dropped her in the standings, to eighteenth place. The German Alice Layher was crowned with Lambic van Strokappeleken, ahead of the Austrian Hannah Miriam Haigermoser on Louis Bonheur, and another German, Oceane Schattleitner, on Amontillado 9.

On the Junior side, Germany and Austria took the lion’s share. The first nation named won silver and bronze in the girls’ category thanks to Lily Warren (Capitano 59) and Paula Waskowiak (Djaibolo), as well as gold and bronze in the boys’ category, thanks to Bela Lehnen (Formel 1 DC ) and Arne Heers (Cleiner Onkel T), silver in no two, thanks to Finn Gallrein and Frances Nandy Moldenhauer (Longinus) and as a team. The second nation saw Anna Weidenauer (Chivas 14) gold medalist for girls, Paul Ruttkovsky (Chivas 14) silver medalist for boys, Anna Weidenauer and Paul Ruttkovsky (Louis Bonheur) crowned in pas de deux, where Katharina Feldhofer and Anja Huber (Boccaccio D) took bronze, as well as silver as a team. Switzerland was silver medalist in this last competition. For France, Océane Gehan and Maelys Marmin finished nine and eleventh in the girls’ category, associated with Barrington and Vegas du Hans, both skirted by Marina Joosten-Dupon. Among the boys, Baptiste Terrier finished fifth, four tenths of a point from bronze with the same Barrington, still skirted by the head of the Meaux club.

All results


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