There are fourteen female riders who will participate in the FEI Jumping European Championship Milan 2023: an important pink quota (equestrian competitions are the only sport where men and women participate all together), ranging from 20-year-old Jennifer Hochstadter representing Lietchenstein, to 32-year-old Petronella Andersson from Sweden. And a curiosity about the 31-year-old Victoria Gulliksen: after Cecilie Hatteland’s forfeit, Norway will be represented exclusively on an individual basis by Victoria and by her younger brother Johan Sebastian, not yet 26.
HOCHSTADTER – Jennifer Hochstadter is the youngest of them all; in 2022, she stood out by obtaining the eighth place at the Young Riders’ European Championship and through her first participations in CSI5*: among them Jumping Verona, the only Italian stage of the FEI World Cup jumping competition. On that occasion too, she was the youngest rider and in an ‘accumulator with joker’ category she scored a splendid victory, stripped away from 67-year-old British rider John Whitaker: “It was truly incredible to have managed to beat a legend of this sport!”
Moreover, Verona brings good luck to Jennifer: she had already competed there in a CSI2* in 2016 when she was just 13 years old, coming close to success with Thor de Talma.
‘Jenni’ was a pupil of Marcel and Simon Delestre and is the daughter of 51-year-old Nicholas Hochstadter, who also competed in a European Championship. Because of her talent, the young woman from Lietchenstein soon became part of the small circle of riders sponsored by the prestigious Hermes maison (together with the best-known jumping riders, the Brazilian Rodrigo Pessoa and the French Simon Delestre).
EUROWOMEN’S STORY – The first lady rider to participate in the European jumping championships was Danish Connie Holm in 1975 in Munich. The first to win a medal was Swiss Heidi Robbiani, who won the silver medal in 1985 in Dinard, France, with Jessica V when she was 34 years old.
Two managed to win the gold medal: France’s Alexandra Ledermann in 1999 in Hickstead, in the UK, riding Rochet M when she was 30, and Germany’s Meredith Michaels Beerbaum in 2007 in Mannheim, Germany, riding Shutterfly when she was 29.
In total, female riders won five individual medals: in addition to the gold medals of Ledermann and Michaels Beerbaum and the silver medal of Robbiani, there was another silver medal for Christina Liebherr in 2005 and a bronze medal for Lesley McNaught in 1999, they too from Switzerland like Heidi.