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“It’s the first time Norwegians are competing in the Europeans at all” said Heidi, “So we’re really excited!”
Despite the fact that Norway doesn’t have many riders at the three star level, they have managed to qualify the minimum three required, which is a sensation in itself. However, since only there are only three riders they are a bit vulnerable.
“Each nation can have four riders, but it's only the three best results that count. Moreover, many of the big nations also reserve,” says Bauer.
This won’t be the first time they’ve competed at Strzegom or the first time they’ve traveled together as a team for competition – they also attended Nations Cup events last year in both Strzegom and Boekelo.
The team’s appearance in Poland was the first time Norway had fielded a Nations Cup team, and they managed to finish in 5th place.
Cross country and show jumping were strong points for the team with Hans Bauer completing the show jumping portion flawlessly.
Hans will be bringing his 11 year old Danish Warmblood gelding, Praestegaardens Leopold, who is by the famous Hanoverian stallion Londonderry.
Heidi Bratlie Larsen will be bringing her 12 year old Swedish Warmblood gelding, Euforian, who enjoys jumping to the degree that he often jumps paddock fences back home.
Ellen Kristina Hynne will be bring her 16 year old Norwegian Warmblood mare, Rom Tikka, who is the only representative of the rare breed at the competition.
It was around this time a year ago that the decision was made for Norway to send a team, but this journey was set into motion by the riders, who felt that they could qualify. In fact, Hans Bauer had qualified for the European Championship many years ago, but unfortunately his horse became injured just days before the competition.
“It’s very inspiring to be part of the National Team.” Said Hans, “I have for many years travelled alone for competitions and the spirit and joy of being part of a team is inspiring.”
Text by Aleksandra Gill