Lilly Marie Collin Strikes Gold Thrice, Dominates 2023 European Pony Championships

Germany’s Lilly Marie Collin achieves a remarkable feat, securing three gold medals at the 2023 European Pony Championships in Le Mans, France.

Introduction: 2023 European Pony Championships

The 2023 European Pony Championships took place at Emmanuelle and Philippe Rossi’s “Boulerie Jump – Pole Europeen du Cheval” in Le Mans, showcasing dressage, show jumping, and eventing concurrently. The championship was a bustling event, with all three divisions culminating on a momentous Sunday.

Clapping and Birds at the Championships

During the dressage freestyle’s final rides, an unexpected challenge emerged when the eventing prize giving was simultaneously underway. The enthusiastic announcer and cheering audience made it difficult for the music to be heard, affecting the serenity of the dressage finale. However, the ponies remained unfazed, demonstrating their poise amidst the commotion.

Another intriguing sight at the championships was the presence of numerous pigeons in the arena. The majestic birds added an interesting touch, creating a harmonious picture of birds and ponies united in the world of dressage.

Collin’s Sensational Victory

Lilly Marie Collin concluded her illustrious international pony career in style, as she would soon reach the age limit at the end of the year. Guiding the 8-year-old Westfalian stallion Cosmo Callidus (by Cosmopolitan x Cyriac), she earned the unanimous favor of the ground jury, composed of Isabelle Judet (FRA), Thomas Kessler (GER), Magnus Ringmark (SWE), Eva Vint-Warmington (EST), and Susanne Baarup (DEN), who awarded her the first position in the freestyle.

Collin’s mesmerizing performance, choreographed to Michael Buble’s “It’s a Beautiful Day,” showcased dynamic and forward trot work, an extended walk with remarkable overtrack and rhythm, and a beautifully balanced ride with plenty of voltes, lines, and circles showcasing the true and counter canter. The 86.960% score earned her the Kur gold, with marks ranging from 84.50 to 89.250%.

Everars Soars to Silver

Belgian rider Liezel Everars also delivered an outstanding freestyle aboard her 12-year-old Rhinelander gelding, FS Capelli de Niro (by FS Champion de Luxe x FS Don’t Worry). Riding the pony in a dropped nosebody for the kur improved the bridle contact, resulting in a poised and expressive performance.

To the tunes of Beyoncé and 1990s techno beats, Everars showcased remarkable trot half passes with significant crossing, energetic and forward trot work, and a superb extended walk with textbook clarity and rhythm. Though there were minor imperfections in the simple changes and counter canter, Everars and FS Capelli de Niro secured an impressive score of 80.150%, securing the Kur silver medal.

Pohl Claims the Bronze

German reserve combination, Pohl, paired with the 13-year-old Der Kleine Sunnyboy (by Der Feine Lord x Valentino) to deliver a dazzling performance to Marvin Gaye and Phil Collins music. As the last to go, Pohl had a strategic advantage and capitalized on it, delivering a well-balanced and polished ride.

With a fantastic counter canter, good simple changes, and an exceptional extended walk, Pohl showcased her mastery. Although there were slight issues in the half passes, her overall performance earned her a score of 79.780%, securing the Kur bronze.

The Podium Standings

The final standings saw Lilly Marie Collin on top with three gold medals, Liezel Everars securing the silver, and Pohl claiming the bronze. Abigail Gray on George Clooney BS missed the podium by a narrow margin, landing in fourth place with a score of 78.640%.


The 2023 European Pony Championships witnessed remarkable performances from Lilly Marie Collin, Liezel Everars, and Pohl, showcasing the incredible talent and dedication of these young equestrians. As the championships concluded, these riders etched their names in the history of European pony dressage, leaving an enduring legacy for future generations of aspiring equestrians.

Note: This article presents Eurodressage’s firsthand account and personal opinion of the competition.

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